Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Nonimmigrants

President Trump issued an Executive Order which bars entry to the United States of new  H-1B, L-1A and L-1B, H-2B, and J-1 (interns, trainees, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs and Summer Work Travel participants) visa holders , as well as their spouses and dependents. The Proclamation took effect on June 24, 2020 at 12:01 AM ET. It will remain in effect through December 31, 2020 and may be continued or modified as necessary. The White House said the order will create jobs for Americans hurting economically due to the pandemic. 

This does not apply to individuals currently in or outside the United States with a valid visa, and they are able to leave and re-enter the country. The proclamation also immediately extends the ban on immigrant visa processing where the immigrant visa applicant is overseas and waiting for an interview at the consular post. 

Entry to US Available Under Certain Circumstances 

Israelis may apply for a discretionary waivers of the restriction if they can show their entry would aide the continued economic recovery of the United States, those involved with treatment and prevention of COVID-19, and those who are critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy or national security of the United States.

The decision regarding these waivers will be made by a Consular Officer within the US Embassy.

Phased Resumption of Routine Services

The Department of State has announced that it will resume routine visa services on a post-by-post basis, but is unable to provide a specific date for when each mission will resume specific visa services, or return to processing at pre-COVID levels. The volume and type of visa cases each post will process will depend on local circumstances.  A

DOS acknowledged that as conditions permit they will first phase in processing for travelers with urgent travel needs and students (F-1, M-1, and certain J1 visas).

Reversal in Treatment of International Students

The Trump administration has rescinded its July 6 rule that would have required international students whose courses are exclusively online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic to transfer schools or depart the U.S, reverting back to ICE’s original guidance from March 2020 allowing international students in F-1 and M-1 status to take more than one course online.