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AILA Guidance on Presidential Proclamation Expansion

Sara Divyak
Director of Client Services

Since the first Presidential Proclamation was issued on April 22, 2020, we have been waiting to understand what a possible expansion would look like for the non-immigrant visa program. While nothing is confirmed, we wanted to share some information from the American Immigration Lawyers Association ("AILA") on what they’ve been hearing so far:

“AILA has been working hard to understand what may be included in any possible expansion. Here’s what we know so far, but this is all still in flux and is subject to change until the Proclamation is issued:

Timing

The President may be deciding on the scope and timing of the proclamation as early as June 11, 2020. The proclamation could be issued as soon as June 15, 2020, and will likely be issued by the end of June. The proclamation could be in effect for as long as 90 to 180 days.

Possible Expansion

Proclamation barring entry to the U.S. for H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 for a temporary period:

  • The intent is to impact FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject cases with October 1, 2020 start dates.
  • No consensus on what will happen for L-1s, but there could be an exemption for the L-1A visa category (intracompany transferee executives and managers).
  • Not clear which of the J-1 subcategories would be impacted, but likely to impact the Summer Work Travel (SWT) program, camp counselor, intern, and trainee programs.

The proclamation to include exceptions, such as:

  • COVID-19 related exemptions, such as for health care workers
  • Food supply related exemptions 
  • For U.S. employers who conduct additional recruitment efforts

Recommended Actions

  • Ensure that your employees enter the U.S. as soon as possible.
  • If these changes do come to light, please note your legal counsel may need to file H-1B amendments for consular cases to change of status cases. Doing so will allow your employees to automatically change to H-1B status in the U.S. rather than activating their H-1B status abroad through a visa appointment. 
  • We’ll provide updates as soon as this information has been confirmed, as well as recommended next steps.  

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a Bridge-affiliated partner attorney or another qualified legal professional.


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