Trump Signs Executive Order to Ban H1B H4 L1 and other visa Info

Trump Bans entry of H1B, L1, H4, J1 until Dec 2020 [Updated]

In US Immigration - Visas by KumarUpdated : 194 Comments

There were many rumors stating Trump will sign Executive Order to Ban H1B, J1, L1, H4 entry to US. Earlier today, Trump officially signed the highly speculate Executive Order that bans the entry of H1B, H4, L1, L2, J1 and others until end of this year, with very few exceptions. We will cover all those details in this article.

Update : Clarification on Non-immigrant Visa Clause

June 29th, 2020 : Today, WhiteHouse gave an amendment to their Proclamation that Trump Signed to ban entry of H1B, H4 and others, clarifying that it applies only to visa holders such as H1B, H4, H2B, L and certain J visas that are part of the proclamation. Below is what it used to look before and after.

There have been confusions with some saying it is banned for F2, K1 and other visa and mis-information. In light of all confusions, to make it clear, they issued an amendment clarifying the same. It does not change any of the entry ban list of Visa types or categories that were part of the original proclamation. Still all the restrictions on Travel entry and Stampings apply. Read US Entry Ban, Visa Stamping – Official Guidance by USCIS, Consulates, State Dept.

Trump H1B Entry Ban Amendment

You may watch below video as well on the update

Why Trump Executive Order to ban Entry of H1B, L1, other visas ?

The executive order states that US unemployment is at one of the highest levels of 13.3% and with the slow economic recovery, allowing entry of foreign workers and their spouses will create additional competition to US citizens to find a job.

Trump Executive Order Summary – Entry Ban for H1B, H4, L1, L2, J1, others.  

As we discussed in our Fact Check on Executive Order Power of President, most of the things in the Executive order apply to people currently outside of United States and without a valid Visa.  The non-immigrant visa holders impacted are H1B, H4, H2B, L1, L2, J1 and also Immigrant Visa holders entering US. Let’s look each of these categories in detail.

EO Impact for H1B Visa Holders

The Executive Order (EO) will impact all H1B Visa holders outside of US and who do not have valid H1B Visa stamping in their passport ( Sample US Visa Stamp ). It does not matter, if you are New H1B seeker, who filed in H1B 2021 Season or an someone who already had H1B and worked in US. If you do not have valid visa on your passport as of today June 22, 2020, you will not able to enter US until Dec 31, 2020.

It will NOT impact any H1B holder within US. They can continue to file H1B Transfers, Extensions or Amendments. It does not impact anyone picked in H1B registration lottery this year and filing H1B petition with USCIS for FY 2021 season, it is just that they cannot enter US until this travel ban is lifted. If you leave US and do not have valid US visa, then you cannot re-enter. This even applies to anyone in US trying to extend I-94 by exiting the country.

EO Impact for H4 Visa Holders.

The signed executive order applies to all H4 visa holders, who are outside of US and do not have a valid H4 Visa stamp in their passport now. Again, it does not matter, if you are new H4 holder trying to enter along with your spouse or anyone who already were in US and went to your home country for visiting and getting H4 stamping. It applies to all H4 holders, including spouses and children. The executive order quotes this as “any alien accompanying or following to join such alien”.  This ban is applicable until Dec 31st, 2020.

It will NOT impact any H4 holder currently in the US with their spouse. It does not impact them from applying H4 EAD and working in the US, if they are eligible.  H4 holders are free to apply for extensions or Change of status as needed, including EADs( if eligible).

You can join Telegram Group H1B, H4, L1, Travel Ban Help to discuss and help each other as community.

EO Impact for L1A, L1B, L2 Visa Holders

The Trump executive order signed today impacts all L1A, L1B and L2 dependents (spouse and children), who are outside of US and do not have a valid US visa stamp in their passport.  If you do not have the valid L1 or L2 visa stamp in your passport, you cannot enter US until Dec 31st, 2020.  

It will not have any impact on the L1A, L1B or L2 visa holders, who are already in the US. They are free to file Extensions or Change of status as needed.  If you are on L2 and have EAD, you can continue to work and extend your EAD and L2 as well.

