Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    Coronavirus: New Travel Ban for H-1B, H-2B, J and L Visas

    By Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ

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    For reasons, I simply cannot explain, once again our beloved President has decided to attack the very immigrants that provide so much value to the American economy. Moreover, given the scale of the unemployment in the U.S. created by the Coronavirus topping 40 million people, these new immigration measures cannot in any meaningful way affect this number. The number of visas that are now being paused would represent less than two percent of the current unemployment rate and thus the President’s actions seem to be a cruel symbolic reflexive gesture in search of a “win” at something. I do not have the time to get into the politics of this matter. Instead I’d rather use my time to focus on analyzing the effects of this Travel Ban so that those are completely unaffected can once again draw a big sigh of relief, and those who are affected can set about exploring alternative options asap.
     
    So, let’s examine who is and who is not affected.
     
    Those Inside the U.S. as at June 22nd, 2020
     
    If you are in the U.S. as of June 22nd, 2020 with a valid H-1B, H-2B, J1, and L-1 visa this travel ban does not apply to you. You can renew these visas as normal. There is nothing in the Executive Order that states that visas cannot be renewed as long as you are physically in the U.S. as of June 22nd, 2020.
     
    Those Outside the U.S. as of June 22nd, 2020
     
    If you are outside the U.S. as of June 22nd, 2020 but have an approved visa in your passport, then this Executive Order (EO) does not apply to you either.
     
    If you have an approved Travel Document facilitating your return to the U.S., again you are fine to return to the U.S., notwithstanding any other Coronavirus travel restrictions.
     
    If you are outside the U.S. and have an approved visa application, but have been unable to get it stamped into your passport due to the Consular offices being closed to in-person appointments, then when the Consular offices do re-open you will not be able to get the visa stamped. The wording of the EO appears to have been worded to imply that the visa must already be in your passport on or before June 22nd, 2020.
     
    Note: a Notice of Approval which is a USCIS letter stating that you have been approved to have your visa stamped into your passport, is not equal to a visa that the Consulate would stamp into your passport. So, if the approval is not converted into a stamped entry into your passport as of this date, you will be affected by this EO.
     
    The EO is in effect until the end of 2020 and can be extended periodically thereafter, if the current president is re-elected November 3rd, 2020.
     
    All other visas types are completely unaffected by this EO, it’s business as usual.
     
    If You Are Affected By this EO Travel Ban
     
    If, having read the above you feel that you are definitely affected by this EO contact our office directly by completing our online inquiry form. Priority will be given to existing clients.
     
    If you are not a client but would like to relocate to the U.S. and you have an advanced degree, and or have reached the upper levels of your professional career then you may qualify for the O-1A or O-1B visas, which, although requires sponsorship, could be a viable alternative to the H-1B visas and these can be processed quickly. Please check out the link provided for details.
     
    If you are from Australia and have a job offer and you have a degree, then you can apply to enter the U.S. under the E-3 visa.
     
    If you are from Canada with a job offer and you have a degree, then you can apply to enter the U.S. under a TN visa.
     
    Finally, if you are unable to find U.S. sponsorship, and you an advanced degree and or have reached the upper levels of your professional career then you may qualify for an EB-1 Self-Sponsored green card. Anyone applying for an EB-1 self-sponsored green card today form outside the U.S. would most likely be unaffected since, these cases can take several years to fully process, depending on which country you are from and thus by the time your green card was ready to be issued the in 2021 and beyond, this should be well past any Coronavirus and the constraints of this executive order. Remember, these restrictions only affect those currently outside the U.S. Those currently living in the U.S. under any visa are completely unaffected.
     
    EB-2 National Interest Waiver self-sponsored green cards also appear to be unaffected.
     
     
    Presidential Elections in 5 Months
     
    If this current President is not re-elected on November 3rd, 2020, then it is almost certain that President Biden, once sworn into office in January 2021, would immediately rescind every EO executed by our current President within days of taking office.
     
    Conclusion
     
    My heart goes out to all those immigrants affected by this new selective Travel Ban. Again, if having read this you feel that you are affected please complete the questionnaire on our website and we’ll answer your questions as best we can, again giving priority to our existing clients first, and then those who currently do not have visas, but would like to explore alternative possible visa options. We are here for you.
     
    If you are unaffected, but this Travel Ban is prompting you to apply for green card status, then again, contact us and we’ll do our very best to see if we can qualify you for a green card asap.
     
     

     

    Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
    Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
    Admitted in New York.
    Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
    401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
    [Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
    Santa Monica,
    California 90401
    Tel: 310 496 4292

    Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

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    Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.

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