Home » US Immigration - Visas » US entry ban H1B, H4, L1, J – Consulates, State Dept, USCIS Updates

US entry ban H1B, H4, L1, J – Consulates, State Dept, USCIS Updates

As many of you know the rumors of Trump to ban US entry for work visa holders have become true as President Trump signed Executive Order to ban entry of H1B, L, J visa and their dependents.  The executive order gave high level guidance but did not go into details like if US visa stampings are allowed, when will consulates allow stampings, USCIS processing of applications, what is CBP stance, etc. In this article, we will look at all these updates from US Consulates, US Department of State, USCIS and CBP. We will continue to update this page as we have new updates.

We divided the article into sections related to key area of concern like US Visa Stampings, US Entry restrictions, USCIS processing, etc. and provided Official updates by US Govt entities like US consulates, Embassies, CBP, US Dept of State and USCIS in that section. Let’s start with US Visa stampings.

No H1B, L, J Visa Stampings at US Consulates before Dec 31, 2020

July 16th, 2020 : US State Department issued a clarification today on the H4, L2 and J2 visas and others. Below are the details

  • US Dept of State will continue to issue Visas for H4, L2 and J2 visa holders, if they are not part of the Executive Order / Proclamation or if the principal Applicant is in the US. Which means, if H1B or L1 visa holder in US and their spouse is outside of US, then they will be issued visas. This clarification comes just couple of days after the Lawsuit was filed Challenging H1B, H4 entry Ban
  • See below screenshot from State Depart website. Check Official Press Release – State.Gov
US State Depart Clarification of H L and J Visas Entry

June 25th, 2020 : One of our WhatsApp Group’s reader reached out to US Consulate in Hyderabad asking the same question ( Thanks to them for sharing !). They responded stating that US Visas will not be issued at consulates until Dec 31st, 2020 for the visa types that were part of the Executive order. The email from consulates states “H1B, H2B, L and certain J nonimmigrant visas, and their derivative visa categories”.  The derivative visa categories mean H4, L2 and J2 visas. So, it is pretty clear that all the dependent visa holders will not be able to get visa stampings at US consulates until end of this year. See below screenshot.

Hyderabad Consulate Confirmation on Visa Appointments

Also, US State Department Confirmed the same as well. They will not process any of the H1B, H4, H2B, L1, L2 or J visas that are part of the US entry ban until end of the year which is Dec 31, 2020. See below tweet.

US Embassy in India also updated their website with a News Alert that says they will NOT issue H1B, H4, L, and other Visas. Also, it clarifies that H4 Visa maybe issued for H4 Dependents, who are tied to H2A and H3 visa holders. See below and check Official US Embassy News

US Embassy Not issue Visa under Trump Entry Ban - H1B, H4, L, Other visas

US Visa Stampings for H1B, H4, L1, J at Consulates

US Department of State published FAQs on Twitter, where they responded to users questions and clarified many questions related to the recent Executive Order(EO) related to H1B, H4, L, J visa entry ban to US. We have picked up relevant responses by Visa Category and specific question for easy review and clarification to our readers. Check below.

You may watch the below YouTube Video, that covers all details in article

H4 Visa Stamping – US Dept of State Guidance

Updated July 16th, 2020 : Based on clarification from US state Department

Initially, there were confusions created as the State Dept Twitter account and consulates started telling they cannot stamp any H4 Visa holder. It was clarified on July 16th press release.

The signed executive order only applies to certain H4 Visa holders, who are outside of US and do not have a valid H4 Visa stamp in their passport and if their spouse is not in the US. As per the new guidance on July 16th, H4 Visa holder, who have their spouse in the US on H1B can apply for H4 visa stamping at consulate and get stamping done. They can return to US using the stamping.

US State Depart Clarification of H L and J Visas Entry
Updated Guidance from US State Dept.

Below is the original guidance given by US State Depart on June 24th.

The below tweet and guidance is no longer valid as there is an updated press release from July 16th, 2020.

