(This post was originally published on October 5, 2020. It was updated on October 6, 2020 and will be updated again as the topic evolves.)
On October 1, 2020, a temporary injunction was issued that stopped a June 22, 2020 presidential proclamation which suspended the issuance of visas in a number of employment-based visa categories. The order, which suspended the issuance of H, L, and J visas at the embassy/consulate level, was found by U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White, to have overextended the power afforded to the executive branch in issuing visas. In the injunction, which is to take effect immediately and last until the pending trial or further court order, Judge White, found that it was in the ‘public interest’ to maintain the legislative branch’s oversight in the area of immigration. It should be noted that the injunction applies only to members of the organizations who brought suit challenging the proclamation which included:
- US Chamber of Commerce
- National Retail Federation
- National Association of Manufacturers
It is expected that this injunction will be appealed by the government which, in addition to Covid-19 related consulate/embassy closures and preexisting country-specific travel restrictions, call into question the widespread relief this injunction will bring for foreign nationals currently waiting outside the United States for visa issuance. In its injunction, the court noted that a company who is not a member of the above groups may join now to be covered by the order.
October 6, 2020 Update: If a company can become a member of one of the above listed organizations, the injunction will prevent the ban from applying to them. Interested individuals and groups should seek counsel from licensed immigration attorneys so that the individual requirements for each organization are carefully evaluated to see if you or your group qualify to become a member.
David Hirson & Partners, LLP is monitoring this situation as it develops. If you or someone you know has questions about coming to the U.S. under H, J, or L visas, contact us today to schedule a consult with a licensed immigration attorney.