June 26

Trump Immigration Ban: Your Questions Answered on H-1B, L-1, J-1 Visa Bans

How will the recent Trump immigration ban affect you? OnlineVisas’ CEO Jon Velie answers your questions around the President’s recent Executive Order of June 22, 2020 temporarily banning certain non-immigrant U.S. visas (in particular H-1B, L-1, & J-1 visas).

17 Questions about Trump’s immigration ban answered in the video

Please make sure you watch the video above to hear the full detail in Jon’s answers. Questions and answers are listed below, with timestamps.

Does the H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 ban apply to extensions, amendments and change of status after the Trump immigration ban? (1:35)

No, H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 visa holders currently inside the United States will remain eligible to file for the change of status, transfer or extension (where applicable). 

This is because the President of the United States is limited to the provisions of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, the INA. Specific clauses in the INA limit the President’s powers to deal with immigration outside of the United States.

Can I re-enter the United States if I am out of the country now, but my visa has been stamped into my passport? (2:44)

Yes, if the visa has already been stamped in your passport, you should be able to enter the country. 

Can I enter the U.S. if I have had my H-1B, H-2B, L-1, or J-1 visa approved but not yet stamped by the Consulate? (3:02)

No, these are exactly the people that are precluded from entering the U.S. This is very frustrating because many people could not get into the consulates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can I change from H-4 to an H-1B after the Trump immigration ban? (3:45)

Yes, you can file for a change of status from an H-4 to an H-1B. The H-4 is for a spouse of an H-1B visa holder. If the H-4 gets a job, they may transfer to an H-1B visa. However, the H-1B lottery has come to an end, and there are no H-1B visas available except for certain university positions right now.

Can I change from a visitor (B1) visa to an H-1B, H-2B, L-1, or J-1 visa after the Trump immigration ban? (4:20)

Yes, it is permissible under the law to enter the U.S. on a visitor visa then file for a change of status to another visa type. You may run into some problems entering the United States if immigration suspects that this is what you’re going to do.

Can I enter the United States on a visitor visa? (4:32)

Yes, you can enter the U.S. on a visitor visa after the ban.

What are the visas with which I can still enter the U.S. after the Trump immigration ban? (4:48)

Visa Types Eligible for Entry into the U.S.

  • A1 – Diplomats and foreign government officials 
  • A2 – Foreign military personnel stationed in the U.S.
  • B1 – Business Visitors: Athletes, amateurs, professionals, and people competing for prize money only. Domestic employees or nannies are also able to enter but must be accompanied by a foreign national employer.
  • B2 – Visitor Visa: Tourism, vacation, pleasure and medical treatment visitors
  • BCC – Border Crossing Card from Mexico
  • C – Transiting in the United States
  • D – Crew members serving aboard a sea vessel or aircraft with the U.S.
  • E1 – Treaty Traders
  • E2 – Treaty investors and the treaty investor dependent workers or essential employees
  • E3 – Australian Professional Workers (like the H-1B for all practical purposes but was not singled out and excluded under this ban.) 
  • F1 – Students, academic and language students (including OPT)
    F2 – Student dependents
  • G1 through G5 – International organization officials and employees
  • H-1C – Nurses traveling to areas short of healthcare professionals.
  • H-2A and H-2C– Temporary seasonal workers for agriculture (H-2B cannot) 
  • H3 – Training in a program, not primarily for employment
  • I – Information media representatives, media and journalist
  • J – Certain Exchange Visitors (see section below)
  • K1 – Fiances
  • M1 – Students under vocational designation
    M2 – Student dependents of M1
  • NATO-1 through 6 – NATO officials and employees
  • O1 – Extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business, and athletics
  • P1, P-1B and P3: Athletes, artists, and entertainers
  • Q – Exchange Visitors
  • R – Religious workers
  • T1 – Victims of human trafficking
  • T.N. and T.D. – NAFTA professional workers from Mexico and Canada
  • U1 – Victims of criminal activity
  • Physicians under the A1 and the H-1B physicians can enter if it’s COVID related.

Which J-1 visa types can enter the U.S., and which ones cannot under Trump’s ban? (12:08)

There are 15 J-1 visa types, and the ban applies to the following:  

Intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, and the summer work travel program participants.

J-1 visas that can enter the U.S.:

College and university students, government visitor, international visitor, physician, professor, research scholar, secondary school student, short term scholar, and specialist. 

All of the above J-1 programs are still available for entering the United States. Every J-1 is still available if you’re in the United States, and you want 

to change programs.

If I am on an ESTA visa waiver, can I change to or enter the U.S. on an H-1B, H-2B, L-1, or J-1 visa? (8:33)

No, the ESTA cannot be extended except for COVID-19 situations and for a very limited time. You cannot change from the ESTA to an H-1B, H-2B, L-1 or J-1, nor leave on the ESTA and come back in under one of those visas.

Does the Trump immigration ban impact the H-1B lottery for those selected for 2020? (9:02)

Yes, those that are currently outside of the country trying to enter after they have their H-1B visa approved cannot enter unless they’re in one of the exempted jobs. 

There are a few exempt jobs: doctors and registered nurses working in hospitals dealing with COVID and some national interest jobs.

My spouse is an H-1B visa holder. Can I enter the U.S. on an H-4 visa after the ban? (9:45)

No, if you’re outside of the country, you cannot enter on an H-4 after the ban.

Does the ban remove Employment Authorization for H-4 visa holders? (9:53)
No, the ban does not impact Employment Authorization for H-4 visa holders inside the United States.  

We thought we would see the EAD be taken away from both OPT and H-4, but fortunately, that did not happen in this ban.

Can I enter the U.S. on an F-1 OPT (Optional Practical Training) after the Trump immigration ban? (10:10)

Yes, you can enter the U.S. with an F-1 visa, and the ban does not take away the ability to work on an OPT EAD card.

Can I still work on an OPT after the Trump Immigration Ban? (10:20)

Yes, you can continue to work on an OPT after the Trump Immigration Ban.

Does the ban prevent marriages to U.S. citizens (i.e., marriage-based green cards)? (10:29)

No, the ban does not prevent marriage-based green cards. 

The April 2020 Suspension of Entry for those applying for an immigrant visa (green card) at a U.S. Consulate abroad was extended under this ban but expressly excluded marriage-based green cards. However, other family-based green-cards are not exempt.

How long is the Trump immigration ban going to last? (10:54)

Trump’s immigration ban is slated to expire on 12/31/2020. The last day of the year 2020 is the last day of this ban, but there is a possibility of renewal.

Can you adjust status from a visa to a green card after the ban? (11:10)

Yes, you can adjust your status from a visa to green card if you are currently in the U.S. 

The April 2020 Suspension of Entry was extended for those applying for an immigrant visa (green card) at a U.S. consulate abroad, however there are some exceptions.

You can enter the U.S. on the:

  •  EB2 National Interest Waiver; and 
  •  the EB5 immigrant Investor Visa

    You cannot enter the U.S. on the: 

  • EB1 for extraordinary ability, multinational executives, outstanding researchers 
  • EB2 and EB3 under the PERM (Labor Certification Process)

If you’re in the United States, you can file for the above visas and change or adjust your status.

What may be included in the requested regulations the Trump immigration ban asked of the U.S. agencies? (12:57)

President Trump asked the U.S. agencies to change create and change regulations. The President most likely asked other agencies to step-in because he is limited by the INA, which we talked about earlier. The proclamation is rather short and we expect more changes in the near future. 

Further changes we are watching for:

– Increase in filing fees
– Increase in prevailing wage that may also be added to the L visa

– Recruitment of U.S. workers mandate before hiring H-1B

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