On Monday, the Trump administration issued an executive order temporarily suspending new applications for many types of foreign worker visas.
This suspension includes the popular H-1B nonimmigrant work visa program, which typically admits 85,000 people per year. The restrictions this order outlines are intended to last until the end of 2020, with the possibility of further extensions.
The order is expected to impact a large number of professionals who are stranded outside of the United States. It will disrupt the immigration process for those who would have been issued visas for the 2021 fiscal year, which begins October 1st. It could also affect professionals attempting to renew their visas.
The following visa categories are affected by this order. H-1B (specialty occupation workers), H-2B (seasonal non-agricultural labor), H-4 (spouses and children of H-1B and H-2B holders), J1 (cultural and educational exchange workers), J2 (spouses and dependents of J-1 holders), L-1 (executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge employees), and L-2 (dependents of L-1 holders).
The executive order will primarily apply to those who are currently outside the US and do not have valid non-immigrant visas. However, it will also affect employees living in the US who planned to change their status, as they will not be able to travel internationally and reenter the United States.
This executive order does not apply to those with lawful permanent residents status or to foreign nationals who are spouses or children of American citizens.
At Panteva Law Group, we vow to stand with our clients during this difficult time. We will continue to advocate for you throughout this process, and will try to ensure you face as little disruption as possible. Please contact us if you are concerned about the effect this executive order could have on your case.