Trump Executive Order Bans Most Immigration for 60 Days

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Regardless of country, President Trump has banned immigration of those outside the United States as of midnight on April 23, 2020.  This means that a) those seeking admission to the US as immigrants, b) are located outside the US and c) do not yet have an immigrant visa or a travel document valid beyond April 23, 2020 are banned entry to the United States for 60 days.  There are certain classes of individuals that this ban does not apply to, i.e., they are exempted: 1) those who are green card holders (lawful permanent residents); 2) those applying for adjustment of status within the United States; 3) EB-5 immigrant investors and their dependents; 4) certain medical professionals; 5) spouses and children under 21 of US citizens; and 6) other narrow categories (e.g., those entering for law enforcement or national security purposes; certain relatives of US Armed Forces members; certain Iraqi and Afghan employees of the US government).

Practically speaking, the ban will have limited effect because the Department of State has already suspended visa services and it is unclear when it will actually re-open embassies to process visas.  If the consular posts reopen within 60 days, it would appear that consular officers will not be issuing immigrant visas to potential immigrants such as Diversity Lottery winners, family immigrants, and immigrants with job offers in the US.  It is possible that Trump will extend the ban beyond the 60 day period.

The Trump Administration will also review nonimmigrant employment visas over the next month to determine if further restrictions are warranted on holders of and applicants for H-1B, L, O-1 and other work visas.

It is quite possible that this new ban will be challenged in court very soon.  Stay tuned.