by W. John Yahya Vandenberg
As you all know by now, President Trump signed his Presidential Proclamation which, as of 11:59pm on April 23, suspended entry to the United States by certain categories of immigrants.
So what does it mean for you, your family, or your business? As in many things in life, some immigrants were lucky, some were unlucky, and some are probably on borrowed time.
First, who got lucky, and is not included in this Proclamation:
- All non-immigrant visa holders. That means if you have an H-1B visa, a TN visa, an F-1 student visa, a K-1 fiance visa, even a B-2 visitors visa, you are not barred from entry. Because non-immigrant visa holders are not immigrants.
- Persons already inside the United States. So if you have an application pending for a family or employment-based greencard, you will still receive it, so long as the person who will get the greencard is here in the United States. And as of now, the Proclamation does not prevent you from applying for a family or work-based greencard (and now is probably a good time).
- Persons who already have their greencard, or already have the immigrant visa stamp in their passport, valid as of April 23rd.
- Spouses and children (including adopted children) of U.S. citizens, including members of the U.S. military.
- Persons (with their spouses and children) who are immigrating to the United States who are a healthcare professional, researcher, or coming to combat COVID-19.
- EB-5 Immigrant Investors.
- Special Immigrants, essentially meaning interpreters for U.S. forces abroad who qualify.
- Refugees and asylum seekers.
- Persons who the government determines should be admitted for law enforcement purposes or in the national interest.
Second, who didn’t get lucky, and are included in the Presidential Proclamation:
- Parents, adult children, brothers, and sisters of U.S. citizens. The wait has already likely been very long. It just got longer.
- Spouse, adult children, and children of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents.
- Persons who had completed everything for Consular Processing, and were approved, but didn’t get their passport back yet with the visa stamp.
Third, who is on borrowed time?
The Presidential Proclamation states that the Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security must report back to him in 30 days on whether he should restrict the number of nonimmigrant work visas, like H-1B’s and TN’s. In the Trump Administration, we can all surmise that these Cabinet Secretaries will likely find that the restriction of nonimmigrant work visas is warranted – and try to limit their entry. So we may soon see a second Proclamation, much like the Muslim Ban that went through three iterations before it passed Supreme Court review.
At this time, if you got lucky, do everything you can to make progress in your case. If you didn’t get lucky, stand by: immigration, like the weather in West Texas, changes constantly, and things may get better (or worse) with little notice. And if you are on borrowed time, it’s a good idea to evaluate your options and see if there is anything you can do to stay ahead of the next Proclamation.
If you need legal advice, or would like to review your immigration options, please contact our office at (610) 664-6271 to schedule a consultation.
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