In less than two days, on April 22, 2020 Trump signed the immigration ban which will prevent foreigners abroad from moving to the U.S. on a new green card for the next 60 days. The order aims to protect U.S. workers who lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and the restrictions could later be amended or extended if necessary, Trump said.
The order temporarily prohibits people outside the U.S. as of its signing from getting green cards.
A major category of people who are banned is those seeking green cards as parent of an American citizen.
It also stops individuals from receiving green cards to enter the U.S. through other means, such as the EB-1 “extraordinary ability” category and DV Lottery, also known as green card lottery.
Who is exempt?
First of all, foreigners already in the United States and seeking to adjust their status will not be blocked by the latest measure.
Spouses and children under 21 of American citizens can still get green cards.
Medical professionals, defined as “a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional” working to combat COVID-19, are exempt, and may bring their spouses and unmarried kids under 21.
People applying for a green card though the EB-5 program, which requires an investment of at least $900,000 that is expected to create jobs, are exempt from the ban as well as the members of the U.S. military and people “whose entry would be in the national interest,” as determined by officials like the Secretary of State or Secretary of Homeland Security.
What about temporary work visas?
The order does not prevent people from getting non-immigrant visas that are granted on a temporary basis and do not confer permanent residency or the promise of citizenship. That includes H-1B specialty workers, H-2A agriculture workers and others. The executive order doesn’t void any existing visa and does not affect tourists and students.
To some extent, the order formalizes limits already in place. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices in the country are closed, which means appointments and naturalization ceremonies aren’t taking place. Furthermore, around the world routine visa processing for tourists and workers has been suspended.
By Piero Salussolia P.A.
This article contains general information and does not replace in any way the help of a lawyer. We suggest you seek professional help for further information and assistance. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.