Trump H1B 2020 update
Was on June 22, 2020 President Trump has suspended certain foreigners from entering the country on the pretext that they could threaten the US labor market. The regulation applies at least until December 31, 2020 and is aimed at those who want to come to work in the country. The government argues that foreign workers during Covid-19 could threaten a fragile labor market and prevent American citizens from finding employment. The proclamation is expected to prevent 525,000 workers from working in the U.S. by the New Year.
With Covid-19, the country has seen an unprecedented decrease in the workforce. According to the White House, the government wants to ensure that new job openings are first given to American workers. This is another in a series of measures aimed at limiting and reducing the number of immigrants entering the country.
Many groups oppose the ban for several reasons. One of the most important is that large multinational companies that had the advantage of being able to recruit from a talented global field can no longer do so. At least for the time being, these companies cannot compete for innovative and talented professionals and professionals who could slow down innovation and development. This also means that these large companies cannot move executives who work outside the country to the US for temporary work.
This can also shift economic activity and growth from the United States to other countries and regions. Many countries are ahead of the US in their Covid 19 recovery cycles, and professionals are kidnapped and placed out of the reach of companies in the U.S.
Who is protected from the Trump H1B 2020 proclamation?
Not every foreigner will be affected by the order. The proclamation has no effect on:
- Permanent residents
- Child or spouse of a US citizen
- Individuals entering the country to work temporarily to maintain the U.S. food supply chain
- Those who would serve a “national interest” through entry
F-1 and J-1 classified students are also excluded from the order. This includes students who are in the country for the OPT-STEM OPT program, the J Research Scholar program, and students who are enrolled in specialist programs.
National exemption from interest
Someone can be described as serving national interests if declared by the Minister of Labor, State or Internal Security. To qualify, a person must meet certain requirements. These include:
- Essential for law enforcement, national security or the defense of the United States
- Medical care for those diagnosed with Covid-19 and currently in hospital
- Work on medical research to combat Covid-19 in a U.S. facility.
- Help in facilitating the country’s economic recovery in the near and future
- Are under the age of 18 and would no longer meet the age requirements for applying for a visa due to this proclamation
If there is uncertainty as to whether a person is in an optional category or not, it is at the discretion of the consular office to make that decision.
Those who seek asylum are not affected by the proclamation. Anyone applying for asylum or refugee status, or seeking protection through the Convention Against Torture, can still apply to enter the United States.
Who is affected by the proclamation?
This new proclamation also extends the previous proclamation of President 10014 dated April 22, 2020. Following this proclamation, the government suspended green card issuance for those who wanted to live in the United States. According to the latest proclamation, these visas will be suspended at least until the end of the year:
- H-1B visa, including anyone accompanying a person on this visa
- H-2B visa, including anyone accompanying a person on this visa
- J Visa, which covers those looking for admission as interns, summer work program participants, trainees, teachers or camp counselors. This includes everyone who would accompany them
- L visa, including all persons accompanying a person on this visa
At first it seemed as if au pairs in particular were exempt from the proclamation, but in the end that was not the case. However, parents can request a waiver. These requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee that they will be approved.
This proclamation only applies to people who meet certain criteria.
These criteria are that each person:
- are outside the United States at the time of entry into force
- You do not have a valid non-immigration visa at this time
- In addition to the visa, you have no other travel document that you can use to enter the United States. Travel documents can contain on-board foil, transport letter or probation document.
People who attempt to enter the United States through fraud or misrepresentation to avoid the restrictions on the proclamation are deliberately removed from the country. This includes those who enter the country from a location other than a legal entry point.
The State, Home and Labor Secretaries review this Proclamation and Proclamation 10014 after 30 days of implementation and then review it regularly every 60 days as long as it is in effect. These checks determine whether anything in one of the proclamations needs to be updated or changed.
There is always concern that Covid-19 can be spread by those entering the country. To mitigate the risk, the Minister of Health and Human Services will provide State Secretaries and Homeland Security guidance on methods to prevent people with Covid-19 from entering the country. All individuals are tested for Covid-19 before admission to the United States.
Other measures included in the proclamation
The proclamation also contains some additional measures. These include:
- Persons who are already in the United States or who are applying for an EB-2 or EB-3 immigration visa or an H-1B non-immigration visa will be prevented from seeking employment or restricting the opportunities for workers from the United States . Prevention includes additional regulations and measures.
- Increase investigations into violations under working conditions
- Issuing stricter regulations to prevent people entering the country with H-1B from harming US workers. This may mean that H-1B workers in the highest income bracket can be prioritized below the numerical ceiling
- Prevent people from applying for a U.S. visa if they haven’t provided biometric information such as signature, fingerprints, biometrics, and other identifying factors
- To prevent people who have been charged or convicted of a crime from working in the United States, this also applies to people who have the final order to deport from the country or are entitled to deport.
The proclamation contains a severability clause. This means that if it turns out that part of the proclamation is unenforceable or unlawful, the other components of the order are also not invalid.
Lightman law firm will continue to monitor all developments related to the most recent proclamations and all others that will be declared in the future. Contact us with any questions or concerns about this or any other immigration situation that you may need help with. One of our experienced immigration lawyers can ensure that your rights are always protected.
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