On April 22, 2020, the Presidential Proclamation was issued that suspended the entry of certain immigrants into the United States. The Proclamation states that the entry is suspended for immigrants who present a risk to the United States labor market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak. In the following text, you will find our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Proclamation 10014.
Effective date and impacted individuals
When did Proclamation 10014 become effective, and when will it be terminated?
Proclamation 10014 became effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020, at 11:59 PM (ET), and it terminates 60 days after its effective date. However, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor, may recommend to the President of the United States that it be continued or modified within 50 days from the day it became effective.
How do I know if I am impacted by Proclamation 10014?
This proclamation applies to an individual seeking to enter the United States as an immigrant who is outside of the United States on April 23, 2020, does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date, and doesn’t possess a valid travel document, such as transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document effective on the date we mentioned.
Are there any exemptions to this proclamation?
Yes, there are. The following categories of individuals are exempted from the Proclamation 10014:
- Lawful permanent residents (LPR)
- Individuals, and their spouses or children, seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professionals to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19 or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by the Secretaries of State and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or their respective designees.
- Individuals that are applying for a visa to enter the United States under the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program.
- Spouses of U.S. citizens.
- Children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 and prospective adoptees seeking to enter the U.S. on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa.
- Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretaries of DHS and State based on the recommendation of the Attorney General (AG), or their respective designees.
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children.
- Individuals and their spouses and children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator or an interpreter or U.S. Government Employee (SI or SQ classification).
- Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS, or their respective designees.
Does Proclamation 10014 include people seeking to enter the United States on a nonimmigrant visa?
No, it does not. This proclamation doesn’t restrict nonimmigrant visas (NIVs), including those for work, travel, or leisure. However, section 6 of the proclamation requires that within 30 days, the Secretary of Labor and Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State recommend appropriate measures concerning NIVs that will inter-agency review NIVs with a possible recommendation on NIV categories that are deemed to negatively affect the U.S. economy.
I have a newly approved H-1B petition but have not yet had the consular visa appointment. Is it possible for additional steps to be required, like testing the job market through recruitment or other means before the visa is issued?
In Section 6 of Proclamation 10014, it is indicated that additional measures will be evaluated consistent with the stated objective or prioritizing the hiring of U.S. workers. However, it is uncertain as to what additional measures will entail, but they do not take effect under this proclamation. Requiring recruitment would probably require a statutory change.
Does this proclamation preclude individuals from applying for asylum?
No, it does not. Individuals are still allowed to apply for asylum or refugee status consistent with U.S. law and Conventions.
Are individuals who possess an immigrant visa received following an application interview at a U.S. consulate but were then unable to travel back to the United States due to travel restrictions or other exigencies prohibited from entering the United States by this proclamation?
No, they are not. The Proclamation 10014 exempts persons that possess an immigrant visa that was valid on the effective date – April 23, 2020.
Can a person that possesses an immigrant visa that expired before April 23, 2020, obtain a visa foil and present it to enter the United States?
No. People who don’t possess a valid immigrant visa or other travel documents on April 23, 2020, are barred from entering the United States for the duration of the proclamation.
Will immigrant visas issued but not used before April 23, 2020, be revoked?
The proclamation does not provide for the revocation of unused immigrant visas. However, the State Department shared an update on its website, stating that no valid visas will be revoked under the proclamation.
Can an applicant for adjustment of status who was temporarily absent from the United States on April 23, 2020, while in possession of an advance parole document return to the United States?
Yes, they can. The proclamation does not apply to persons in possession of an advance parole document, a transportation letter, or a boarding foil that was valid on the effective date or issued on any date thereafter.
Who is responsible for determining whether or not one is exempt from this proclamation?
Section 3 of the proclamation states that consular officers are delegated discretionary authority to determine whether an immigrant is eligible for an exemption provided by the proclamation.
Can persons who already have lawful permanent resident (LPR) status return to the United States following travel abroad?
Yes. Proclamation 10014 exempts resident aliens. However, members should be mindful of other travel restrictions affecting persons who have been present in most countries in Europe, as well as China and Iran.
Can the spouse and child of a permanent resident seeking to accompany, or follow to join him or her, enter the United States with an immigrant visa?
