Travel Ban executive order matrix h1b h2b h4 l1 j1 visa
H1B Visa

Details of H1B Visa Travel Ban Executive Order – Matrix & Key Takeaways

Travel Ban Executive Order affects the H1B, H4, L1A, L1B, L2, J1, J2 Visa categories. You probably know that by know.

Here are key takeaways from the Executive Order.

  • If you are in the US on H1B or H4 visa, you can travel outside the US and get back into the US if your visa is still valid on the date of entry to the US.
  • If you are on a valid I-797 and not valid visa stamp you can still continue working, do not travel outside the US until the executive order expires.
  • You cannot get your visa stamping abroad traveling outside US while the travel ban is active.
  • If you are outside the US and have a valid visa stamp, you can still enter US (H1B, L1, H4 or J) during and after this proclamation.
  • If you are outside the US and do not have a visa stamp, you can not get a visa stamp until the proclamation ends (for H-1B and H4).
  • For qualified candidates within US new H-1Bs can be applied.
  • For qualified candidates within the US, H-1B extensions and transfers can be applied (there might be more scrutiny while this proclamation is active).
  • The same rules apply to other visa categories in the proclamation.
  • No changes to OPT, STEM OPT, or H4 EAD.
  • People with valid H-1B visa entering US for the first time are also allowed during and after this proclamation.

Executive Order – Travel Ban Matrix

If you have scenarios that are not covered in this Travel Ban Executive Order Matrix, please leave a comment.

I’m updating the cart for situations that are not covered based on your comments.

Please consult an Immigration Attorney to for Legal Advice. You can consult one of our Immigration Attorney if you don’t know who to talk to.

Update 3: June 22, 5:57 PM EDT – Offical Executive Order

trump travel ban executive order overview

 

Update 2: June 22, 4 PM EDT – Here are the details of the Executive Order Expected to be Signed by the President Trump Today (as per WSJ, Reuters)

Note: Refer to the Matrix and Key takeaway from the above. This section were based on reports from news outlets before the Executive order was officially published.

  1. Executive Order will temporarily bar new immigrants coming into the USA (including H-1B Visa)
  2. New Restrictions will last until the end of the year
  3. Immigration Ban from April will be also extended until Dec 31, 2020
  4. About 525,000 will be restricted from entering this country with this travel ban
  5. Ban Applies to H1B Visa, H2B Visa, J1 Visa including au-pairs and L1 Visas
  6. Travel freeze applies to H4 Visa Holders as well.
  7. New Travel Ban will not apply to Visa holders already in the USA
  8. The new travel ban will not impact that outside who have already been issued valid visas
  9. Order will be Effect Tonight and lats till the end of the year
  10. J1 Visa Exemptions – Au-Pairs, University Professors
  11. Assumption = Travel Ban also means Pausing the issuance of New Visas.

Unknown at this Point

  • OPT & STEM OPT
  • H1B Visa Fee Increase
  • H4 EAD Impact
  • H1B Transfer or Extension Stamping impact

If you already have a visa issued, you can enter when travel resumes. 

We don’t know if New H1B Visa or H4 Visa will be issued if H1B is already approved (pending interview).

Biggest Question: Is this a ‘travel ban’ or will they stop issuing an H1B visa to anyone already in the USA (with COS) too? I’m really confused at this point. Plus, can someone point me to the ‘Official’ white house news, please?

Looks like it’s a travel ban. Let’s wait for the actual text of the order to see the details.

This section will be updated as I find more details.

Additional Resources:

  1. Join the Telegram Group for H1B Via Travel Ban
  2. Join Live Webinar with Immigration Attorney Murali (June 23 – 2:30 PM EDT) – Time & Location Changed.

Update 1: June 20, 2020 – 10:40 PM EDT: President Trump Confirms Executive Order on Visa Restrictions coming soon with very little exemptions on June 21 or June 22. Watch the video below.

Earlier versions of the blog post stated that President Trump is expected to sign an Executive Order for H1B Visa Entry Ban along with L1 and other visa types (see below starting at 4:32)

Share this News – Not many have seen this video or heard directly from the White House. Now, you heard from the President.

