The Department of State (DOS) has issued several statements on President Trump’s recent proclamations suspending the entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants, with exceptions. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also issued a statement, as did several other entities. Highlights are below:
DOS statement issued June 23, 2020. This statement appears to restate certain details of the Presidential Proclamation issued June 22, 2020.
DOS statement issued June 17, 2020. This statement appears to restate certain details the Presidential Proclamation issued April 23, 2020, which was extended and amended by the proclamation issued June 22, 2020.
Both of the DOS statements note that routine visas services have been suspended at U.S. posts worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that as resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide emergency and mission critical visa services. Mission-critical immigrant visa categories may include applicants who may be eligible for an exception under this presidential proclamation, such as: IR/CR1, IR/CR2, IR/IH-3, IR/IH-4, SQ, SI, and certain medical professionals, as well as cases involving an applicant who may age out, the statements say. The June 23 statement also includes in the mission-critical category “certain aliens providing temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain.” The statements note that “[w]hile embassies and consulates may process these types of cases, their ability to do so may be limited by local government restrictions and available resources. In addition, an applicant’s ability to travel may be impacted by local laws, regulations, and travel restrictions.”
USCIS statement issued June 23, 2020. The USCIS statement notes that the June 22 proclamation does not affect those currently working in the U.S. on valid H-1B “or similar” visas. USCIS said the proclamation also does not prevent individuals in possession of valid visas before the effective date of the proclamation from entering or re-entering the United States if they have been abroad, provided they have not otherwise rendered themselves inadmissible. “The U.S. will continue to honor these already valid visas as we help American workers get back on their feet,” said Joseph Edlow, USCIS Deputy Director for Policy.
CBP response. Also, in response to questions, a spokesperson from U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the proclamation does not apply to foreign nationals who are normally visa-exempt, such as most Canadians. For foreign nationals requiring a visa, he said that consular officers will determine if exemptions apply before issuing a visa.
U.S. Embassy FAQ. In addition to the statements noted above, the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Spain and Andorra posted a FAQ on visa questions on June 18, 2020, which mentions the earlier proclamation.