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United States – Presidential Proclamation Temporarily Suspends Entry for Certain Immigrants

US-Presidential Proc. Temp. Suspends Entry for Some

On April 22, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation implementing a 60-day suspension on the entry of certain immigrants to the United States. The proclamation took effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2020, and may be extended beyond the initial 60-day period. The proclamation has no immediate impact on nonimmigrants, including visitors, students, and temporary workers.

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On April 22, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation implementing a 60-day suspension on the entry of certain immigrants to the United States (U.S.).1   The president indicated that the suspension aims to protect U.S. workers and preserve critical medical resources for Americans.  The proclamation took effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2020, and may be extended beyond the initial 60-day period.  (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-189, April 22, 2020.) 

Persons subject to the suspension include those who:

  • were outside of the U.S. as of 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2020;
  • do not have an immigrant visa valid on the effective date of the suspension; and
  • do not have an official document other than a visa (ex. transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document) that is valid on or after the proclamation takes effect that would allow travel to the U.S. to seek entry or admission.

WHY THIS MATTERS

At this stage, given that the U.S. Department of State has suspended visa services indefinitely due to the global pandemic and the U.S. has already implemented COVID-related entry bans on travelers from several countries, the impact of the suspension outlined in President Trump’s proclamation is unclear.2  The impact will, however, be significant in the event that the suspension remains in effect even after U.S. Consulates and Embassies resume normal operations.

While PERM labor certification applications, immigration visa petitions, adjustment of status applications, and petitions for nonimmigrant workers are unaffected by the proclamation signed by President Trump on April 22, it is advisable to urgently file as many such applications and petitions as possible in case the situation should change.

Exemptions

The proclamation specifically exempts the following individuals from the suspension on entry:

  • Lawful permanent residents;
  • Foreign nationals seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a health-care professional, medical researcher, or other “essential” worker, along with accompanying spouses and dependent children;
  • Foreign nationals applying to enter the U.S. as an EB-5 investor;
  • Spouses and dependent children of U.S. citizens;
  • Prospective adoptees in the IR-4 or IH-4 categories;
  • Foreign nationals whose entry would further important law enforcement objectives;
  • Members of the United States Armed Forces, as well as their accompanying spouses and children;
  • Foreign nationals seeking entry as a Special Immigrant in the SI or SQ classification, along with their spouses and children; and
  • Foreign nationals whose entry is considered to be in the national interest.

Other Foreign Nationals Not Impacted

The proclamation does not apply to employees currently being sponsored for PERM labor certification.  In addition, beneficiaries of an immigrant visa petition and applicants for adjustment of status to Permanent Resident are not affected by the suspension that took effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2020. 

KPMG NOTE

The proclamation has no immediate impact on nonimmigrants, including visitors, students, and temporary workers.  The proclamation does, however, provide the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Labor 30 days to review nonimmigrant visa programs and recommend other measures to help ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of U.S. workers.  This mandate leaves open the possibility that certain temporary foreign workers may be subject to restrictions in the foreseeable future.

KPMG Law LLP will track this matter closely.  We will endeavor to 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 Presidential Proclamation signed on April 23, 2020. 

FOOTNOTES

1  For the Presidential Proclamation, see: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-immigrants-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-economic-recovery-following-covid-19-outbreak/ .

For a related White House fact sheet, see: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-honoring-commitment-protect-american-workers-temporarily-pausing-immigration/

2  For related coverage, se the following issues of GMS Flash Alert2020-194 (April 23, 2020), 2020-110 (March 25, 2020), 2020-065 (March 17, 2020), 2020-059 (March 15, 2020), 2020-055 (March 12, 2020), 2020-051 (March 9, 2020), and 2020-050 (March 6, 2020).      

* 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.

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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.

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