Trump’s New Executive Order Impacts Those Applying for H, L, J Visas - No Impact to Employees in the U.S. or Those Re-Entering with Approved Visas

23. Jun. 2020

Today, President Trump signed a new Executive Order (EO) that will temporary suspend entry of H-1B, L-1, J-1 and H-2B Nonimmigrants, and their dependents, who do not have a valid visa (stamp).  Here are the key takeaways:

  1. This EO only impacts H1B/H4, L1/L2, J1/J2 and H2B nonimmigrants who are currently outside of the US and do not have a valid visa or advance parole document.
  2. H1B/H4, L1/L2, J1/J2 and H2B nonimmigrants who have a visa approved before June 24, 2020 can still return to the U.S. (not impacted by the EO).
  3. H1B/H4, L1/L2, J1/J2 and H2B nonimmigrants without a valid visa or advance parole document should not leave the U.S.
  4. Cap-subject H1B beneficiaries will not be impacted if they remain in the U.S.  For example, F-1s already working in the U.S. with OPT EADs will still be eligible for H1B change of status.
  5. Cap-subject H1B beneficiaries, L1/L2, J1/J2 and H2B visa hopefuls who are not in the U.S. will not be able to enter the U.S. until January 2021.
  6. H1B transfers and extension petitions are not impacted, although employees who are determined to have failed to maintain H1B status (e.g., unemployed for more than 60-days) and thus are only approved for consular processing will not be able to exit and re-enter unless s/he already has a H1B visa.
  7. This EO is effective at 12:01 AM EST on June 24, 2020 and ends on December 31, 2020.
  8. This EO also extended Proclamation 10014 through December 31, 2020. 
  9. This EO does not impact those applying for H4 EADs or OPT EADs (including STEM EADs), despite speculation otherwise.

Due to COVID-19, U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world have been closed for visa processing since March.  As such, those who need H, L, J visas are currently unable to apply even without this EO.