Is your family member or prospective employer sponsoring you for a green card? You may not become a lawful permanent resident during the next 60 days.
President Trump signed an executive order banning immigration until June 21, 2020. This immigration ban prevents prospective immigrants from receiving either family-based or employment-based green cards.
Fortunately, the order includes a significant list of exceptions. You will most likely NOT be affected by the ban if:
- You were already in the United States when the ban took effect (11:59 PM EDT on April 23, 2020)
- You were in another country but had travel authorization, such as advance parole
- You are the child or spouse of a U.S. citizen
- You are seeking asylum
- You are seeking an immigrant investor visa (EB-5)
- You are eligible for a Special Immigrant visa because you are either a U.S. government employee or an Iraqi/Afghan translator (or their child/spouse)
- You are immigrating to the U.S. as a doctor, nurse, medical researcher, or any other professional who is combating the COVID-19 pandemic (or their child/spouse)
- The Secretaries of DHS and State decide your immigration advances national interests or law enforcement objectives
- You are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces (or their child/spouse)
Essentially, you are only affected by the ban if you do not fall into any of the above categories and you were outside of the U.S. when the ban took effect. Despite this substantial number of exceptions, countless lawful permanent residents and U.S. employers will be unable to bring family members and workers into the country.
This executive order increases an already staggering number of barriers to immigration that the U.S. government implemented to supposedly combat COVID-19.
These barriers include:
- Cancellation of interviews, biometrics appointments, and naturalization ceremonies with USCIS
- Cancellation of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments at U.S. Embassies and Consulates
- Suspension of the premium processing program, which employers use to expedite Forms I-129 and I-140
- Various travel restrictions and border closures
Fortunately, USCIS has announced plans to reopen offices on or after June 4, 2020. In the meantime, you may benefit from relaxed signature requirements and extended deadlines for appeals and responses to certain notices. Additionally, immigration agencies like USCIS are still conducting administrative work that doesn’t involve direct contact with the public, as well as emergency services.
Contact US Legal Group, APC for Support
If you would like to learn more about how the immigration system has changed in light of COVID-19, our team at US Legal Group, APC is here for you. We have information about USCIS’s current services, details about the government’s emergency policies, and insight into what you may be able to expect from your immigration process. Your journey may be substantially more difficult because of the pandemic, and we want to help you overcome every obstacle that stands in between you and your immigration goals.