What appears to be clear at this time:
1. The White House is issued a Proclamation on April 22, 2020.
2. The effective date is April 23, 2020 at 11.59. PM.
3. This “temporary” immigration suspension is scheduled for 60 days.
The suspension shall apply only to aliens who:
(i) are outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation;
(ii) do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and
(iii) 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 is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.
4. Current information and interpretation also seems to indicate not only exemptions for farm workers, but also employees of “essential” businesses and clinical staff such as physicians and nurses.
5. At this time we also know, that most work on immigration has slowed down; consular offices are not
making appointments for interviews. It is unclear what this would mean for the processing of any new
visa applications. It is unclear at this time, whether a European parent company with a subsidiary in the US in the
“essential” sector and in need of a specialist for said business, would be allowed to apply for a nonimmigrant visa (for example an E-2 visa) and then have the employee enter the country.
We do recommend to our clients to continue to file visa applications as scheduled. We do expect a significant back log once any immigration bans are lifted. It would be beneficial to create a “first in line, first serve” scenario.
By the same token, should we later realize that “essential” worker would allow us to ask for expedited treatment we would re-file at that point. This information is current as of Wednesday afternoon, April 22 2020. This may change as new information is released. BridgehouseLaw LLP will continue to advise you on your legal needs in the US, including immigration.