L2 Visa Stamping – US Dept of State Guidance

Updated July 16th, 2020 : The same guidance of H4 dependent applies to L2 dependents as well. As per US Department of State, if L2 visa holder, who does not have L2 visa stamping done before the effective date of the executive order (11:59 p.m. EST on April 23, 2020) , they will not be able to get stamping at US consulate until the end of the year.

The exception to L2 visa stamping and entry to US is that, if the L1 visa principal applicant or spouse is in US, then they can get stamping and come back to US.

The below tweet is not valid as per the July 16th guidance

H1B Visa Stamping – US Dept of State Guidance  

US Dept of State gave the same guidance for H1B Visa holders as well, who have valid H1B approval notice and arrived to their home country for stamping and got stuck. They cannot get stamping done to enter US. See below tweet.

L1 Visa Stamping – US Dept of State Guidance

Similar to other visa types, US Dept of State says that L1 Visa Stamping is not possible at US consulates, including their spouses and children until Dec 31, 2020.

H1B, H4 Visa Valid during EO. Renew after Expiry ?

US Dept of State says that, if you have valid H1B, H4 or other relevant visa, you can enter US using that. But, if it expires, then you cannot apply for US visa renewal at US Consulates. The Executive Order will apply for such visa holders trying to renew. Below is the response to situation of H4 visa holder who is in India. See below.

Pending US Visa Stampings – 221g or Biometrics Completed

In the case of pending US visa stampings, with either administrative processing like 221g or even if Biometrics completed on the day of Executive order, the US consulates will not process those visa applications or give them visa interview slots for stamping. See below clarification on twitter by US Dept of state.

USCIS Clarification for H1B, other visa holders inside US

USCIS issued an official alert indicating that the Executive Order banning entry of H1B or other visas does not impact similar visa holders already in the US and working on H1B status or similar visa status.  Also, they say that the Executive order will not impact anyone who have valid H1B, H4, L or J visas from entering US, there is no revocation of valid US Visas by the executive order. All such visa holders, who have valid US Visa stamp, can enter US, unless they are banned for other reasons like fraud, misrepresentation, etc.

Check USCIS Official Alert as in See below screenshot. Also, as USCIS have not indicated any other restrictions, it is implied that they will continue to process all H1B, H4, L1, L2, J1 extensions, amendments and transfer applications filed with USCIS as before. They would also continue to process all types of applications like I-485 (Adjustment of Status), I-140 ( Green Card ), EAD applications, etc. Also, President does not have power to stop USCIS from processing these kinds of applications. Check Fact Check of President Power for Executive Order

USCIS update on H1B Travel Ban

Automatic Visa Revalidation with Travel Ban

In general, for certain categories of visas like H1B and others, you could use Automatic Visa Revalidation(AVR) Option to exit and re-enter US with an expired visa, if you have valid I-94 and approval notice to neighbouring countries. This is applicable only to Canada and Mexico and if the travel is less than 30 days. Now, with the travel ban, this is not fully clear as there is no official guidance given by CBP or US Dept of State, which is available to public on their website or twitter.

      The closest guidance we have is a tweet from attorney Greg Siskind stating that CBP officer from Canada confirmed to AILA that Automatic Visa revalidation can still be used to exit and re-enter US. We do NOT have official guidance from CBP publicly available. So, double check with CBP before you plan any travel using AVR. It is very risky, you should avoid travel using this option, unless a real emergency. If you want to extend I-94, you try with CBP Office, some of our users had success with that option.

What has been your experience with the Travel ban ? Did you enter US recently ? Did you write to Consulate ?  Share your thoughts in comments below.


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  1. I have a expired H1B visa stamp but a I-797 extension valid until July 2021. I was in the US when the proclamation was made but had to travel out on a family emergency. US Consulates in Mexico have visa interview appointments. Can I attend for a visa appointment in Mexico before December 31st and if stamped enter back into the US? I have all other documentation intact and a direct employee.

  2. Hi,

    I am in the US on an E2-visa. My husband is the main Visa holder, I am the dependent. My i-94 has a few months left and I want to fly out to renew it. Our visa expires in December 2020 and we have a current application waiting to go in. Am I safe to fly to Mexico or Canada in October or November to renew the i-94?

