President Trump signed a Proclamation that went into effect on June 24, 2020. This Proclamation is to restrict foreign workers from being employed in the US in response to the surge of unemployment due to the economic shutdown by the Coronavirus. The US Work Visa suspension will expire on December 31, 2020, and maybe continue as necessary.
Which US Visas Are Temporarily Suspended?
H-1B Visa: H1B visas are designed for certain skilled workers in specialty occupations to fill positions not filled by US citizens.
H-2B Visa: H2B Visas are issued for seasonal workers, typically agricultural or vacation spots.
L-1 Visa: The L1 visa enables a US employer to transfer an executive or manager to an affiliated office in the US.
J-1 Visa: J1 Visas apply to research scholars and professors.
Exceptions to Entering the US on a Work Visa During the Suspension: These are the exceptions that allow some US Work Visa holders to enter the US during the COVID-19 Suspension.
- Permanent Residents of the US may enter
- An immigrant child of a US Citizen or US permanent resident
- Any immigrant seeking to enter the US to provide labor or services essential to the US food supply chain
- Any immigrant who would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
Options For US Immigration Instead of Work Visas: These are the options you can take instead of waiting until the Work Visa suspension is over.
E-1 and E-2 Investor Visas: E visas promote trade and investment between countries. The E1 visa is reserved for treaty traders and the E2 visa is for treaty investors. To qualify for either E1 or E2, the applicant must be from a U.S. Department of State treaty country.
B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa: The B1 in lieu of the H1B visa grants entry usually for multiple entries for up to a year for short-term work needs in the US. Under the B-1 in lieu of the H-1B visa category, usually, the work is done based on a contract between the US company and the overseas business.
Canadians Not Affected: If you are a Canadian, don’t worry, you are not affected! You will still be able to enter the US and change your status at an Immigration Service Center.