EO Impact for H2B and Dependent H4 Holders

The executive order applies to H2B visa holders and their Dependent spouses and children on H4 visa, who are outside of US and do NOT have valid visa stamp to enter US. This will last until Dec 31, 2020. It will not apply to anyone on H2B, H4 visa status and already in US. They are free to work, continue to extend as eligible or file COS as applicable.

EO Impact for J1 Visa Holders

The executive order bans entry of J1 visa holders who outside of US and do not have valid J1 visa stamp as of today and planning to participate as an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, Au Pair or Summer work travel program. It also includes their accompanying spouses and children of J1 visa holders.  

You may watch the below YouTube Video, it has the summary of entire article.

EO for new Immigrants / new GC holders

The Executive order extends the previous 60 days Executive order banning entry of Immigrant Visa (new GC) holders and it will be extended until end of the year, which is December 31st, 2020. All the exceptions for health care workers and others that are outlined in that previous order will continue to apply.

EO Ban Impact for F1 Visa, OPT, STEM OPT Holders

The executive order signed today does not have any impact on the F1 Student Visa holders. If you are an F1 student trying to enter US for Fall 2020, you are fine to enter US. If you are an OPT or STEM OPT holder in US, you can continue to work on OPT and STEM OPT, there is no impact.  You can apply for OPT, CPT and STEM OPT as normal and this executive order does not have any impact on such visa holders. Also, if you are planning to apply for F1 visa to enter US for Fall 2020, you are free to apply as well, this does not impact you.

EO Ban Impact on TN, B1/B2, E3, O1, other Visas

The EO singed today does not have any impact on other visas like TN, B1/B2, E2, O1 or other visa types. You are free to apply for such visas or enter US on such visas. There are no restrictions as well to apply for petitions related to these visas with USCIS.

EO impact on Adjustment of Status, I-140, PERM

The executive order does not have any impact on the filing of any form or petition with USCIS like I-140 or Adjustment of Status using I-485. Also, you can go through PERM process as well, just that there will be more scrutiny with higher unemployment rate.

Those are the key parts of the executive order, see summary table below.

Summary of the Trump Executive order entry Ban in Table

Visa TypeLocationUS Visa Stamp, StatusImpact – Dec 31, 2020
H1B VisaOutside USNo H1B StampCannot enter US
H1B VisaOutside USHas Valid H1B StampNo impact
H1B VisaInside USValid I-797, I-94No impact
H4 VisaOutside USNo H4 StampCannot enter US
H4 VisaOutside USHas Valid H4 StampNo impact
H4 VisaInside USValid I-797, I-94No impact
H4 EADInside USValid EADNo impact
L1, L2 VisaOutside USNo L1, L2 StampCannot enter US
L1, L2 VisaOutside USHas Valid L1, L2 StampNo impact
L1, L2 VisaInside USValid I-797, I-94No impact
L2 EADInside USValid EADNo impact
H2B VisaOutside USNo H2B StampCannot enter US
H2B VisaOutside USHas Valid H2B StampNo impact
H2B VisaInside USValid approval, I-94No impact
F1, F2 VisaAnywhereDoes not matterNo impact
OPT, STEM OPTAnywhereDoes not matterNo impact
J1 VisaOutside USNo J1 StampCannot enter US
J1 VisaOutside USValid J1 StampNo impact
J1 VisaInside USValid status documentsNo impact
B1, B2AnywhereDoes not matterNo impact
TN,O1, E3AnywhereDoes not matterNo Impact
Filing USCIS Forms, DOL ProcessImpact
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, InterviewsNo impact

Exceptions for Travel Entry Ban for Non-immigrants

Below categories of Individuals are exempted from the Travel ban

  • Green Card Holders ( Lawful Permanent Residents )
  • Spouse or child of US citizens
  • Any foreigner seeking to enter US for temporary labor or services for US food supply chain.
  • Anyone whose entry is of national interest as determined by Consulate or State Dept.
  • It does not apply to asylum seekers or refugees and others who fall under similar circumstances.

In addition to the above executive order, president Trump also announced the below for further action by USCIS, Dept of Labor. Some of these have been there on their agenda, now they will push hard for these changes due to the economy.