The Visa ban (or entry suspension) is expected to impact the following visa holder:

  • H1-B Visa (temporary skilled workers)
  • H-2B Visa (temporary, seasonal workers)
  • L-1 Visa (intra-company transfers)
  • J1 Visa (work and study exchange programs like visiting physicians, au pairs, and camp counselors)

What’s Expected in the Executive Order?

  • Impose Temporary ban on workers outside the USA from entering the USA on H, L or J Visa
  • Ban is expected to last 90 to 180 days or may till the end of the year
  • This ban is also expected to include H1B Visa workers selected in the lottery from entering the US from October
  • There would be exceptions for those working in
    • performing coronavirus-related medical research
    • healthcare professionals,
    • food supply workers
    • exemptions for employers who are unable to recruit American workers to fill certain positions.
    • Plus option for employers to seek exemption for “specified reason” (no clarity on this)
  • It’s not expected to impact or suspend workers who are currently in the USA.

How Does This Impact H1B Visa Holders?

Again, let’s see the actual text of the executive order. Until then, here’s what I can find:

  • H1B Visa Holder in the USA: No impact is Expected
  • H1B visa Holders outside the USA: Enter Before Ban goes into effect or expect to be stuck until the ban is removed
  • L1 Visa Visa Holders in the USA: No impact is Expected
    • We don’t know it L1A and L1B would be impacted
  • L1 visa holders stuck outside the USA: Enter Before Ban goes into effect or expects to be held until the ban is removed
  • OPT or STEM OPT: New Rule is required to make any changes to the program.

What About STEM OPT and H1B Visa Holders in the USA?

  • White House also requested the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to look into other restrictions via Rule Making Process.
  • Rule Making Process would require the following Process:
    • Publish the Rule
    • Notice and Comment for a minimum of 30 days or up to 60 days
    • Review Comment and Publish final Rule
    • Implementation of the new Rule with 30 days delay
  • Consider the above timeline; new Rule could become effective by the end of 2020

Read: STEM OPT Rule Making Process for 17 to 24 Months

What New Rules are Considered?

  1. Requiring LCA to be posted at both Employer and Client site (would end Client do this?)
  2. Eliminating 24 Months of STEM OPT Extension
  3. Restrict initial 12 months OPT eligibility to only those international students in the top percentile of their class.
  4. Increasing H-1B visa fees by $20,000
  5. Increase mandatory minimum wages for foreign workers
  6. Change the definitions of
    1. specialty occupation
    2. employer
    3. employee
    4. employer-employee relationship
  7. Eliminating H4 EAD and possibly work authorization for asylees, refugees, and temporary protected status holders

Again, this is what several news outlets are reporting, including NPR, and you probably have seen other tweets from several sources for over two weeks now.

I have resisted posting about these rumors to date, but it looks like the news is serious.

  • There was an internal meeting at the White House on Tuesday (June 16, 2020) to finalize the plans.
  • Now President Trump confirm the upcoming restrictions in the video interview

Questions & Answers about H1B Visa Ban and STEM OPT

Q1. How does it impact the people who have had their names picked in the H1B lottery this year, and also how about the people applying for STEM Extension? How does it affect them?

Looks like if you are already in the USA, they may process the H1B Visa (my hope and assumption).

Those who got H1B Visa picked in the lottery and are located outside the USA, they may not be able to enter the USA.

STEM OPT changes require the Rulemaking process.

Q2. I’, curious as to if this rumored executive order will halt anyone who is currently been approved on OPT programs?

Any changes to OPT or STEM OPT program will require regulatory changes via the Rule Making process. Mostly I have seen that new changes will impact when your petition goes to renewal (not to existing authorization).

Summary: H1B Visa Suspension and Ban

  • Expected to ban entry of non-immigrant workers on H, L, and certain J visa holders
  • If you are working in the USA on H and L Visa, you shouldn’t have an impact (fingers crossed, right?)

This is a developing story and I don’t have any further details at the time. I’m gathering additional information. If I post an update, I will include the time of the update.

