President Trump signed an Executive Order on immigration on April 22, 2020. The order becomes effective at 11:59 p.m. tonight, April 23, 2020, and will last for 60 days, if not renewed.

According to the text, the official goal of the order is to protect “disadvantaged and unemployed Americans from the threat of competition for scarce jobs from new lawful permanent residents.” However, our firm believes the order is more about political maneuvering in an election year.

The new Executive Order restricts those who are “entering” the country as “immigrants.” It does not apply to those already in the United States by the time it becomes effective.

The order does not apply, consequently, to non-immigrant categories, such as student visas, tourists, and temporary workers. By definition, fiancée visas are also not affected, as they are nonimmigrant visas, despite the end result of them receiving a green card after marriage. This makes sense, as spouses of U.S. citizens are also not affected by this order

The order applies to those (1) outside the United States, who (2) do not already have an immigrant visa at the time the order becomes effective and (3) do not have a valid travel document, such as an advance parole, which is approved by the time it becomes effective or issued thereafter.

There are several categories of immigrants exempted from the order:

(1) green card holders;

(2) health care workers, their spouse and children under 21, or workers doing research or combating COVID-19;

(3) EB-5 immigrants (investor program);

(4) spouses of U.S. Citizens;

(5) children (under 21), including adoptees of U.S. Citizens;

(6) those related to law enforcement operations;

(7) members of the U.S. armed forces, their spouse and children; and

(8) some Iraqi/Afghan translators and their spouse and children.

The order also contains a provision for anyone to be admitted in the national interest.

The order does not affect refugees and asylees. But the order will affect parents of U.S. citizens, and will affect spouses and children of green card holders who are overseas.

The order has a provision asking the Department of Homeland Security and the Labor Department for recommendations of other measures to “stimulate the economy” within 30 days which could lead to its expansion, but we are not expecting that at this time.

For more information, please contact one of our staff members at (508) 309-7177.

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