Taking effect at 11:59 PM EDT on April 23, 2020, President Trump’s latest executive order effectively freezes the issuance of most green cards for 60 days. This includes both family-based and employment-based immigration visas. At the end of this period, Trump will review the order and decide whether to extend the ban.
How the Immigration Ban May Effect You
If you’re in the middle of an immigration application process, you may be rightfully concerned about how this could impact your case. USCIS has already suspended most in-person services, and appointments for most visas at U.S. Embassies and Consulates have been canceled. For many, however, this 60-day ban could significantly delay the final step of the immigration process.
During this period, you may be unable to receive a green card and enter the U.S. if:
- You were not in the U.S. at 11:59 PM EDT on April 23, 2020;
- You did not have a valid green card at 11:59 PM EDT on April 23, 2020; AND
- You did not have a valid and official travel document at 11:59 PM EDT on April 23, 2020
Exemptions from The Immigration Ban
According to the order, those who were already in the U.S. before the ban took effect will not experience additional disruptions in their green card application processes.
Additionally, many others are exempt from this expansive immigration ban. You may not be affected by the executive order if you are:
- A nonimmigrant visa applicant/holder
- An asylum seeker
- A Lawful Permanent Resident
- The spouse of a U.S. citizen
- The child/prospective adoptee of a U.S. citizen (if under 21)
- An EB-5 visa applicant (immigrant investor)
- A member of the U.S. Armed Forces (or their child/spouse)
- A Special Immigrant Visa (SI or SQ classification) applicant (or their child/spouse)
- An individual (and spouse/child) immigrating to the U.S. as a healthcare professional, medical researcher, or any other professional deemed essential in combating COVID-19
- An individual whose entry is deemed in the national interest or furthering law enforcement objectives
Upcoming Changes for Non-Immigrants
After 30 days of the ban, the administration will reassess the situation and determine whether to ban nonimmigrants as well. The situation is developing rapidly, and it can be hard to predict what executive orders may be on the horizon. To properly navigate this changing landscape, you will need the help of seasoned legal professionals.
Get the Support You Need Today
We know how difficult the last few weeks or months may have been for you and your loved ones. The COVID-19 pandemic has incurred serious consequences in every facet of our lives, and immigration has been hit particularly hard. While we are conducting initial consultations and other meetings remotely to keep our team and clients safe, we are committed to staying open during the pandemic. If you need dedicated support and guidance through this uncertainty, you can count on Yekrangi & Associates. Contact an Irvine immigration lawyer serving throughout Orange County today!