Let me know if you have any specific questions. I will try to get an Attorney to answer the questions. But, it will be prudent to wait until Text of the H1B Visa Entry Suspension us available to see who is impacted and when (if the is an order to be signed).

 

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115 Comments

  1. I attended my Interview for H1B in March/received 221g and after the verification, with the client, I was requested to submit the passport a day before the lockdown happened.
    My passport was in the consulate office since then and received it today but with another 221g sheet requesting me for another interview after the regular operation of the consulate offices resume.
    I am literally on a crunch situation since I have only 5 months before my I-797 expiry and really clueless on how things would take its course.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for me for the second round interview?
    Would the client verification process start over?

    1. It’s a tough spot to be in. And one you don’t a control over.

      Worst Case – Apply for an extension of H1B if I-797 expires. If visa issued is based on I-797 validity, you will need to do stamping again. Hang in there!

  2. Hello,
    I came to India for my H1B stamping, got finished with my interview and 221g processing and submitted my passport a week before the lockdown. Heard no updates on the resumption of regular service by the US embassy in chennai. (Passport stuck in the embassy)
    Will this executive order/proclamation be a hurdle in getting my passport stamped until December?

    1. It could impact you and be on hold until Dec. But, EO doesn’t not spell that out specifically.

  3. Hello!
    If I’m an J1 visa holder and I’m on the USA rn
    Can I travel outside the US and come back if my visa is still valid??

  4. Hello, I have a friend who is a UK citizen, but has a valid L1 visa and lives in the USA. He wants to visit me in Norway, but said that when he asked a legal advisor he was informed that he couldn’t get back in the USA afterwards. Then I read this on your site: “If you are outside the US and have a valid visa stamp, you can still enter US (H1B, L1, H4 or J) during and after this proclamation.”

    So I asked the American embassy in Norway, and they also said he couldn’t get back in once he went out of the US, even if he has a valid visa. Can you help me out here? Can you link to the official government page where they clearly state this? Thanks so much in advance.

    1. As per interviews with Attorney and News posted, with valid Stamp, person can travel back. In fact, several folks have entered with valid stamp after this ban went to effect.

  5. Friends
    OS F1 visas of students who are outside the U.S. and who will return now in August for course continuity was affected by this restriction? OR does F1 visa not enter these restrictions and can enter the USA normally?

  6. What does this mean: J1 Visa Exemptions – Aupairs and University Professors.

    AuPairs without Visa can get an exemption?

    1. When news reports were published before the executive order was made public, J1 exemptions included Au Pairs. But, the final order travel ban included au pairs as well.

  7. Thanks for the details. This is super helpful.

    One question – Me and my wife/kids have L1 A/L2 stamp valid till October and are currently outside the US. Does this mean all of us need to be back in US before October? Post that, we will need to apply for an extension and can stay in US till 8 months (even if there is an RFE/decline etc) and cannot travel outside the US till executive order is lifted. Is that correct?
    In the last few days, has there been an impact in % rejection for extensions?

    1. Yes.. Enter before Oct. Travel out can be done anytime, but to enter back again, new visa stamp is required.

  8. Hello, I am currently in US and my visa extension (H1B) is under process. My i94 has expired in Dec 2019. Due to a job change I had to file for an amendment in Feb. As per my lawyer I would need to go for a counselor process. Under the trave ban I would not be able to travel after I get my approval. Could I stay and continue working once I get my approval or would I need to travel back to India. If I do travel back can I get my stamping done and come back once the ban is lifted? Please advice. Thank you!

  9. Hi, in the matrix, there is no information for L-1 Visa, OUTSIDE the USA, having valid visa stamp. Can you please update? Thanks!

  10. I applied for H1b 2021 lottery but did not get picked up with status still showing “Submitted”. How does this executive order affect my application? Will there be a second round of lottery since this order bans issuance of new H1 visa? Is this ban on visa issuance only for people outside of US or for everybody within the US as well seeking an H-1B visa?

