On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, the White House announced a 60-day suspension of entry of certain U.S. immigrants.
On detailed review, this proclamation appears to apply only to pending immigrant applications (applications for permanent residency, or “green cards”) for persons who 1) were outside the U.S. on the effective date of the proclamation (04/23/2020) and 2) who do not have an approved immigrant status or some other already issued official travel document (such as an advance parole document) that would permit the individual to travel back to the U.S. from abroad.
At this time, this proclamation does NOT appear to affect:
- Applications for permanent residence (green cards) filed in the U.S. (adjustment of status applications)
- Nonimmigrant visa holders including F-1 students, J-1 Exchange Visitors, H-1B, TN, and O-1 workers
- F-1 or J-1 student employment options (CPT, OPT, STEM OPT, Academic Training)
- Current U.S. green cardholders
- Spouses of U.S. citizens
- Unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of U.S. citizens
- EB-5 investor immigrants
- Those whose entry into the U.S. is in the national interest
- Individuals who would further U.S. law enforcement objectives
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children
- Foreign health care professional applying for Immigrant Visas (including spouse and children) to perform research to combat COVID-19, or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak
Based on this, it appears that the order will have a minimal immediate impact on the Lab’s foreign national population, says Tamar Vered, Immigration Supervisor/Team Lead for the HR Shared Services, International Researchers and Scholars Office (IRSO). She added that IRSO is continuing its work with respect to nonimmigrant and immigrant processes for both new and current employees and affiliates, striving for maintenance of work authorization, and progressing green card applications within the U.S. as currently planned.
“We know the uncertainties these changes bring can be stressful,” she says. “Please know that we value all of our international collaborators and we are working very hard to understand the implications of these changes and to minimize the disruption they may cause the Berkeley Lab community.”
The scenario could continue to evolve. The proclamation requires that within 30 days, the Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, review nonimmigrant programs and recommend other appropriate measures the U.S. government deems essential to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers. The proclamation will be reviewed no later than 10 days before the current expiration date to determine whether it should be extended or modified.
Vered says the Lab will continue to monitor this evolving situation and provide additional updates as needed in Elements. You are also encouraged to find up-to-date information on the HR Shared Services IRSO website. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.