On June 22, 2020, the president issued Proclamation 10052 titled Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak, that went into effect at at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on June 24, 2020. A June 29, 2020 amendment clarifies that the exception at Section 3(a)(ii) of Proclamation 10052 applies only to individuals with a valid H, J, or L visa and are planning to seek admission to the United States in one of those categories. Please read:
- Proclamation 10052 of June 22, 2020, also published in the Federal Regsiter at 85 FR 38263 (June 25, 2020)
- June 29, 2020 Amendment to Proclamation 10052 Proclamation 10054, also published in the Federal Register at 85 FR 40085 (July 2, 2020)
- Related White House Fact Sheet
Section 1 of the proclamation extends the effective dates of Proclamation 10014 of April 22, 2020 titled Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak. This proclamation suspended entry of certain new immigrants who do not already have an approved immigrant visa. It was originally valid for 60 days, until June 22, 2020. The new proclamation extends the period for an additional 6 months, until December 31, 2020.
Section 2 of the proclamation suspends "entry into the United States of any alien seeking entry pursuant to any of the following nonimmigrant visas" until December 31, 2020, subject to section 3 of the proclamation:
- "an H-1B or H-2B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;"
- "a J visa, to the extent the alien is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;"
- "an L visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien"
NAFSA note: This is an exclusive list of covered visa types. The proclamation does not apply to individuals seeking entry on a visa type not listed in the proclamation. For example, it does not apply to entry on an F-1 student visa, or a B-2 visitor visa, or to entry on a J-1 visa to participate in exchange categories other than those listed. For example, it does not apply to participants seeking entry in the J-1 professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, college or university student, or ECFMG alien physician categories. Also see a July 2, 2020 email from the Exchange Visitor Program confirming that regarding J nonimmigrants, Proclamation 10052 only applies to certain participants in the Au Pair, Camp Counselor, Intern, Teacher, Trainee, and Summer Work Travel categories, and their dependents.
NAFSA note: The proclamation suspends "entry into the United States" of someone who is "seeking entry pursuant to" one of the listed visa types. Under a plain reading of this language:
- The proclamation should not apply to immigration benefits available to individuals inside the United States, such as change of status to H-1B;
- Since Canadian citizens are generally exempt from the visa requirement, they should likely be exempt from this proclamation under a plain reading because they are not "seeking entry pursuant" to an H, J, or L visa. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued a practice alert (AILA Doc. No. 20062436 Dated June 24, 2020) saying that its CBP-OFO Liaison Committee confirmed this plain-reading interpretation with CBP HQ.
Exceptions. Section 3(a) of the proclamation (as amended at Section 3(a)(ii)) establishes that this entry bar applies only to an individual who:
"(i) is outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation;
(ii) does not have a nonimmigrant visa, of any of the classifications specified in section 2 of this proclamation and pursuant to which the alien is seeking entry, that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and
(iii) does 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."
NAFSA note: Reading Section 3 inversely, the proclamation should not apply to someone who is in the United States on June 24, 2020 (the effective date of the proclamation), or to someone who has an H, L, or J nonimmigrant visa valid on June 24, 2020 (whether they are inside or outside the United States on that date) which they will use to seek entry, or to someone who has an official travel document such as advance parole that is valid on or issued after June 24, 2020.
NAFSA note: The June 29, 2020 amendment clarifies that the exception at Section 3(a)(ii) of Proclamation 10052 applies only to individuals with a valid H, J, or L visa who seek admission to the United States in one of those categories. For example, an individual outside the United States wishing to enter the United States in H-1B status who had valid B-2 visa but not a valid H-1B visa would be subject to the proclamation and would not be eligible for an H-1B visa.
Also excluded from the proclamation's entry bar under Section 3(b) are:
"(i) any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
(ii) any alien who is the spouse or child, as defined in section 101(b)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1)), of a United States citizen;
(iii) any alien seeking to enter the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain; and
(iv) any alien whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees."
NAFSA note: Individual circumstances can vary, as can the interpretations of consular officials and immigration inspectors. This NAFSA page should not be construed as legal advice. Individuals who need advice on whether the proclamation applies to them or their families in order to make decisions on traveling to or from the United States should be encouraged to seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer.
Additional Measures Called for by the Proclamation
Section 4 directs that, "Within 30 days of June 24, 2020, and every 60 days thereafter while this proclamation is in effect, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor, recommend any modifications as may be necessary.”
Section 5 of the June 22, 2020 proclamation calls on the agencies to take substantial "additional measures," such as:
- Directing DOL and DHS to ensure compliance with the permanent labor certification (PERM) and temporary labor condition application (LCA) statutory rules that are designed to protect U.S. workers
- Directing DHS and DOS to ensure compliance with biographic and biometric data collection requirements
- Directing DHS to " take appropriate and necessary steps, consistent with applicable law, to prevent certain aliens who have final orders of removal; who are inadmissible or deportable from the United States; or who have been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a criminal offense in the United States, from obtaining eligibility to work in the United States."
- Directing DHS to "consider promulgating regulations or take other appropriate action regarding the efficient allocation of visas pursuant to section 214(g)(3) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(3)) and ensuring that the presence in the United States of H-1B nonimmigrants does not disadvantage United States workers."
Interaction with Other COVID-19 Measures
The President has issued several COVID-19-related proclamations, and there are also other COVID-19 travel restrictions. Currently all are in effect. They are also independent one from another. For example, if someone is exempt from the June 22, 2020 proclamation on H, J, and L nonimmigrants, they may still be subject to one of the country-specific COVID-19 proclamations (i.e., if present in China, Iran, European Schengen Area, U.K, Ireland, or Brazil in the 14-day period before attempting entry to the U.S.) unless specifically exempt from those as well.