  11. I have approved i797 for h1b extension but I don’t have the visa stamped. I am also outside of US. Once the consulates reopen can I go for a visa interview to get it stamped?

      1. Raghu Ram iam a pharmaceutical workers, selected in lottery 2020, approved by USCIS and waiting for stamping from outside US.
        Would it exempted or shall I wait until the time Jan 2021. Is this 2020 lottery petitions are accepted for further process?

      2. I am on my Non-Stem OPT (expires in July) and filed for COS to H4. The current status is that the case was received, but no biometric was done due to COVID 19. I am currently in the US. Does this impact me?

  12. I am in India and my application is picked in lottery. Can my consultant still go ahead and apply for H1 approvals? Will executive order has impact on new lottery system as well. I am sure i cant attend an interview till Dec 31st.But Want to know what will happen to my lottery.

      1. Due to maxout I have applied to B2 visa to stay legally in US, recently my i140 approved and planning to file H1b extension. Will there be any issue while filing extension or do we need to file new H1b petition?

  13. Hi, I am an international Ph.D. student and almost finish my Ph.D. study in one of the U.S. universities. I am now finding an academic job (to be a professor in the future). I wondering whether this new H1B restriction will interfere with the university hiring process.

  14. I’m on F1 Opt Stem extension valid till Jan 15 2021 and have approved h1b consular processing in 2018. Can I apply change of status now?

  15. Please inform I am H1b Visa process parsue where under goning. My name is Husen Mohamed Osman. Still I am not received notice from USCIS.

  16. Hi, I have valid h1b visa until September 2020 and my extension is approved for 3 years. Normally if I travel out of the USA I supposed to attend the visa interview and enter USA with new visa stamped. Will that be the case now as-well or can I Go to India and travel back to USA before September ?

    1. Waiting for more clarity on this because of Section 3 – i) is outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation;

      (ii) does not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and

  17. I have an approved i797 but does not have a stamp h1b. My F1 visa is still active until Oct 2020. Can I travel to US with F1 visa or is it void after my H1b approval?

  18. I am currently on H1-b visa and located in USA. My visa expires in October this year. How does this executive order affect the extension process? Will I be able to apply for H1-b extension?

  19. I am presently in USA on stem opt and my H1b got approved and I got a mail also. Will this order effect my approved h1b

  20. My H1B is approved but did not go to India for Visa Stamping yet and it’s been 2 years. Will this effect Visa stamping in the near future, if I go to my native country?

  21. I am currently in India with my 6months old daughter who is a legal citizen of USA. My husband has a valid H1B but I need to get my new H4 stamping done which has already expired. Will I be allowed to return back?

    1. Unfortunately – No. You cannot enter the USA since you do not have an H4 visa. No restrictions for your daughter since she is a US citizen. Theoretically, since your husband already has a H1B visa stamp on his passport (assuming which is valid and not expired) – he can come to India and your daughter can go back to USA with him. But you need to wait till December 2020 (or later) to enter USA

      1. where in order it says H4. In the order it says

        (a) an H-1B or H-2B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;

        In case H1b in US , dependent H4 should be allowed or not ?

  22. can my H4 spouse get a visa who is out of country once embassies re open as I am the primary H1 visa holder is in USA ? Thanks

  23. I’m currently in US with H1-B visa, my wife is in India and needs H4 visa stamping to enter USA. What are her options here? Can she still apply for H4 visa?

    1. I am in same situation. Please respond to it. What are the options now? I have stamping appointment scheduled for October 7th,2020. Would they cancel my stamping appointment now? Can I get tourist visa and join my spouse in US as he is having valid 797 for next 3 years.

      1. I asked this question to Attorney Murali yesterday. He said to be careful. Intention matters!

    2. If your wife already has H4 visa stamped on her passport : She can Enter USA
      If your wife does not have H4 visa stamp on her passport : She cannot travel at least till Dec 2020 or until this travel ban is lifted

  24. Hi,

    Thank you for helping. I am currently in the US. I just applied for H4 visa in March, and my H4 is in processing now. Will the new travel ban affect my application? Thank you!

