US Immigration Restrictions

Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts announced that the federal government has agreed to rescind, on a nationwide basis, a policy that could have required hundreds of thousands of immigrant students studying at U.S. institutions to leave the country and likely curtail their studies. In the litigation challenging this policy, Mayer Brown represented and filed an amici curiae brief on behalf of 19 businesses and business associations that collectively power the U.S. economy.

Continue Reading Trump Administration Abandons Plan That Would Have Required International Students Taking Fully Online Courses to Leave the Country

In a sweeping attempt to curb legal immigration, the Trump administration issued a proclamation on June 22, 2020, applying a ban through the end of the calendar year on four visa categories of significance to US companies: the H-1B visa for specialty occupation professionals, the L-1 visa for intracompany executives and managers, the H-2B visa

President Trump is expected to issue an executive order in the next several days either eliminating, or significantly limiting, the availability of non-immigrant visas in categories of substantial importance to US companies (H-1B visas for specialty occupation workers, L visas for intra-company assignees, and other related categories), as well as eliminating or substantially curtailing the

President Trump signed an executive order, the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” to pause issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who are outside the United States for 60 days.  The order, which takes effect at 11:59 pm Eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020, is limited in its current scope, as it only affects individuals who are outside the United States and do not have a valid visa.

As reported in our post yesterday, the order thus does not currently impact temporary workers, such as H-1B specialty occupation workers, L-1 intra-company executives and specialized knowledge transferees from overseas, treaty visa holders including NAFTA entrants, O-1 extraordinary ability aliens, and F-1 students. Nine categories of aliens also are exempt from the order’s suspension and limitations on entry:

  1. lawful permanent residents;
  2. health care workers, medical research personnel, and other workers deemed essential to combat the spread of COVID-19, and their accompanying spouse and children, seeking to enter on immigrant visas;
  3. EB-5 immigrant investor visa candidates;
  4. spouses of US citizens;
  5. children under 21, including prospective adoptees, of US citizens;
  6. individuals whose work is deemed to further law enforcement objectives;
  7. US military personnel and their spouse and children;
  8. certain holders of Special Immigrant Visas and their spouse and children; and
  9. individuals whose work is deemed to further national security interests.

In addition, the order allows applications for asylum, refugee status, withholding of deportation, or other relief under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to continue without limitation.
Continue Reading Trump Signs Executive Order Imposing 60-Day Pause on Green Card Issuance

President Donald Trump’s tweet late Monday night, April 20, 2020, that he would suspend immigration temporarily “[i]n light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens,” led to widespread speculation across the business community that the president was instituting a blanket ban on immigration.  As confirmed on Tuesday, April 21, by the president at a coronavirus press briefing, the executive order will be a far more limited measure with a much less dramatic impact.

The order, which the president indicated could be signed as early as tomorrow, April 22,  will “pause” permanent residency or “green card” visa issuance for 60 days, after which it will be revisited.  The order will not impact temporary workers, including H-1B specialty occupation workers, L-1 intra-company executives and specialized knowledge transferees from overseas, treaty visa holders including NAFTA entrants, O-1 extraordinary ability aliens, and F-1 student visa holders, who, among others, will continue to be able to obtain visas and admission into the United States. 
Continue Reading Trump Plan to Suspend Immigration Shifts to 60-Day Pause on Green Card Awards