The answer depends on whether the visa was issued before the effective date of April 23, 2020. Spouses and children of lawful permanent residents are not currently exempt from the proclamation. This means that if the immigrant visa was issued to the spouse or child of a permanent resident alien after the effective date, their entry would be barred while the proclamation is in effect. The State Department has confirmed that cases in which F2A children are at risk of aging out are included in the category of request for which consular offices may provide “emergency and mission-critical visa services”. However, these individuals remain subject to the proclamation’s restrictions and would not be permitted entry into the United States until the proclamation has been terminated, unless they meet another exemption.
Can healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, and others who do not possess an immigrant visa on April 23, 2020, obtain a visa and enter the United States while this proclamation is effective?
Yes, they can. This proclamation exempts physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals. It also exempts those seeking to enter the United States to perform medical research to combat COVID-19 or to perform work “essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of COVID-19”.
Can the spouse and children of a qualified healthcare professional accompany or follow them?
Yes. The spouses and children of healthcare professionals and those performing research or working to fight COVID-19 that are exempt from the proclamation are also exempt.
Are persons engaged in other essential areas of work, such as the production of food, energy, or transport exempt from this proclamation as persons whose work is necessary for “recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak”?
While the proclamation states that those who perform work “essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak” are exempted, it is unclear if specific categories of individuals or work are included, or whether discretion is left to the consular offices to determine based on supporting evidence.
Note that persons whose work would be in the national interest of the United States are also exempt from the bar. Since it is unknown what standards will be applied to the national interest exemption, presenting evidence of eligibility for both this exemption and the “national interest” exemption would be prudent.
Are people applying for an EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa subject to the suspension?
No, they are not. These individuals are exempt from the proclamation.
Can immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen enter the United States with an immigrant visa issued after April 23, 2020?
Certain immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen are exempt from the suspension of entry into the United States. The proclamation exempts the spouse, children, and prospective adoptees of a U.S. citizen that are under the age of 21. The parents of a U.S. citizen are not exempted.
Can the spouse and children of a member of the U.S. armed forces enter the United States with an immigrant visa issued after April 23, 2020, regardless of whether the service member is a U.S. citizen?
Yes, they can. The proclamation exempts the spouse and children of members of the U.S. armed forces.
How can I demonstrate that my client’s entry into the United States would be in the national interest?
This proclamation leaves the discretion in making this kind of determination to consular officers, and the criteria by which a determination will be made based on this exemption is unknown for now.
I have an EB-2 approved National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition. Does this exempt them from the proclamation?
It is unclear whether having an approved NIW petition will play a role in a determination made under the proclamation as to whether the individual entering the United States would satisfy the “national interest” exemption. Decisions concerning exemptions are made by consular officers, which means that a determination made by USCIS to approve an I-140 NIW petition may not result in an exemption being granted.
Filing of petitions and applications not covered under the proclamation
Does the proclamation preclude the filing of an I-130 petition or I-140 petition with USCIS for an individual outside of the country?
No, it does not. For now, the proclamation only suspends the individuals coming into the United States as immigrants for 60 days. It should not preclude filing and adjudication of an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, I-140, or Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, same as the unavailability of a preference visa category does not preclude filing a petition for that category.
I am on EB-1 and in the United States and have submitted DS-260 and was awaiting an interview when consular services stopped due to the pandemic. Now, it appears that I may be subject to the proclamation and not eligible for an exemption. Can I now file for Adjustment of Status?
You would go to the back of the queue on the Adjustment, but uncertainties associated with resumption of consular services and the pause in visas for certain immigrants may make adjustments more desirable. Members are advised to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of such a switch so they could reach an informed decision.
Is it possible to file an application for naturalization as a U.S. citizen while the proclamation in effect?
The proclamation imposes no limitation on the ability of qualified resident aliens seeking U.S. citizenship to file Form – 400, Applications for Naturalization. USCIS Field Offices have reopened and have resumed conducting naturalization interviews.
Where can I find additional information and clarifications regarding the Proclamation 10014?
For any additional information regarding Proclamation 10014, you should contact the Chicago Immigration Attorney at Sverdloff Law Group.