President Trump this week issued a new Proclamation that suspends certain nonimmigrant employment-based visas for aliens currently outside the U.S. until at least December 31, 2020. The suspension includes H-1B visas. According to the Proclamation, it is necessary because “under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing [temporary] employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.”
In addition to suspending new H-1B visa petitions until the end of the year for foreign workers outside the U.S., the Proclamation also suspends H-2B visas for nonagricultural seasonal workers, L visas for intra-company transfers, and most J visas for cultural exchange visitors.
Notably, the suspension of these nonimmigrant visas does not apply to individuals who are already in the U.S. or to those who already have a valid nonimmigrant visa as of June 24, 2020. Nor does it apply to lawful permanent residents, spouses or children of a U.S. citizen, and any alien seeking to enter the U.S. to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain or other services deemed to be in the national interest.
In addition to suspending certain nonimmigrant visas, the Proclamation also extends until at least December 31, 2020, the Trump Administration’s April 22, 2020, suspension of new green cards for immigrants not currently in the country.
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.