Louisiana Immigration Law Firm

Ashley Dees LLC is now Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Please visit www.bal.com for more information.

Everything You Need to Know About the 60-Day Immigration Ban

The coronavirus pandemic requires an immediate and drastic response. The CDC and other public health organizations recommend stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and routine hand washing, but the U.S. federal government has focused its efforts on curbing immigration instead.

These efforts have included:

The latest of these policies is an executive order, signed by President Trump on April 22nd. Taking effect at 11:59 PM EDT on April 23rd, the order bans both family-based and employment-based immigration for 60 days.

Essentially, you cannot obtain a green card during this ban if, when the ban took effect, you were not in the U.S. and did not already have a valid green card and travel document.

While the ban halts most green card issuances, it doesn’t affect nonimmigrants. If you are applying for (or already received) a nonimmigrant visa, you won’t need to worry about how the latest executive order will affect you.

Additionally, you are exempt from the 60-day ban if you are:

  • A refugee/asylum seeker
  • The child (under 21), prospective adoptee, or spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • An EB-5 visa applicant
  • A member of the U.S. Armed Forces (or their child/spouse)
  • A U.S. government employee or Afghan/Iraqi translator and eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa

You might also be exempt from the ban if you significantly benefit the U.S. For example, individuals seeking immigrant visas to work in the U.S. as medical professionals or researchers are exempt, as are any professionals deemed essential for combating COVID-19 or advancing other national interests. Ultimately, the adjudicating officer will use their discretion to determine whether you are exempt from the ban.

The reasoning behind this executive order is two-fold: slowing the spread of COVID-19 and putting Americans “first in line” for jobs. Critics have been quick to expose the flaws in this reasoning—the U.S. now leads the world in COVID-19 cases, and employment-based immigration is critical for U.S. employers who can’t find qualified U.S. employees for hard-to-fill positions.

Regardless, the administration will assess the situation at the end of the ban to determine whether they want to extend it. In the meantime, we urge you to get in touch with qualified professionals to help overcome unexpected delays in your immigration process.

Here for You When You Need Us Most

At Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, we believe you should have a straightforward path toward your immigration goals, and it is our job to clear the way. We have handled thousands of cases, and we put this level of experience to work for every client we assist. If you’re looking for compassionate counsel and tenacious representation, we are the legal team you need.

Let us help you navigate the immigration system during COVID-19. Call (337) 214-0670 or contact us online for the support you deserve today.