As you all know, Trump signed an Executive Order to pause GC Holders entry. Now, there are many rumors going on regarding the planned Trump’s Executive Order that could potentially block H1B, L1 work visa holders to enter US, increase H1B fee, ending STEM OPT, H4 EAD programs, etc. As of today, June 9th, 2020, all of these are still speculations, and nothing is announced yet. We will cover some of the circulating rumors shared by reputed attorneys with links to the same for your review.
Latest News Update on Executive Order to Ban H1B, L1 Entry
June 22, 2020 6 :20 PM EST : Official Executive order was signed by President. Check article Trump Executive Order Ban for H1B, L1, H4, Others for complete details by Visa category. Below is the summary of the Ban.
|Visa Type||Location||US Visa Stamp, Status||Impact – Dec 31, 2020|
|H1B Visa||Outside US||No H1B Stamp||Cannot enter US|
|H1B Visa||Outside US||Has Valid H1B Stamp||No impact|
|H1B Visa||Inside US||Valid I-797, I-94||No impact|
|H4 Visa||Outside US||No H4 Stamp||Cannot enter US|
|H4 Visa||Outside US||Has Valid H4 Stamp||No impact|
|H4 Visa||Inside US||Valid I-797, I-94||No impact|
|H4 EAD||Inside US||Valid EAD||No impact|
|L1, L2 Visa||Outside US||No L1, L2 Stamp||Cannot enter US|
|L1, L2 Visa||Outside US||Has Valid L1, L2 Stamp||No impact|
|L1, L2 Visa||Inside US||Valid I-797, I-94||No impact|
|L2 EAD||Inside US||Valid EAD||No impact|
|H2B Visa||Outside US||No H2B Stamp||Cannot enter US|
|H2B Visa||Outside US||Has Valid H2B Stamp||No impact|
|H2B Visa||Inside US||Valid approval, I-94||No impact|
|F1, F2 Visa||Anywhere||Does not matter||No impact|
|OPT, STEM OPT||Anywhere||Does not matter||No impact|
|J1 Visa||Outside US||No J1 Stamp||Cannot enter US|
|J1 Visa||Outside US||Valid J1 Stamp||No impact|
|J1 Visa||Inside US||Valid status documents||No impact|
|B1, B2||Anywhere||Does not matter||No impact|
|TN,O1, E3||Anywhere||Does not matter||No Impact|
|Filing USCIS Forms, DOL Process||Impact|
|I-140, I-485 (AOS)||No Impact|
|I-129 (H1B or L1 Transfers, COS, Extensions )||No Impact|
|I-765 (EAD Applications)||No impact|
|All other forms with USCIS, Biometrics, Interviews||No impact|
Trump confirms Work Visas ( H1B, L1, J1) Ban with some exceptions
June 20, 2020 : The long awaited rumors floating around on the H1B visa ban are confirmed today by Trump in his interview with Fox News today. There are no details that he revealed on what is coming. It will be announced in a day or two. Below are couple of points.
- Trump says, there will be big ban on visas and many people will be happy as the unemployment is high. He does not indicate by visa type. He only responds to the question asked by Fox news stating ban on H1B, L1, J1 other visas.
- He says that there will be some exceptions, but very little. He says it is required for big business that are doing businesses for a long time.
- Base on the above, we may speculate it to be for existing Work Visa holders like H1B, L1, others who have stamping already and working maybe exempted. Again, this is pure speculation.
Check this Fox News for Video (Watch from 4 min 32 seconds of clip) for Trump giving update on the visa ban.
You may watch the below YouTube Video too on the update
Rumors on Trump Executive Order for H1B, L1, STEM OPT, H4 EAD
June 14th, 2020 : Many of the below points that could be part of the potential Executive order by Trump are shared by multiple attorneys on twitter, their blogs and YouTube. Below is short summary on what we know so far from these rumors.
Important Note: The below are only speculations or rumors, NOTHING IS OFFICIAL yet and NO rule or Executive Order is passed yet.
Bar Entry of H1B, L1, J1 Visa Holders Outside of US
It is speculated that Trump’ Executive order could ban entry of H1B, H2B, L1, J1 and other non-immigrant work visas for up to 180 days or 6 months. They say that there could be exemptions for health care workers, food and agriculture workers, but not clear on what those exemptions could be. This could impact all the H1B visa 2021 season applicants outside of US planning to arrive in US in October 2020. This would not impact the H1B, L1 and other work visa holders already in the US and working. The reason is that president does not have direct power of Executive order to block H1B or L1 holders from working or renewing their petitions within US.
