Per the recently announced presidential proclamation, the U.S. immigration policies are being further altered to (1) continue the immigration restrictions of the April 2020 proclamation through December 31, 2020 and (2) to add further restrictions on foreign nationals’ entry into the U.S. through the end of calendar year 2020. While the April proclamation affects foreign nationals intending to immigrate to the U.S. on a permanent basis, the new proclamation limits U.S. entry of nonimmigrant workers and trainees utilizing H-1B, H-2B, L, and J visas. Importantly, the proclamation affects only those foreign nationals that are outside the U.S. on the effective date of the proclamation (i.e., 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on June 24, 2020) and do not have valid nonimmigrant visas or other travel documents. Foreign workers entering the U.S. to provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain and any individuals whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the U.S. government are excluded from the effects of the proclamation.
Importantly, while the proclamation does not affect foreign nationals that are currently physically present in the U.S. in valid nonimmigrant status and they should be able to continue their employment with appropriate and timely nonimmigrant status extension filings, any foreign travel by nonimmigrant workers should be carefully considered in light of the new restrictions on entry and re-entry into the U.S. It is advisable to discuss potential risks of any foreign travel with immigration legal counsel well in advance of any travel arrangements.