On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed Proclamation 10052, suspending four visa categories of substantial importance to US companies—H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and certain J-1 visas—for the rest of the calendar year and laid the groundwork for regulatory changes to transform when and how employers can sponsor foreign workers to work in the United States. For a full discussion of the Proclamation, please see our blog post, Trump Order Suspends Major Visa Categories, Including H-1B and L-1, Through the End of the Calendar Year, With Rulemaking Restrictions to Follow.

As initially issued, the Proclamation applies to any alien who:

(i)    is outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation [June 24, 2020];

(ii)   does not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and

(iii)  does not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.

On June 29, 2020, the White House issued an amendment to Proclamation 10052, stating:

Section 3(a)(ii) is amended to read as follows:

“(ii)   does not have a nonimmigrant visa, of any of the classifications specified in section 2 of this proclamation and pursuant to which the alien is seeking entry, that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and”

The June 29, 2020 amendment is intended to clarify that the exception implicit in Section 3(a)(ii) of Proclamation 10052, applying to any alien with a nonimmigrant visa on June 24, 2020, applies only to individuals with a valid H, J, or L visa who seek admission to the United States in one of those restricted categories. For example, an individual outside the United States who wishes to enter the United States in H-1B status who had a valid B-2 visa but not a valid H-1B visa is subject to the proclamation and would not be eligible to apply for an H-1B visa.