H1B Fee increase to $20,000, Strengthen H1B program
The H1B filing fee could go up to $20,000. This sounds crazy, but this is what is being speculated and shared by other attorneys. Take it with a pinch of salt. Also, there would likely be rule making process for making H1B program stricter to avoid fraud. This is not new and already part of the unified agenda for a long time. Check Fall 2019 Unified Agenda H1B, H4, F1 OPT info. Trump administration may take this up as a priority now
H1B Duration 2 years, Second LCA
Limit the H1B duration from 3 years to 2 years, including extensions during rule-making. Also, make higher wage requirement of Level 2 for extensions. If there is a client involved for staffing companies, file another LCA. Increase DOL wages These were reported on June 11th by Greg Siskind attorney. Again, all of these are speculations. No official text yet. See references at the end.
You may also watch the YouTube video below that covers the entire article summary
End or change STEM OPT Program, H4 EAD
It is speculated that DHS would end or change the STEM OPT program that gives additional 24 months of OPT for STEM category holders. This would require a regulation and it is not going to work immediately like Executive Order. They will have to go through all 9 step rulemaking process with comments period. Also, as you know H4 EAD Rule Revocation is already with OMB for review, it is rumored that DHS could likely speed up this process.
There are other speculations stating that it could impact work authorization of Asylum Seekers, TPS and refugees. Not sure, what is going to come out.
Fact Check : Can Trump Issue Executive Order to Ban entry ? Rules ?
Yes, as per President powers, he can issue Executive order to ban entry of H1B, L1 and other visa holder. But, he may not be able to end OPT, H4 EAD with Executive order, it needs regulation. Check article Fact check: Can US President ban entry of H1B, L1, J1? Rule? for full info with official regulation text or watch below YouTube video.
When can we expect this Executive Order ?
They are planning to have this by end of this week and effective by June 15th. Not sure, when it would come out for sure.
What are Immigration Groups like AILA, Employers and Attorneys doing ?
It is rumored that many of the groups like AILA, including employers and attorneys are planning for a lawsuit. They want to ensure, if some of the above come in such a way that it impacts their businesses and not in power of president, then they will ask for injunction order. Many of the above, if not properly given in Executive order, can be challenged in court, that’s what all these groups are doing. You can talk to your attorney and employer on this.
What is our take ? What should be your action plan ?
As you know Trump tweeted in the past saying he will suspend immigration to US, then toned it down to only certain GC holders. It scared a lot of people and confused many. Similarly, Trump Administration is notorious to hype something and then get feedback to come up with Executive order that will not get too many challenges in court.
Now, so many of the above listed things may or may not happen. There could be specific clauses for each of them. But, you have to understand that, as per Fall 2019 Unified Agenda, some of the above speculations are not new. They are Trump Administration priorities. Below are those.
- Strengthening of the H1B Visa Nonimmigrant Classification program
- Removing H4 EAD for spouses of H1B holders
- Strengthening of the L1 visa Program.
- Practical Training Reform ( basically STEM OPT)
So, be prepared for some of these.
Action Plan based on the Rumor of Trump Executive order:
Below are some of the things you can do based on your situation. It is better to be safe than sorry.
- Travel back to US : If you are H1B, L1, J1 or other visa holder and outside of US, plan to arrive in US immediately. I understand there are many travel restrictions, but, if possible, try to make arrangements to arrive in US immediately.
- Apply for STEM OPT : if you are eligible to file, even if picked in H1B Lottery, file STEM OPT immediately by working with your DSO.
- Apply for H4 EAD : If you are eligible for H4 EAD, Apply for H4 EAD immediately.
- Update I-94s : If your I-94 was given with shorter duration than the passport due to expiration, make sure you get it updated. Check I-94 update in US after Passport Renewal
Reality – US Consulates Closed, US Unemployment rate, US Elections
These are unprecedented times and still many US Consulates across the globe have not opened, so it may be hard to get visa and fly back…Not sure, what can be done. As the US Unemployment Rate is really high with economy downturn and US Elections planned for later this year, Trump is trying to make some moves so that he can portray his image well during election campaign by talking about these measures. Trump administration has put in many immigration policies since they took office and it could get more worse with the US economy slumping and elections. So, be prepared !
