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  • Emily McIntosh

President Trump's Executive Order: Suspend Legal Immigration

Updated: May 5, 2020

Update April 23, 2020 | 12:05PM (CST)

President Trump signed the executive order. As it stands, the order -

  • Is valid for 60 days

  • Only applies to Green Card suspensions

  • Only applies to applicants currently outside the US

  • Does not apply to any health care professionals such as doctors, nurses, others

  • Does not apply to individuals who are in the US and are in the process of starting, filing or removing conditions on their green card petitions


Update April 22, 2020 | 4:15PM (CST)

A spokesperson for the White House said that release of the proposed executive order may be delayed because it is undergoing legal review. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) reports the May 2020 Visa Bulletin has not been cleared for release to the public. The presumption is that it is being delayed for release until after the executive order is issued.


Update April 21, 2020 | 5:11PM (CST)

President Trump announced today during his Task Force press conference about the following -

  • The suspension in immigration will be for 60 days, at which point the status will be re-evaluated.

  • The suspension will only impact the Green Card process.

  • The suspension will NOT impact the H-1B applications - new H-1B's, transfers and renewals.


Update April 21, 2020 | 4:20PM (CST)

NYTimes reports that "President Trump is expected to announce a pause in issuing green cards, but backed off plans to also halt guest worker programs."


Update April 21, 2020 | 2:35PM (CST)

Based on a draft obtained by Bloomberg news, it reported that the new order would deny entry for most types of work visas for at least 90 days. The draft includes exceptions for people seeking jobs in “food production and directly helping to protect the supply chain,” and to health care or medical research professionals, according to the draft. Employers that employee foreign national workers, however, would need to provide updated certifications to the government that they are not displacing American workers.


Update: April 21, 2020 | 1:03PM (CST)

Washington Post reported that the order is currently with the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel for a review. The white house said the executive order could be signed as soon as Tuesday.


Update: April 21, 2020 | 9:55AM (CST)

CNN Reports that the executive order will be "temporary 120 days or so" and will be suspension of "some" work visas.


Published: April 21, 2020 | 8:30AM (CST)

President Trump tweeted on April 20, 2020 that he will "temporarily suspend immigration into the United States."

While Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) work on the details of the executive, there are questions that remain open on several fronts:

Recently selected H-1B visa lottery candidates

Past travel bans to the US have generally been for people who are coming into the US. If the current order follows the same pattern, then it may not include international students already in the US transitioning over to the H-1B visas or transfer H-1B petitions.

Green Card applicants

Going by the same pattern assumption, people with pending adjustment of status application inside the US might be spared. These include people transitioning from H-1B to permanent residence or applying for family-based green cards.


Rebecca Ballhaus of the Wall Street Journal reported that "the EO {executive order} is expected to include exceptions for migrant farmworkers,.............., and health-care workers,......"

Looking forward

We are working to find more details and will be updating this page as soon as more information is released.


Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a WayLit-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.



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