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April 2020

Trump's Executive Order Temporarily Suspends Immigration for Certain Green Card Categories

Last updated April 23, 2020

President Trump issued an Executive Order to temporarily suspend certain types of immigration to the U.S. The proclamation becomes effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM (ET), and suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who:

  • Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;

  • Does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and

  • Does not have a valid official travel document (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document) on the effective date, or issued on any date thereafter that permits travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.

The following categories are exempted from the proclamation:

  1. Lawful permanent residents (LPR)

  2. Individuals and their spouses or children seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional to perform work essential to combatting, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak (as determined by the Secretaries of State and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or their respective designees)

  3. Individuals applying for a visa to enter the U.S. pursuant to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program

  4. Spouses of U.S. citizens

  5. Children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 and prospective adoptees seeking to enter on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa

  6. Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives (as determined by the Secretaries of DHS and State based on the recommendation of the Attorney General (AG), or their respective designees)

  7. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children

  8. Individuals and their spouses or children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. Government Employee (SI or SQ classification)

  9. Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS, or their respective designees).

Some important notes:

Discretion. It is within the discretion of the consular officer to determine if an individual is within one of the exempted categories outlined above.

Nonimmigrant visa holders are not included in the proclamation. However, the proclamation requires that within 30 days of the effective date, the Secretaries of Labor and DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs and recommend to the President other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers.

Asylum seekers are not included in the ban. The proclamation states that it does not limit the ability of individuals to apply for asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

Adjustments of Status for individuals in the U.S. The plain text of the proclamation makes it clear that individuals already in the U.S. who are eligible to adjust their status may do so.

Expiration. The proclamation expires 60 days from its effective date and may be continued as necessary. Within 50 days from the effective date, the Secretary of DHS shall, in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor, recommend whether the President should continue or modify the proclamation.

For additional information pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak, please visit CSG's COVID-19 Resource Center.


This publication contains general information on recent legal developments and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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