Last week President Trump issued a Proclamation temporarily banning green cards for overseas foreigners to ensure that unemployed Americans will be first in line for jobs when the economy reopens. The Proclamation sets forth a 60 day ban on foreign nationals applying to permanently enter the U.S. on immigrant visas, i.e. green cards. However, the Proclamation does not impact individuals applying for green cards that are already in the country and also has no direct impact on nonimmigrant visas used for temporary stays such as H-1B visas.
Additional exceptions to the ban include but are not limited to:
- Immigrants who already possess a valid immigrant visa as of April 22, 2020;
- Immigrants who possess an official travel document other than a visa that allows entry to the United States; and
- Spouses and children of U.S. citizens.
Overall the Proclamation should only impact the small group of employers who are attempting to hire, before June 22, 2020, a green card petitioner who lives abroad. And as a practical matter, most overseas consulates and embassies are closed because of the Coronavirus, so there was already limited opportunity for foreign nationals to apply for green cards.