Administration Limiting Immigration Visas due to High U.S. Unemployment Levels

The Trump administration will be limiting immigration visas in order to protect U.S. workers suffering from job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The order also bars groups of foreign workers. Several types of visas fall under the new executive order. The administration believes the new restrictions are necessary to counteract the impact of high unemployment levels.

The Proclamation issued on June 22, 2020, amends the Proclamation 10014 of April 22, 2020 to have an expiration of December 31, 2020. An important point to note in the Proclamation is that it only applies to any alien who, on the effective date of the Proclamation:

  1. is outside of the U.S.
  2. does not have a valid nonimmigrant visa
  • does not have an official travel document other than a visa that permits travel to the US for entry

The Proclamation also requires three Secretaries to confer and consider any necessary modifications within 30 days of June 24 and every 60 days from then on. The three Secretaries that will review conditions limiting immigration visas are responsible for these U.S. Departments:

  • Homeland Security
  • State
  • Labor

Limiting Immigration Visas: Impact

The new executive order limiting immigration visas will impact several visa categories, including the following:

H-1B Specialty Occupations

H-1B visas are subject to the Trump administration’s skills-based immigration plan. They are also subject to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services new online H-1B visa lottery registration system.

Basic Requirements:

  1. Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge
  2. Bachelor’s Degree or higher level of education

H-4 Dependent Spouses and Unmarried Children Under 21

H-4 visas are a temporary, nonimmigrant visa for the spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of H-1B visa holders. In some cases the U.S. has provided work permits for H-4 visa holders that are valid as long as their H-1B visa holding spouse remains H-1B eligible. Visa holders in this category are dependent upon any issue limiting immigration visas for their H-1B visa holding spouse or parent.

Basic Requirements:

  1. Is the spouse (or child) of an H-1B nonimmigrant
  2. The H-1B nonimmigrant spouse:
  3. Must be the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers
  4. Has been granted H-1B status

H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers

Basic Requirements:

After USCIS approved Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, prospective H-2B workers who are outside the U.S. must:

  • Apply for an H-2B visa and then seek admission to the U.S.

or

  • Directly seek admission to the U.S in H-2B classification at a U.S. port of entry in cases where an H-2B visa is not required.

L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager

Basic Requirements:

  1. The employee must have been working for one continuous year within the immediately preceding three years prior to U.S. entry
  2. Seeks to enter the U.S. to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity

L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge

Basic Requirements:

  1. The employee must have been working for one continuous year within the immediately preceding three years prior to U.S. entry
  2. Seeks to enter the U.S. to provide services in a specialized knowledge capacity

Executive Order Limiting Immigration Visas Includes Exchange Visitors

The U.S. Department of State administers the exchange visitors program. The Department also designates the sponsors for exchange visitors. Many of the categories in the exchange visitor program cover students and teachers.

J-1 Exchange Visitors

J-1 classification is for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.

Basic Requirements:

  1. Submit a Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status to the U.S. Department of State (no blank DS-2019 Forms exist; each is printed with a unique identifier)
  2. Upon obtaining Form DS-2019, apply for a J-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate

What Should Employers do About the Administration Limiting Immigration Visas?

Companies should continue to stay informed about the administration’s interest and activities limiting immigration visas. This new executive order may have a significant impact on an employer’s ability to recruit and hire foreign talent. As a result, knowing what to expect can help companies determine how to leverage strategic resources and respond accordingly to meet corporate objectives.

Companies should also work with a knowledgeable and experienced Relocation Management Company (RMC). RMCs can help companies design a robust talent acquisition program. Also, RMCs can help a company design an industry-leading relocation program that will give them a competitive advantage in the global market for highly skilled employees.

Conclusion

GMS’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients understand how to respond effectively to issues regarding travel and immigration. Our team can help your company understand how to develop plans to mitigate the impact of the administration limiting immigration visas.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a .com. The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation® technology platform.

Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s interest in learning more about the Trump administration limiting immigration visas, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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