  25. My husband is in USA with H1B visa for 3 years. We recently got married. However my H4 interview got cancelled due to Covid. Will I be allowed to reschedule and enter USA?

  26. I am in STEM OPT now, my H1b and my wife’s H4 is filed with USCIS. I am planning to travel outside of the US in November and would need visa stamping before return.
    Will my visa stamping for re-entry will be impacted even though my status was adjusted while i am within US?

  27. My daughter had a valid H4 visa currently she is in India, but unfortunately she lost her passport, currently applying for re issue passport.In this situation after this rule came into the picture can she get the stamping the new passport with old visa issue date.

  28. Myself (H1) and my wife (H4) were in valid stamped US VISA till mid of next year 2021, and were having infant kid (US Citizen).
    My wife and kid went on vacation to India before lock down and got stuck there.

    Now I am planning to travel India, from US, once commercial flight resumed, and bring back my wife and infant kid, from India.

    Will this new travel restriction block my entry back, when we come together!

    I know they can travel alone from there and I can stay here, but I feel it is better I go and accompany them to travel back. Since I am not sure how my wife will handle my kid during journey, as alone.

    Appreciate your suggestion.

    Thanks!

  29. Hi,

    I am currently in united states on student visa. I got my H1 B picked up in lottery this year (2020). Once it gets approved, can I go for visa stamping to India in October 2020 and come back ?

  30. I am currently in US and my visa is expired on may 25. Filed for an extension in dec but got an RFE for which I will be responding soon. Not sure how does it impact, can someone throw light on it ?

  31. I have H1B stamping till Aug’21. My company announced remote option till end of the year.
    I would like to work till end of the year on H1B in India remotely ?

    Can we work in India remotely around 4-5 months on H1B ?

  32. Thanks for posting this so soon! I’m working on F-1 and didn’t get selected for the H-1B lottery this year. I’m already in US, so the order doesn’t seem to affect me. Do you think they would be rerunning the H-1B lottery this year for people in US? Seems like lot of people are hired from outside country on H-1B and seems like the executive order will affect those individuals. Any thoughts will be appreciated.

    1. It’s ban is only till December 31st.so they can come back after that. So no question of re lottery.

  33. Hi,
    My friend recently received H1B extension and amendment approval. Recently she traveled to India and stuck due to Covid-19. She is waiting for the stamping. Is there any possibility that she can travel back without any restrictions.
    How does the new H1B ban rule impact in this situation?

    Thank you,
    Shinto

  34. I got my H1B stamped this feb, and couldn’t travel due to Covid situation. Will be able to travel?

  35. My stem opt just expired on June 13th. I am on grace period till August 12th. Simultaneously I am awaiting decision on the appeal my company filed to the AAO, against the H1B petition denial we received back in January 2020. We have even requested to expedite the appeal processing. Also, I am planning to file form i-539 for change of status to B2 Visa until I get the decision on my appeal. I wonder if I would get affected by this executive order.

  36. Hi, I am currently overseas; on my initial post completion OPT and need to apply for STEM OPT extension soon.
    My understanding is that the order shouldn’t affect my entry nor the STEM OPT extension application.
    Is that correct? Thank you.

  37. Can people with valid H1B visas that have stamping can get back to the states?

    I have a VBM flight on the 29th of this month.

  38. “exemptions for employers who are unable to recruit American workers to fill certain positions.”

    I am a little confused with this sentence. Isn’t this is the whole point of applying for H1B for a candidate in the first place?

    Besides, actions like these is the reason why I left USA after 5 years. I now have far greater peace of mind and can focus on other things that matter.

    1. H1B doesn’t require labor market tests like PERM for EB Green Card that takes like 1 year and a lot of money!

  39. My wife has a valid H4 visa till Dec-2021 and is in India (not able to come back to US due to Covid-19 scenario).

    Does that mean , that even with this executive order , she can come back to US in July when international flights are started again ?

    1. Hey Raghu my wife has a valid H4 VISA (stamped on Feb26th 2020). She is stuck in India. Do you think this travel ban impacts our situation ?

