Proclamation 10052 of June 22, 2020, Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak


Updates:

This proclamation expired on March 31, 2021. As of April 1, 2021, President Biden had not renewed or replaced it. DOS confirmed this in the following notice:

Update on Presidential Proclamation 10052

Last Updated: April 1, 2021

Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J (for certain categories within the Exchange Visitor Program), and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021.

Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance. Visa applicants who were previously refused visas due to the restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 10052 may reapply by submitting a new application including a new fee.

The resumption of routine visa services, prioritized after services to U.S. citizens, is occurring on a post-by-post basis, consistent with the Department’s guidance for safely returning our workforce to Department facilities. U.S. Embassies and Consulates have continued to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services since March 2020 and will continue to do so as they are able. As post-specific conditions improve, our missions will begin providing additional services, culminating eventually in a complete resumption of routine visa services. Applicants should check the website of their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for updates on the services that post is currently offering.

Prior Updates:

  • Letter Urging President to Rescind Proclamation 10052, Open Consulates, and Resume Issuing Nonimmigrant Visas. On March 17, 2021, Senators Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Angus S. King (D-ME), Jr., Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter to President Biden, urging the President "to follow through on your promise to rescind Proclamation 10052 without delay, resume timely processing of nonimmigrant visas, and direct U.S. Embassies and Consulates to open up visa appointments for nonimmigrant visas as soon as possible."
  • On December 31, 2020, Proclamation 10052's December 31, 2020 expiration date was extended until March 31, 2020.
  • On October 1, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of Proclamation 10052, but that injunction is limited to visa applicants whose petitioner (for H-1B or L-1 beneficiaries) or sponsor or host organization (for J-1 applicants) are either one of  the plaintiffs (the National Association of Manufactures (NAM), the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, the National Retail Federation, Technet, and Intrax, Inc)or  are members of the plaintiff associations at the time of adjudication. The case is National Association of Manufacturers, et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al.
  • Proclamation 10054 of June 29, 2020 amended Proclamation 10052 at Section 3(a)(ii) to clarify that the exception in that paragraph 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.

Summary

Proclamation 10052 of June 22, 2020, titled Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak suspended "entry into the United States of any alien seeking entry pursuant to any of the following nonimmigrant visas" from June 24, 2020 until March 31, 2021:

  • "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"

This suspension was applied to a covered 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."

Resources

Brief Overview

Section 1 of the proclamation related to the effective dates of another proclamation, 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. That proclamation suspended entry of certain new immigrants who do not already have an approved immigrant visa.

Section 2 of the proclamation suspended "entry into the United States of any alien seeking entry pursuant to any of the following nonimmigrant visas" until March 31, 2021, 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 was an exclusive list of covered visa types. The proclamation did not apply to individuals seeking entry on a visa type not listed in the proclamation. For example, it did 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 did 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 applied to certain participants in the Au Pair, Camp Counselor, Intern, Teacher, Trainee, and Summer Work Travel categories, and their dependents.

NAFSA note:

The proclamation suspended "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 did 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 were also likely 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.

NAFSA note:

In a July 7, 2020 Communication to Sponsors, the Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program explained the scope of Proclamation 10052 on certain participants in the J-1 intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program categories.

Exceptions. Section 3(a) of Proclamation 10052 (as amended at Section 3(a)(ii)) established that this entry bar applies only to an individual who:

"(i)  is outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation;

[as amended by Proclamation 10054] (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 did not apply to someone who is in the United States on June 24, 2020 (the effective date of the proclamation), or to someone who had 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 planned to use to seek entry, or to someone who had an official travel document such as advance parole that is valid on or issued after June 24, 2020. The June 29, 2020 amendment clarified that the exception at Section 3(a)(ii) of Proclamation 10052 applied only to individuals with a valid H, J, or L visa who sought 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) were:

"(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."

For more information on national interest waivers under Proclamation 10052, see National Interest Exceptions to Presidential Proclamation 10052. Department of State (February 24, 2021). This DOS posting provided guidance on national interest waivers of Proclamation 10052 for H-1B visa applicants. Note that the proclamation did not limit national interest waivers to these bases, so DOS and DHS retained full discretion to determine what constituted "national interest" in individual cases. Particularly helpful, though, was the language telling consular officers that they can consider "travel by applicants seeking to resume ongoing employment in the United States in the same position with the same employer and visa classification" as in the national interest for purposes of reentry to the United States.

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 directed 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 called 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."

Agency Statements

Interaction with Other COVID-19 Measures

Other COVID-19 travel restrictions are independent one from another. For example, if someone was exempt from the June 22, 2020 proclamation on H, J, and L nonimmigrants, they may have still been subject to one of the country-specific COVID-19 proclamations (i.e., if present in South Africa, 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.