Merit Based US Immigration System – H1B Program Changes

In the past Trump announced high level info on Point Based US Immigration System that is Merit driven, but it never went anywhere. Now, today they announced that they will plan to move to a Merit-Based Immigration System.  It will prioritize highest skilled workers and protect American jobs with below changes to H1B system

  • Reform H1B Visa program
  • Prioritize H1B workers with Highest wage to make sure highest skilled applicants are admitted
  • Fix the loopholes in the immigration and work visa programs to replace American workers

The changes to the program are not part of the Executive Order, it will be carried out by the respective agency such as USCIS and Department of Labor for the respective Changes. We need to wait and see, how it will impact. These are already part of Trump’s Unified Agenda from Fall 2019.

Common FAQs

When does the Executive order start entry Ban for H1B ?

It will be effective from 12:01 EST, June 24th, 2020. The previous executive order for immigrants visas will continue to be in effect as before.

Does it apply for Dropbox US Visa Stamping ?

Yes, it applies. If you fall under one of the listed visa categories, you cannot renew your visa.

Are the H1B, L1 program changes immediate ?

No, they will take time. It is just indicated by Trump that they will be reformed to protect American workers.

Is H4 EAD still valid ?Can I apply, extend ?

Yes, there is nothing that is stopping you from applying for H4 EAD as per the Executive Order. We have H4 EAD lawsuit going on at the moment and we are waiting for court and OMB.  

Use H1B Stamp from previous Employer to enter US ?

Yes, you can use your previous employer stamping to enter, as long as it is valid on the day of your entry. Check do I need new H1B stamp after transfer ?

Is H1B Entry ban going to last after Dec 31st, 2020 ?

We do know at this point. It may get extended as per situation. Too early to predict.

It is a huge blow to many stuck in their home countries with pending stamping and many with dreams to work in US from Oct 2020.

What do you think of the Executive Order ? Share your thoughts in comments ?

Reference : Official WhiteHouse EO – Ban H1B, L, J, Entry  and  H1B Immigration Changes

   

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Comments ( 194 )

  1. Rohit

    I have I-797 which is valid till 31-Dec-2020, and was not able to stamp visa due to ongoing pandemic situation. After us entry ban what will the impact. Can I apply for extention of I-797 validity or need to go through lottery again in next year when this ban is revoked.

  2. ableton.music.lessons

    Hi Kumar,

    Was working in tech on a H1B and was recently laid off by the firm

    Couldn’t find new employer so I applied for COS (before end of grace period) from H1B to F1 as I’m taking studies
    The COS will take about 6-10 months, and I’m waiting for an answer from USCIS
    I haven’t exited the USA since last year.

    If I find a new employer, can I reapply to H1B?
    Can I then do a Change of status from F1 to H1B without exiting the US?
    Please take note that I’m a Canadian citizen (Toronto)

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      ableton.music.lessons,
      No, you may not be able to do it until your F1 is approved. The reason is, technically you do not have status now and you need valid status to move to another status.

      1. ableton.music.lessons

        Hi, thanks for your reply and help, I understand your point.

        I should be able to speed up to transfer to F1 by driving to Canada and get my F1 at the border, and then reenter the US.

        Once I have a valid F1 status in the US, can I then apply to jump back on my H1B with a new employer?
        Can it be done with premium processing and then COS F1 to H1B?

        Thanks so much for your help!

        1. ableton.music.lessons

          TO ALL CANADIANS!!: very important, canadians are exempt from the new Trump Ban.
          https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-loophole-canada-1.5624632

          Hi Kumar, really appreciate your help, would you mind helping me with the last 5 questions below:

          1) I only used 2 years on my H1B with previous employer, can I still use this H1B with a new employer for another 4 years?

          2)If yes, with the ban, is it still possible to file an application to jump back on H1B(without lottery)?

          3) Can I file the application even if I have a COS (H1B to F1) pending?

          4)Would this new application be considered a H1B transfer or a H1B new application ( I’m no longer in grace period)?

          5) Can the application be done using premium processing, and how soon can I start working?