      1. It’s unclear as of now if new H4 stamping can be issued (but it’s most likely no is my guess).

          1. “What if husband holding H1 visa is a healthcare professional in US, can his wife get H4 visa stamping”?

            Similar situation – can you please throw some light here..Thank you

  40. I have traveled to India in march 2020 and struck here because of covid19 and unavailability of international flights. With the new Execute Order is out I need some info,

    I got married recently and would need H4 to my wife to travel along with me. Can she get H4 as I have already had a stamped H1 visa valid until next year?

    Thanks

    1. This is a good question. I’m not sure the consulate will issue new visa stamp (that’s my understanding). But, it’s also tricky because you have a load visa!

  41. I am currently on STEM OPT. I got picked in the H1 lottery and my application (Change of Status) was recently filed with USCIS. I haven’t received my receipt yet. How will this impact me.

  42. Hi, I have H1 Approved, But Had to go to canada for stamping, But that got cancelled. so i m right now in canada waiting for USCIS to open. will this ban going to restrict from entering country.

  43. Hi

    I came to India for a vacation this March 2020 and was supposed to return back but due to non availability of flights have stayed back here. I have H1b visa till November 2022. My perm and I140 are approved. Will this new policy affect my entry to USA

    1. No, it will only affect you if need a new visa or if you need renew your stamping for expire visa.

      1. My husband has a valid H1B visa stamp until Oct 2022, however, the consulate issued him a visa with incorrect PP number .Will the consulate correct the visa as it is clearly their mistake ? and can he thereafter travel from India ?

  44. We are here on L1/L2 but have now gotten Advanced Parole since we have applied for Green cards. However, our son in Sweden was not part of the GC application and only has the L2. Would he be able to come visit us? He is 19 years old.

    1. We don’t know how these travel restrictions will be implemented. Just hang in there for few more days.

      1. He never used the word ban so how about you go fuck yourself instead of causing more anxiety among the people.

  45. I have approved H1b visa and my visa interview also scheduled earlier but this got cancelled due to covid 19, will I get chance for visa interview or not if this ban is imposed.

    1. A few open questions that standout for me:
      1) how did you arrive at the estimated impact of 525K people?
      2) what about those who are currently in the states, but need to travel elsewhere.
      3) is stamping an approved extension considered a “new” visa?

      1. As per WSJ: A senior administration official estimated the expanded travel restrictions will prevent about 525,000 people from entering the country between now and the end of the year, including 170,000 green-card holders who have been barred from coming to the U.S.

        #2 and #3 – I will get more clarity with Murali’s Webinar tomorrow.

    1. H4 EAD is already in hot waters for a while now. President through the Executive Authority could only stop people from entering the USA. So, hang in there until we see who will be restricted from entering the USA.

  46. Hi. Would this impact J1 visa category for au pairs? And renewals J1 for au pairs? Thank you!!!

  47. Would this effect h1b visa transfer to new employer. I’m already in US and would be filing LCA with new employer in a week.

    1. I don’t think so, I recently moved to new employer without premium process with approval(no rfe). I guess as long as company has strong case prepared it won’t get affected if you are already in USA.

  48. How would this affect F1 students who will graduate (or have graduated) this year, and looking for jobs for the post completion OPT period (first 12 months)?

    If this executive order comes into play, will the companies be allowed to process H1B visas for these students?

    This is important to know, especially while answering yes/no to sponsorship question in the job applications.

    1. That’s a good question. Please respond. Coz m in a similar state, my OPT is filed with USCIS and the status is just received. Will this be affected too?

    2. Please help out! I am in this situation exactly! graduated May 2020, OPT lasts 5/20-5/21. Currently applying to big chain/nonprofit/higher ed employers who have had the history of sponsoring H1Bs, however, I hearing a lot of rejections once I ask about the sponsorship, the main reason being not sponsoring during this current COVID situation. I have two non-profit employers who are still thinking of hiring me and they may have a chance to sponsor my H1B but I am not sure how to explain the new law to them. Please help me understand how the H1B visa ban can affect new grads like me. THANK YOU!!

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