U.S. President Donald Trump has announced plans to introduce an Executive Order limiting immigration to the United States. The president said he will pause all immigration – although there will be some exceptions – for a period of 60 days. Individuals seeking permanent residency will be impacted. The Executive Order is expected this week.
On April 20, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he “will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.”1 During a press briefing on April 21, 2020, the president confirmed that the Executive Order will implement a 60-day suspension targeting applicants for permanent residence, with certain exemptions. The Order may potentially be extended and/or expanded, as deemed appropriate.
President Trump further confirmed that the Executive Order to be signed this week will not impact foreign nationals seeking admission to the United States on a temporary basis.2 As such, it seems that the forthcoming Executive Order will not affect visitors, students, or nonimmigrant workers, including those in the H-1B, L-1, TN, and E-3 categories. President Trump did not, however, rule out the possibility that visitors, students, and/or temporary foreign workers may be subject to immigration-related restrictions in the future.
The Executive Order discussed by President Trump at the press briefing on April 21, 2020, will impact only persons applying to become a permanent resident of the United States. It is not known exactly how many applicants will be impacted by the suspension to be imposed by the Order, but it is telling that nearly 577,000 foreign nationals were granted lawful permanent residence in FY2019.3
Due to the fact that nonimmigrant visa categories may be subject to a suspension or restriction in the coming weeks, it is advisable for employers to work with immigration counsel to file as many nonimmigrant visa applications as possible before the situation changes. It is important to note that President Trump did not indicate that the Executive Order would affect applications for Permanent Labor Certification, so employers are encouraged to continue filing these applications with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Foreign nationals who have an application for permanent residence in process and those who intend to apply for permanent residence in the foreseeable future should anticipate increased processing times and other delays resulting from the Executive Order.
Given that the Executive Order has not yet been released and the Trump administration has not shared all pertinent details related to its contents, there are a number of pressing questions to be addressed:
The answers to these questions will likely not be known until the Executive Order is published in the Federal Register.
KPMG Law LLP will continue to track this matter closely. We will keep readers of GMS Flash Alert informed of any new developments as and when they occur. We will also guide employers and foreign national employees through the consequences of the Executive Order once signed.
1 Source: President Trump’s Twitter account/feed.
2 See C-Span video footage of the entire Coronavirus Task Force Briefing on April 21, 2020, by clicking here.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services or legal services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.
To subscribe to GMS Flash Alert, fill out the subscription form.
© 2020 KPMG LLP, a Canada limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.
KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.
Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.