  3. Hi Kumar,

    I have recently traveled back from USA due to assignment termination. My Visa was approved in March this year till Dec 2021, however I do not have it stamped as I was in USA. Please let me know if I can go ahead with visa stamping as I was in USA at time of Presidential order/rule and they had stated that this does not apply to people in USA at time of executive order signing?

    • Soniya,
      yes, general immigrant visas are banned. There are some exceptions like spouse or child of US citizen. Check https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/

  4. I have a H1B visa valid until September 16th, I was outside the US on the date of the proclamation signing – if I fly back to the US now and apply from there does the proclamation effect me, as in will I have to wait until the ban is inactive (dec 31st) to get my extension?

    • Eva,
      If you have valid H1B visa now, you can use that to enter. It does not mean you have to be in US and have valid visa. You can go to US now, if you have all job and documents in tact. You can apply for extension with USCIS after you go there, no need to wait till december. Talk to your employer too.

  5. Hi Kumar and Team,

    First of all, thanks for all your help as always. This has been a great support indeed!

    My H1B (new) from company ‘A’ got approved this year. I know at present we are unable to get visa stamped till the end of this year. However, in the meanwhile, can I get my approved H1B petition transferred during this year from company ‘A’ to ‘B” assuming company ‘B’ makes me an offer? I am currently outside US.

    • H1B_this_year,
      This is a grey area. Usually, if you get stamping, then it is easier as they consider that you got H1B status and counted towards cap. So, can be tricky. If they are willing to take the chance and apply, then go for it, worth a shot. If you do it, plan for it after October 1st.

  6. I found this article. Does it change anything for H4 Dependent visa who doesnt have work authorization to go for stamping? I mean can H4 dependents go for stamping?


      • Hi Kumar,

        Going back to my 1st question. According to new rule, can i apply for H4 visa stamping, my spouse is in US with valid H1B stamp.

        Second Question: I also hold approved H1B petition. Can i go for H1B stamping based on the fact that my spouse is in US or is it only applicable for H4.

        • Suvi,
          1. yes.
          2. No, you cannot get h1B stamping. You can only go for H4. If you go for h1B stamping that is not dependent visa, then you are primary applicant.

  7. Hi Kumar,

    I am H1b holder with stamped done before proclamation announcement. I have not travel USA before. For first timer H1b traveler there is no clear information. I received email from US embassy hyd that contact US homeland security for enter in USA. Would you please guide here if u have concrete info.

    • First time H1b Holder,
      If you have H1B stamp that is valid, you are fine to travel to US…as long as you have your job in US. You can write to CBP office as well and get email confirmation, if you want proof to carry.

  8. Hello there,

    Hi I’m on my H1B visa and currently in the USA. Visa doesn’t expired till 2022. Can I leave the country to Europe (Im European citizen) and re enter without any issues?

    Thank you so much.

  9. Hello what’s about the dv lottery 2020 winners… Those who saw their interview cancelled because covid 19 …are we impacted by this decision?

  10. I won H1B lottery for 2021 session. My employer already filed petitioned and got receipt number. I checked it through USCIS online tool and found that case was received. My question is whether USCIS stop processing my case till dec 31 2020 or it is just travel/stamping ban.

    or USCIS will process but i have to wait dec 31 2020 for stumping.

  11. Hi kumar,

    Iam a 2020 H1B lottery winner and my profession comes under health care worker(Pharmaceutical ind). As per executive order shall i attend visa interview from india once after consulates are reopen. Please answer which help us.

    • Sai krishna,
      You need to reach out to US consulate to verify, if you would be able to qualify. Usually, it is very limited categories like doctors…again, try it by emailing them.

  12. Hello, I am the winner of lottery 2020 and I still did not have an interview, the deadline is September 30, 2020, what will happen with the winners of 2020

  13. Hello Kumar,

    I have a valid L1A visa stamp on my passport but my company was also extending my H1b thru consular stamping. I have an approved I797B and just waiting for interview from the embassy.

