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
- Here’s the actual Executive Order. The analysis will be posted soon. H1B folks read the Section #5.
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.
- Executive Order will temporarily bar new immigrants coming into the USA (including H-1B Visa)
- New Restrictions will last until the end of the year
- Immigration Ban from April will be also extended until Dec 31, 2020
- About 525,000 will be restricted from entering this country with this travel ban
- Ban Applies to H1B Visa, H2B Visa, J1 Visa including au-pairs and L1 Visas
- Travel freeze applies to H4 Visa Holders as well.
- New Travel Ban will not apply to Visa holders already in the USA
- The new travel ban will not impact that outside who have already been issued valid visas
- Order will be Effect Tonight and lats till the end of the year
- J1 Visa Exemptions – Au-Pairs, University Professors
- 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.
- Join the Telegram Group for H1B Via Travel Ban
- 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
What New Rules are Considered?
- Requiring LCA to be posted at both Employer and Client site (would end Client do this?)
- Eliminating 24 Months of STEM OPT Extension
- Restrict initial 12 months OPT eligibility to only those international students in the top percentile of their class.
- Increasing H-1B visa fees by $20,000
- Increase mandatory minimum wages for foreign workers
- Change the definitions of
- specialty occupation
- employer-employee relationship
- 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
Daily update – There are reports the Cabinet has reached a general agreement on the terms of the ban but that Trump hadn't signed off yet. We believe the order could happen at any time at this point. The main change I've heard is it may not affect people who already have visas.
— Greg Siskind (@gsiskind) June 20, 2020
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).