What are your thoughts on this ? What do you think of the rumors ?
References from attorneys :
- YouTube Video – Reddy Neuman Law firm
- Siskind Susser PC Law Firm – New Executive Order F H L
- Kuck Baxter Law Firm – Executive Order Rumor H1B
- Murthy Law Firm – Trump EO
- Tweets by Immigration attorney Greg Siskind below:
My I-94 has expired. I lives in SFO . Can I try going to CBP Otay Mesa ( San diego) Or I have to leave the country and come back again ? Is it safe to do now after Trumph EO ? What can be the correct option please do advice. I am on H4 visa. Will appreciate any feedback . Thanks in advance .
You should try to leave the country and re-enter as I-94 expiration puts you out of status. If you do not have stamping, now it is hard to exit…Talk to your attorney.
I used 6 years on my H1b . Based on i140 approval I got my 7th year H1b petition approved after moving out of USA, which is valid till Dec 31st 2020. I am currently in Canada, I have my USA visa interview on
August 18th ,2020. Now what are the options that I have ? Do I need to reapply H1b based on i140 approval again ? My visa appointment is voided ? Do I need to apply new H1b (under CAP) ?
I am outside of US and have a valid H1B stamp and job in the US. I am aware that i can enter the US without any problem. But i am married and my wife has H4 interview in September, and as per the order she will not able to stamp until December 31st. So can i apply tourist visa and bring her into the US until dec 31st? and after that i can stamp the H4. Is it feasible and valid?
Let me know thanks
I am on H1B and in US now. My Current I-797 expires in Nov 2020. I dont have valid stamp.
I am filing H1 Extension, My Family is in India and they don’t have valid stamp.
After H1 Extension approval can I go to India to see my new born baby and get stamp and come back to USA?
Also is there any other way we can ask Family to come here.
L1b to h1b consular processing.
I am in USA on L1b currently. My h1b got selected in the lottery and is being processed with the consular processing option. Will this be affected by the executive order? If i have to get a consular stamping post october 31st will I be affected?
No, it will not be impacted for processing. Yes, you cannot go for stamping until Dec 31st, 2020.
I was selected in 2020-21 lottery.
My employer has filed the petition with Premium Processing and it is under approval. Now, with the recent order will there be delays in petition approval or will it be no impact and how soon can I apply for a visa once the H1B petition is approved.
No, it will not impact. If you are out of US, you can only apply for H1B visa stamping after Dec 31st, 2020.
I have L1B VISA but lately i got EAD and Advance Patrol as part of green card process (that wasnt approved yet) to me and my dependence. EAD and AP are valid till the end of the year. In case L1 will be blocked do you think they will block my entry even with Advance Patrol?
As of now, no details. Let’s wait.
Can such a EO be indefinitely extended? Essentially finishing off h1b for backlogged countries
Well, there are no restrictions for President as long as there is some rationale…Let’s wait and not speculate.
I am working in USA on L1 VISA. My wife and kids are currently traveling in Europe, but are planning to return in July on their existing L1 dependents passes. Could they potentially have problems re-entering? Thanks
Yes, they may.The reason is, if they arrive from Schengen Area, they will not be allowed. Check Travel.state.gov for restrictions and plan around that.
Ok thanks. They will transit through Paris and into a verified US hub, so should be ok. I am more concerned that as L1 dependents that the potential restriction could affect them – even though I am here in USA…?
I am not sure, if they will allow as recently someone transiting through Germany was not allowed to board. So, double check before you let them fly. As of now, no restriction, so plan to get them back early to be safe.
I am currently on valid H1b visa and traveled to India for my wedding. I could not go back due to travel restrictions in India but now have a flight for July 1. Will I have any issues traveling back?
I am in the US with L1B visa. My Visa expires in the beginning of July.
If I travel abroad to renew it on my country of origin I probably can not come back. If I try to renew it here or if I try a RFE, the chances of denying are huge, specially now with the unemployment rate. How bad can this executive order affect me? Any suggestion on the best action I could take?
Thanks a lot in advance.
No, the executive order cannot impact the Extensions within US. It is usually applied for anyone trying to re-enter. If you have proper job in US with your company, extension should be fine.
I got my visa h1b petition approved in 2019 but during the time of interview in Feb I was issues a blue slip asking to submit client letters. My company submitted and I am in India curly waiting for a reply. There is delay because the offices are closed. Will this affect my 221g.