          Thank you so much for your help

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            ableton.music.lessons,
            1. Yes, you can. Check Recapture H1B unused Rules
            2. Yes, you can file it with USCIS. Only thing is you cannot enter US on H1B, if you do not have stamping.
            3. Well, discuss with attorney. If your I-94 is valid, you maybe able to withdraw one, file other in premium. But, if expired, then cannot do it…You need valid status for transfer.
            4. Transfer.
            5. Yes. If you are not in legal status now, you cannot work right away…

  3. MadeMyMark

    Thanks for this helpful article.
    If I currently do not have a valid J1 visa stamp AND am outside the US,
    can I get into the US through B-2 (tourist) visa and then apply for a J1 visa stamp once within the US?

    I have an internship offer from a university but currently unsure of how to get myself into the US. Could you provide some suggestions? It would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      MadeMyMark,
      Well, this is tricky and can be risky…They look at the intent of your entry as well, so entering a country with an intent to do COS to J1 is not allowed.

  4. SSnav

    I currently work for university/ medical center as research scientist under H1B. Can my wife, currently outside US without H4 stamp on her passport, get H4 approved at US consulate after resuming services, under ‘national interest’ exception?

  5. Rajani bhaskar

    Hi Kumar,

    First of all I would like to thank you & your team for all the good work you guys are doing by helping people like me. God bless you all.

    Coming to my query, I quit my full time job at company A during Jan 2019 and travelled back to India due to some family commitment. I have a valid stamped visa from company A till March 2021.
    I would like start working in USA again. I’m currently not working in India, can I transfer my visa to any new company in USA and travel to USA on my old stamping before dec 2020?
    One option would be to rejoin my old company if at all they take me back.
    Is it possible to get new stamping at Mexico or Canada ?

    Kindly look into my above queries. Appreciate your valuable time.

    Thank you
    RKB

  6. Sharon Cunningham

    My husband has a l1 visa and has been in the us since September 2018, he came back in March for a visit and has been here in the uk since then due to the pandemic . He tried to check in to return back to the us today but was denied as he didn’t have a green card ..

    He works over in the US and has a rented apartment …

    Advice would be a great help .

  7. Arya

    I have a valid H1B, am in US. My husband has I140 approved , I was planning to apply for H4 and H4 EAD.
    Will the EO impact the application? Can i go for COS from H1 to H4 in USA. Im not planing to travel outside US for this Year

  8. Vasanti Telikicharla

    My dependents have valid visa till July 31, 2020. I have applied for H1B extension here and its approved. Since the ban doesnt allow new visa stamping, can my dependents travel in July? Or can it be a problem for travel as they won’t be having minimum 1 month valid visa?

  9. J. Joseph

    I have a valid L1A visa stamped on my passport. I’m currently outside the US waiting for my visa appointment for my H1b visa extension. Is possible to use the L1A visa to enter the US? For my H1b, is it possible to change from consular stamping to COS while in the US?

  10. Krishna

    Hi during this ban will USCIS still accept h1b petitions with a start date of January 2021? I have an approved I140 for more than 6 months and am in India now.

  11. Evans Yaw

    USCIS approved my case of 28th April 2020, I have all my documents from my employer and attourney. I was only waiting for embassies to resume to apply visa stamping, can I travel this year?

  12. Moni

    Hi,
    I understand stamping will be done only after year end.

    But meanwhile can we expect USCIS in other places in India, will continue to work on the pending administrating(RFE) processing cases and l will they notify us on the status ? In this way we can know the status of our visa and save time.

    Or, is it that USCIS will not even start on RFEs as well unitl DEC?
    Thanks,
    Karthik

    1. Kapil

      that makes sense, they should atleast continue to work on pending rfes/221g cases, but based on what I have been hearing/reading so far, they won’t.

  13. Neetu Gangwani

    Hi,

    I have a valid L1B visa till July 2022. I am currently in US and my partner is in India he already applied for L2 dependent visa but due to lockdown visa is on hold.

    My question is can I visit to India for few months or I won’t get entry if I leave the country.

      1. Krish

        please ignore my previous comments, since your visa is already stamped on passport and is valid so you should be fine, but your partner may not enter since doesn’t have any valid stamped already.

