Back in March, the Trump administration used the COVID-19 epidemic as an excuse to threaten the existence of legal employment and family immigration to the US. Months later an executive order was signed to limit the entry of certain foreign immigrants and nonimmigrants into the US. President Trump signed a Proclamation on June 22, 2020, that will go into effect on June 24, 2020. Although this is similar to many executive orders he has signed, this H-1B Executive Order is actually called a Proclamation. This Proclamation is to restrict foreign workers from being employed in the US in response to the surge of unemployment due to the economic shutdown by the Coronavirus. There are several options you have to still enter the US during this period. Learn more about these options below.
Which US Visas Are Temporarily Suspended?
According to the Trump administration the new Proclamation will focus on the following visas:
H1B visas are designed for certain skilled workers in specialty occupations to fill positions not filled by US citizens.
H2B Visas are issued for seasonal workers, typically agricultural or vacation spots.
“(a) an H-1B or H-2B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;”
The L1 visa enables a US employer to transfer an executive or manager to an affiliated office in the US.
“(c) an L visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien.”
J1 Visas apply to research scholars and professors.
“(b) a J visa, to the extent the alien is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien”
Exceptions to Entering the US on a Work Visa During the Suspension
There are several exceptions that allow some US Work Visa holders to enter the US during the COVID-19 Suspension.
- Permanent Residents of the US may enter
- An immigrant child of a US Citizen or US permanent resident
- Any immigrant seeking to enter the US to provide labor or services essential to the US food supply chain
- Any immigrant who would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
When Will These US Work Visas Be Suspended and For How Long?
Previously in May 2020 when Trump was suggesting this idea he said it would last for 60 days and apply to those who are seeking permanent residents. The US Work Visa suspension will expire on December 31, 2020, and may be continued as necessary.
There are options to take before waiting until after December 31, 2020. Book a consultation with us today to review your options for US Immigration.
Options For US Immigration Instead of Work Visas
There are several options you can take instead of waiting until the Work Visa suspension is over.
E-1 and E-2 Investor Visas
E visas promote trade and investment between countries. The E1 visa is reserved for treaty traders and E2 visas are for treaty investors. To qualify for either E1 or E2, the applicant must be from a U.S. Department of State treaty country.
Learn more about the E-1 and E-2 Visas.
B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa
The B1 in lieu of H1B visa grants entry usually for multiple entries for up to a year for a short term work need in the US. Under the B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa category, usually, the work is done based on a contract between the US company and the overseas business.
Contact us today to learn more to know your eligibility for the B-1 Visa
Canadians Not Affected
If you are a Canadian, don’t worry, you are not affected! You will still be able to enter the US and change your status at an Immigration Service Center. Learn more about how Canadians can still work in the United States during the suspension. You will want to be represented by a US professional so book a consultation today to learn how to go about this process of working in the US from Canada.
What Should I Do If I Have a US Work Visa?
We do advise those who possess any of these US Work Visas to enter the US immediately so that they are not denied at the border once the order goes into effect on June 24th, 2020.
Hire an Immigration Lawyer to Get a US Work Visa
Did you already receive a job offer and want to enter the US? Book a consultation with our US Immigration Professionals as soon as possible to review your case.