The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked devastating consequences on our public health, social lives, economy, and legal system. The federal government has responded to this global crisis in several ways—one of which, unfortunately, is by tightening and even halting certain types of immigration. The administration has accomplished this by suspending in-person services with USCIS, closing borders, canceling visa appointments and other routine services at U.S. Embassies and Consulates, and suspending premium processing for many different applications.
Trump’s most recent executive order is perhaps the most expansive: a 60-day ban on immigration. Specifically, the order halts issuance of most green cards, both family-based and employment-based.
During this 60-day period, you will not be able to receive a green card if, by April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM EDT, you:
- Were not already in the U.S.;
- Did not have a valid green card; AND
- Did not have a valid, official travel document (e.g. advance parole, transportation letter, etc.).
Fortunately, the ban does not affect applicants or recipients of nonimmigrant visas, although the administration has said it will consider including nonimmigrants after 30 days.
The ban will also not affect your case if you are:
- A Lawful Permanent Resident
- An asylum seeker
- The child (under 21), prospective adoptee, or spouse of a U.S. citizen
- A member of the U.S. Armed Forces (or their spouse/child)
- An applicant for an EB-5 (immigrant investor) visa
- An individual who is eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa (SI or SQ)
Additionally, you may be exempt from the ban if you are a professional who is deemed essential for combating COVID-19. This includes healthcare professionals such as physicians and nurses, as well as medical researchers and a variety of other professionals involved in mitigating the effects of the pandemic. Generally, if the Secretaries of DHS and State believe your entry is in the country’s best interests, you may be exempt from the ban. Adjudicating officers will use their discretion to determine whether you fall into any of these categories.
At the end of the 60-day period, the administration will review the ban and decide whether to extend it.
Let Us Answer Your Questions & Address Your Concerns
No matter what type of visa you seek, this may be an incredibly difficult time to be an immigrant. At IBF Law Group, our Phoenix immigration lawyers are here to support you through this global crisis. While many businesses and organizations are shutting down in the face of COVID-19, we want you to know that we are deeply committed to standing by your side as you fight to achieve your immigration goals.
Our Immigration Services
For more information about the executive order or to get started on your case right away, call (602) 833-1110 or contact us online today. Our immigration attorneys in Phoenix are ready to answer your questions.