  14. Anvesha

    Hi Kumar,

    I am currently on my OPT and it expires in July. I applied for a change of status to H4 and applied for H4 EAD in February (2nd week). The biometric step is also done. I am currently in the USA. My husband just got his H1B renewed in January. What does this current order mean for me? Will USCIS stop processing my visa and EAD?

    Thank you.

  15. John

    I have got my H1B stamped in January 2021. I have never been to US on the H1.

    Does this ban is applicable if a person never travel to US

    1. Krish

      As long as your employer/client/project/location are same as your visa stamped, you should be totally fine. But make sure your point of entry is local to your work location.

    1. H1B_this_year

      No. As per this Executive Order, one cannot get any new visa stamped from outside US till the ban is lifted. (Please note – I am NOT a lawyer and this is my personal opinion only).

  16. Suvi

    My Husband is in USA with stamped visa. I was planning to apply for H4 visa but will not be able to due to new announcement. I want to visit him. I have a approved H1B Petition with stamping pending which is again not possible until Dec 2020. Is it advisable to apply for visitor visa to visit my spouse as there is no restriction there.

    1. H1B_this_year

      Technically yes. However, given the current restrictions, situation and trend, getting a B2 visa might not be easy. (Please note – I am NOT a lawyer and this is my personal opinion only).

  17. Praveen

    Hi, My H1B lottery picked for FY 21 and I have two child those were born in US ( 2& 4 years kids). this order applicable for me? If its not applicable what i do further?

    1. H1B_this_year

      This order will not affect your ongoing petition application processing. However, if approved, you will not be able to get the visa stamped from outside US (based on the approved petition) until the ban is lifted. (Please note – I am NOT a lawyer and this is my personal opinion only).

  18. ajay

    I m selected in this year H1B lottery and my employer have submitted the petition also last week . What would be the impact on my visa they will reject this year petition? I am in india only

    1. H1B_this_year

      This will not have any impact in your application for this year. However, if approved, you will not be able to get your visa stamped from outside US until the ban is lifted. (Please note – I am NOT a lawyer and this is my personal opinion only).

  19. Da_freak

    What abt Canadian citizens trying to enter after june 24 on renewed H4 visa (approved this year)? Visas to Canadian citizens are only stamped at US border.

    1. H1B_this_year

      If you have a valid US visa on your passport, then this order is not applicable to you and you should be able to enter US. (Please note – I am NOT a lawyer and this is my personal opinion only).

      1. Da_freak

        Do you know how does the H1b work (or any visa) for Canadian citizens? There is no such thing as visa (or stamp) on passport.

        1. H1B_this_year

          Yes, you are correct. For Canadian citizens, it might be different. And from the Executive Order, it is not very clear whether you will be allowed to enter post June 24th. You may want to check and confirm with someone who is legally competent and authorized in this context. (Please note – I am NOT a lawyer and this is my personal opinion only).

  20. ABDALLAH ALSHRAAH

    I have a Valid I-797, I-94 and I’m in the US , My stamp is expired and my plan is to get new one in August 2020. Now with this new release looks like If I leave there is no come back for me. However, My wife is an American citizen and she is going to travel with me. I never filed for a green card through her because my H1B is relatively new and we had plans to file later this year because we both are too busy now and we want to go through all forms and fill them out together. We did file tax jointly . Does anyone have a good advice for my case ???

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      ABDALLAH ALSHRAAH,
      well, you may or may not have challenges to get stamping. As you are exempt with your spouse being US Citizen…Sometimes, it can be tricky. Talk to Consulate before you travel and make sure they process, before you jump on a plane. Try to see, if there is a way to apply for your GC inside US and avoid travel. Also, talk to your attorney as well.

  21. PK

    Was working under OPT and got the H-1B approval this February (I-797). Obliviously my F-1 visa is expired and I don’t have the h-1b stamping yet. Since I am working in US with valid I-797 can I go back to my country and get the stamp and come back?

    Thanks

  22. Abc

    Hi My Marriage is scheduled in India by August and I have my h1b till May 2021. Will there be any issues if I travel to India and will I be able to return back?

    Thanks,

  23. Ram Sharma

    I have a valid petition of H1b, and waiting for consulate to open. Can i apply for a visa stamp ? will they give visa?

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