The H1B FY2021 Cap Season is Minimally Affected.
On Monday, April 22nd President Trump announced a short-term pause on the issuing of new green cards. This 60-day freeze on approvals pertained to those seeking permanent residency in the United States. A new proclamation, issued on June 23rd, extends and expands entry restrictions for those currently outside the United States.
Who Is Affected By This Latest Order?
The following nonimmigrant visas have been suspended and limited:
- H-1B and H-2B visas, including any individuals planning to accompany the applicant
- J Visas (work-and study-based exchange visitors)
- L Visas (high-value temporary intracompany transferees)
Will The Latest Order Affect the H1B FY2021 Cap Season?
Likely not. H1B candidates inside the USA are not targeted by the executive order. Nonetheless, candidates outside the USA awaiting an H1B approval will not be issued visas until at least December 31.
Those currently inside will be minimally affected. Nonetheless, those inside should consult with an attorney before exiting the United States through December 31, 2020. Leaving without a valid H1B visa stamp, despite having a valid H1B I-797 approval notice, will not guarantee a new visa issuance at a US consulate during the executive order period.
What H-1B and H-2B Visa Holders Need to Know:
H Visa holders and their dependents currently inside the United States are not affected by this latest proclamation. Additionally, H-2B applicants seeking to work in the food processing industry will be exempt.
Employers and their candidates applying for H-1B or H-2B visas will still have the ability to file petitions and hold a spot in the processing queue. Approvals may be delayed until December 31, 2020.
H-1B workers and H-4 dependents currently outside the country that do not have visas stamped in their passports will not be able to travel to the U.S. at least until December 31, 2020.
What J-1 Visa Holders Need to Know:
J-1 visa holders, mainly cultural exchange students, au pairs, and summer camp counselors, will not be affected if they currently reside in the United States. In addition, professors and scholars will be excluded from these new restrictions.
J-1 visa candidates currently outside the country and do not have visas stamped in their passports will not be able to travel to the US.
What L-1 Visa Holders Need to Know:
L-1 visa holders, mainly employee transfers from multinational corporations, will also not be affected by this new proclamation.
L-1A and L-1B workers and L-2 dependents currently outside the country who do not have visas stamped in their passports will not be able to travel to the US.
When Does This Proclamation Go Into Effect? When Does it Expire?
This order goes into effect at 12:01 AM (EST) on June 24, 2020. It is set to expire on December 31, 2020 - but could be extended by the President.
How You Should Proceed
This latest proclamation from the White House may be a symbolic gesture to the President’s political base and will likely not affect current immigration patterns to the United States. The main cause of the decline in visa approvals arises from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has closed overseas consular services.
Continuing your application process is still possible, as your submission can still be placed in the queue for when the approval process begins again.
Loigica Attorneys will continue assisting with the preparation of all immigration petitions. Our goal is to continue providing our clients with the best technology, knowledge, and timetable for maintaining and gaining entry in the United States.
We strongly urge employers and their foreign candidates to prepare and file applications as soon as possible - as a backlog of unseen proportions will await U.S. immigration officials when current restrictions expire.
Working with an experienced immigration law firm such as Loigica, Attorneys at Law will minimize errors and provide you a clear roadmap for the entire process.
Contact a member of our team today for a free consultation. Stay informed about how the latest immigration news affects you by bookmarking our blog today!