Q. I am outside the U.S. and I don’t have a visa but I had planned to obtain a visa in one of the affected categories in the coming months. What does this mean for me?
A. When the U.S. Consulates reopen you may be able to obtain a visa (this will be consulate-specific) but you will not be able to enter the U.S. until 2021.
Q: As of June 24, 2020, I was already in the U.S. on one of the identified visas and the visa stamp in my passport is valid. What does this mean for me?
A: You are not impacted by the Proclamation. However, other COVID-related travel restrictions may apply. Please check https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-other-countries.html.
Q: As of June 24, 2020, I was outside of the U.S. but had a valid visa. What does this mean for me?
A: You are not impacted by the Proclamation. So long as your visa is still valid, you can enter the U.S. using that visa that was valid on June 24, 2020. However, you likely cannot apply for a different type of visa and enter in 2020.
Q: I am in the U.S. but the visa stamp in my passport will expire before December 31, 2020. Can I extend my stay?
A: Yes, we can extend your ability to stay in the U.S. by filing a petition with USCIS. However, if you depart the U.S. you cannot return until 2021 pursuant to a Twitter FAQ and 6/29/20 proclamation amendment that visa renewal applicants are subject to the proclamation.
Q: Are there any exemptions to these bans?
A: Yes, exemptions may be available for:
• Any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
• Any alien seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees; and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of any such alien who are accompanying or following to join the alien;
• Any alien applying for a visa to enter the United States pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program;
• Any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen;
• Any alien who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
• Any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;
• Any member of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces;
• Any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may impose, and any spouse and children of any such individual; or
• Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
Q: I have a valid H1B, H2B, L, or J visa and my children/spouse have derivative visas. Can we enter the U.S.?
A: Yes – unless you are coming from a country that the U.S. has prohibited entry from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-other-countries.html
Q: My dependents are outside the U.S. and do not hold H-4, L-2, or J-2 visas. Can they enter the U.S. as visitors using a B-2 visa stamp or visa waiver (ESTA)?
A: Yes, dependents holding valid B-2 visas as well as those from visa-waiver countries with approved ESTA registrations should be able to enter the U.S. during the entry ban period for brief visits, consistent with B-2 visa requirements or ESTA program restrictions. However, they cannot obtain L-2, H-4, or J-2 visas and enter in those statuses until 2021.
Q: Can employers continue to file H-1B and L-1 petitions with USCIS seeking to change, amend, and extend status?
A: Yes, the entry ban does not affect an employer’s ability to file petitions with USCIS.
Q: I am currently in the U.S. but my H-1B or L-1 status is expiring during the entry-ban period. What should I do?
A. Your employer should file a petition to extend your status with USCIS. For many L-1 workers on “Blanket Ls,” this process will be different than the L-1 Blanket process that you may have used when applying for previous L-1 visas.
Q: Does the entry ban affect employees on H-1B1 visas?
A: While the ban does not specifically apply to foreign nationals from Singapore and Chile who hold or will apply (once consulates reopen) for H-1B1 Free Trade visas, caution should be taken as this visa classification is often confused with H-1B visas, which can result in potential entry issues at the border.
Q: Does the Proclamation affect Canadian citizens?
A: No, Canadians are visa exempt and not subject to the Proclamation.
Q: Which J visas are subject to the Proclamation?
A: The Proclamation applies to J visa holders “participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien.” Foreign nationals in J-1 status who are completing degree programs and working pursuant to Academic Training are not affected by the travel ban. Physicians applying for a J visas are not subject to the Proclamation. Physicians seeking to enter the U.S. on an H-1B or L visa to provide medical care, or are involved in research related to COVID-19, may be considered for exceptions.
Q: Does this proclamation affect my ongoing green card process?
A: No, this Proclamation does not affect an individual’s ability to apply for a green card through the filing of an I-485 Adjustment of Status Application.
Q: Will this impact Diversity Visa applicants?
A: Yes, for those outside of the U.S.