    I just want to ask if I’m impacted by the new EO. Thanks.

  14. Hello. I have received my H1B approval and I am awaiting stamping in my home country. My employer is the US is cap exempt. Would this proclamation affect me?

  15. No we can’t postpone. It’s some serious issue. If you can please let me know that he will be allowed to come back in USA? As he is currently now in USA. On H1B visa? Is it allowed to them to travel and come back?

  16. Salut! J’avais mon interview en avril qui a été annulé. Je devais rejoindre mon mari qui est résident permanent grâce à la loterie. J’aimerais savoir si je serai programmée à partir de l’année prochaine ou si je suis pas concernée par cette nouvelle loi. Merci

  17. Hi. My husband wants to travel to Pakistan for his sister’s wedding in August. He is on H1B visa. And he is in USA right now. Will he be allowed to enter again in US if he come to Pakistan.

  18. Hi, i am under L1 and my family under L2 living in US , my visa expire on july 21 but the i129 and I94 say that I can stay until August 19 2020. Back on March I was planning to renew but consulates closed. I still have the interview scheduled on August 14. Will they deny the visa to me and my family?

    • Carlos,
      They will not issue visas as per proclamation unfortunately. They will not deny, but they will not let you attend the interview.

  19. Hola buenas las peticiones de esposo residente f2a estan perjudicada en la orden que decreto el presidente trump gracias espero merespondan bendiciones

  20. I have a valid H1-B until September 2022 and my company is filing my I-140 next month. After the I-140 approval, can I file for a H4 visa for my spouse?

  21. My husband is in Mexico waiting for an interview date to become available for a permanent resident green card. Will he have to stay in Mexico until 1/1/2020?

  22. Bonjour,je suis aux USA par dvlottery, j’avais déjà payé mon argent pour le green carte mais celà ne pas disponible jusqu’aujourd’hui depuis avril. Est ce que la décision du président influencera aussi sur ça ????

  23. Hi,
    I am US citizen living in USA. My husband was supposed to have his interview on April 21, 2020 but it was cancelled. Can we expect him to have his interview when us consulate opens in his country?

  24. Hi,

    I have a question – I am currently inside USA, and my first term H1B is expiring on Aug 2020 – my employer is filing my H1B extension. Kindly let me know if i have no issues on the recent Proclamation?

    I hear from different sources that i will not be affected unless i leave the country. Pls share your views.

  25. Hey Kumar,

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but from my understanding those who were selected in this years H1B lottery and are outside the US, USCIS will process their application and if approved won’t be able to go for stamping until 1/1/2021 (unless EO is extended).

    Am I correct by assuming this?

  26. Hello Kumar, I believe it’s a president proclamation and not an EO. There is a difference between them, not sure exactly but they are interpreted differently by lawyers. Just an FYI.

    • Itneverends,
      While they are used interchangeably by most of us, there are differences as you said. I also use it interchangeably. 🙂
      It seems, it was an Executive Order that was given by President…
      In fact, Executive Order is a type of Proclamation that is given for Govt Agencies, etc. I would suggest you read US Library of Congress Exec Order vs Proclamation and UCLA Library Info
      I might be wrong too, there maybe subtle differences than what we see in above two…

  27. Hey!

    I read the proclaimation and it said that if applicant’s parents are US citizen then applicant is exempt from proclaimation and h1-b visa will be issued and can entry US.

    It’s under scope of limitation.

    My parents are US citizen and already submitted my parents information to embassy.

      • Hi Kumar,
        I have got selected in last year lottery and my status was in My Recieved status, so I have just informed my attorney last week to upgrade to premium, so can you plz tell me that my case will be stopped by USCIS or they will proceed with my case in premium .
        As my employer told me that your process will go on and once hopefully my apporval will come, then I apply for visa in consulte in December


  28. I’m in the U.S. already with a H1B (expiring in September). My company just laid me off. Would another company be able to hire me within the next 60 days and get approval?

    Based on what I read above, I think the answer is yes?


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