What Does the Trump Executive Order Mean, and Who is and is Not Affected by It?

Charles Kuck Blog 34 Comments

Last night, the President signed the promised Executive Order, which limits LEGAL immigration into the U.S. (meaning entering with an immigrant visa, not a nonimmigrant visa) for foreign nationals who meet the following criteria:

  1. Are outside the U.S. on April 23, 2020;
  2. Do not have an immigrant visa stamp in their passport that is valid on April 23, 2020; and
  3. Do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document).

That seems BROAD, but the reality is there are MANY exceptions:  These people are exempt from the executive order and may still enter the United States as immigrants:

  1. Lawful Permanent Residents (current green card holders);
  2. Foreign Nationals entering the U.S. on an Immigrant Visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combatting, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak; and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of any such foreign national who are accompanying or following to join;
  3. EB-5 investors;
  4. Spouses of U.S. Citizens and children of U.S. Citizens under the age of 21;
  5. Foreign nationals whose presence in the U.S. is in the “national interest” (undefined);
  6. Foreign nationals whose entry furthers U.S. law enforcement objectives (undefined); and
  7. Asylum seekers and certain Special Immigrant entrants such as Iraqi and Afghani nationals who have assisted the U.S. military.

The new travel ban will be implemented in two main ways.

First, the U.S. Consulates and Embassies abroad will no longer issue Immigrant Visas to those who do not qualify for one of the above-mentioned exceptions.  Of course, U.S. consulates around the world have been closed for 45 days, and many will still be closed 60 days from now, meaning the order, as least in those countries is meaningless, absent an extension (which we expect Trump to use for political reasons).   Green card and nonimmigrant processes inside the U.S. are unaffected.

Second, CBP Officers will not admit anyone into the U.S. to those who do not meet the above-mentioned exceptions. According to the Executive Order, foreign nationals who circumvent these restrictions will be found removable for willful misrepresentation and fraud.

The Executive Order does not affect:

  1. The processing by USCIS of petitions for foreign nationals in the United States or abroad, such as  Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and/or Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker;
  2. The processing by USCIS of green cards in the United States for any foreign national in the U.S.  who is eligible to apply for adjustment of status through Form I-485; and
  3. Foreign nationals who are outside the U.S. and seeking to enter on a nonimmigrant visa, classes of which include B, H, L, B, E, F, J, TN, O, P, or R visas

And, even though the Executive Order does not currently affect nonimmigrants, it does contain this little “gem,”  directing the Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department Homeland Security to review all nonimmigrant programs to assess whether any of the programs can be modified so as to “stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States.” Both Secretaries will report back to the President on or about May 22, 2020.   This is clearly an attempt to try to limit legal immigration through regulation, something that Trump and his minions have not been able to do through policy changes or legislation. (Yes, we know it sounds a LOT like what Republicans complained that President Obama did in creating the DACA program, but we won’t quibble about that now).

If you need more detailed advise on how this change affects your business operations, or if you are an individual seeking guidance on your pending or future immigration case, please know that a Kuck Baxter Immigration attorney remains available to answer any questions that you have.

About the Author

Charles Kuck

Managing Partner

Comments 34

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  1. My fiance already has his k1 visa approved since February 12, 2020, does he will be affect by this executive order to come in to USA? Thank you!

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  2. hello ,

    they stopped visa until end of the year 2020 , is this affect k1 visa ?
    thanks

    i’m looking for a lawyer to assist me

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  3. I have an immigrant visa to the US on an F4 category. I haven’t been able to travel to the US yet. Does this mean I am not eligible to travel and apply for an extension of that visa?

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  4. I got my k1 visa back in February am i able to travel and enter the usa from the uk with all the presidential proclamations in effect ?

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      1. Yes my visa is valid till 3rd August
        But the the covid and the lockdown and the presidential proclamations I didn’t know if I was still able to go or not

        1. As I’mAs I’m still in the UK at the minute not knowing if I’m able to travel with everything that’s going on as there is so little information on the k-1 Visa with travelling so with a valid k-1 visa am I still able to travel and enter the United States ? still in the UK at the minute not knowing if I’m able to travel with everything that’s going on as there is so little information on the k-1 Visa with travelling so with a valid k-1 visa am I still able to travel and enter the United States ?

          Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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  5. I applied for K-1 Visa February 24 which got assigned to the California Service center. Many are saying K-1 are blocked until end of the year and might get approved but will stall at the NVC level or Embassy because of the immigration moratorium that was extended until end of 2020. Is that the case, I see so much contrasting information ?

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  6. Hi i have my k1 visa and was supposed to do the interview last march but it was cancelled because of the pandemic. Am I included on this suspension of entry? I haven’t finish my interview because of this.

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  7. I applied k1 visa for my fiance (who is currently in INDIA) and I received notice from USCIS with receipt number saying that case was received on Feb 27th 2020. Case status still showing same . Wondering how many months the process going to be. I was preganant when i applied k1 visa and i got delivered on March 29th 2020. Father of the baby (my fiance) is in INDIA now. I am so worried whether his visa will be approved or not.
    Could you please let me know the processing time for K 1 visa during COVID.

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  8. My fiancé did her k1 interview in the beginning of March. And just received her passport back with no visa and a letter stating hat petition is returned back to USCIS for recommendation of revocation on June 26. Does that mean it was affected by covid and she needs to wait until end of the year? Her interview was before the covid but after 2 weeks everything closed .

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  9. My flight was today and and i got to the baggage check in to be told that thay was not accepting k1 visas from the uk

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  10. This is not true. My fiances visa has been stalled at the NVC for the past two months. I called the NVC to find out why they havent sent out the welcome letter or forwarded the paper work to the consulate in Monterrey Mexico. ( They are open for interviews) The agent told my that the K1 is progressed the same as an immigrant visa and they are blocking them because its easier to just block them all. This is totally unacceptable!

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