It will just delay the process…
My H1B got picked in this year’s lottery. After doing some research, i decided that i should go for consular processing as i am enrolled in Day 1 CPT program. But this rumor came out and now i am not sure whether i should stick to consular processing or try the option of COS processing.
My questions are:
1. What if my h1b is approved and COS gets denied? Do i still have a chance of getting my visa stamped at the consulate?
2. How long does it normally takes for h1b petition to approved if filed for consular processing?
1. You may be able to. But, you need to prepared to answer the COS questions or Day 1 CPT questions…
2. It is same as COS, there is no difference. Anywhere from few weeks to few months.
I have a medical emergency and marriage planned because of the emergency. I am travelling to India this Monday and given personal situation which is in dumps, I cannot post pone the travel. I got my H1B stamped last year and its valid for another two years before renewal.
I am planning to return end of next month, what will be be the impact and I already working here in US in really good company one of FAANG and post-pone the travel is not an option. Do you think the execution order will be put into effort before that?
There maybe exceptions, but we do not know…President has the power to stop anyone though…
Make arrangements to work from your India offices, before you travel out to be safe…
I have got my H1B visa last year and got it stamped already. I am yet to travel to US. Will it affect my travel to US for the first time? Can I travel immediately please advise…
You can travel now, there is no restriction. But, we do not know what the order will look like. This is still rumor and no official notice is out yet.
What about somebody whose H1 has been approved under Consular Processing, and has made plans to leave the US temporarily now, and intends to come back later, in Sep/Oct, after his visa is stamped in his home country?
No official details yet. Let’s wait.
My H4 and H4 EAD in in processing. I filed in March and still waiting for any update on the application. PLease let me know how will this new executive order impact my sitiation.
At this point, there are no details. H4 EAD cannot be removed by executive order as it will need regulation or court order.
I came on a vacation to India in Feb, and was supposed to travel back in March. Got stranded here due to the lock downs. I hope that at least valid H-1B holders would be exempted from the entry ban. They should understand that people have assets in the US, that needs to be taken care of. A blanket ban on everyone is too harsh on the very people who have contributed so much for the US economy till date.
Yes, hopefully there will be some exceptions.
What about someone who got the Visa in FY20 CAP and has still not travelled?
This is the one that is of greater attention to avoid new H1B holders to enter market…As of now, we do not know, but, if rumors become true, then there will be impact.
I am on H1B Visa, valid till dec 31 2020 is it fine if i travel to india now and come back by sep/oct ?
Well, unless it is really mandatory and health related, do not travel. Looking at the immigration climate, it is not recommended to travel.
Thanks for your response Kumar.
one more question , how long an valid H1B visa holder can be outside US ? if his work permits remote !!
and also can H1B extension filed if we are outside of USA ?
Yes, they can filed when outside. You can stay as long as you want…All they care is, when you enter US, you have valid job in US and relevant visa and approval.
I will be proactively talking to my employer about transferring me to another country. Currently I am in the USA with an RFE issued for my H1B petition. Honestly there are better places to be now than the US with more certainty and paths to residency. I am not sure if the employer’s gonna buy it though, but maybe those rumors are going to speed up the transfer. Maybe I’m just freaking out though.
If your company is global, definitely worth having a backup option. These are stressful times, not much you can do as they are not in our control. Stay positive !
I am on dependent h4 Visa outside USA and my husband is in USA .Will the ban stop me from entering
Hard to say now, lets wait for details.
If they actually increase the fee to 20k then it’s over. No company is going to pay so much for any employee.
Exactly ! But, as you know Trump Administration is known to exaggerate and then tone down…Also, this cannot be done via executive order directly…
Does this impact the f4 immigrant visa holder which is valid.can he/she travel?
We do not know at this point. Need to wait.
Does this impact to people in US who got picked up H1B lottery this year and changing there status from F1 to H1 ?
It may, we are yet to know the official details.
Thanks for sharing the article, do you know if this could impact the H1b transfers as well, since the H1b transfer is still a new petition anyways?
It is very likely not going to as President has limited powers for doing anything to H1B holders or anyone in the US.
What happens if someone who is in US already on H1B visa and happens to travel to India for personal visit, will he/she be denied entry to the US?
No one know at this point, we need to wait for official press note on this.