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Possible Presidential Proclamation to Limit Entry of H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 Visa Holders

June 18, 2020

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Several reports, including one by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, indicate President Trump may issue a Proclamation limiting or prohibiting the entry into the United States of foreign nationals holding H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 visas.

H-1Bs are used to employ foreign nationals in specialty occupations (those positions normally requiring at least a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent for entry into the field). H-2Bs are for temporary, non-agricultural workers. L-1s are used to transfer managers/executives or workers with specialized knowledge from a foreign branch to a U.S. branch of the same company (for example, transferring from General Motors—France to General Motors—U.S.). J-1s are used by au pairs, U.S. training of foreign professionals and some non-U.S. doctors, among others.

The U.S. Chamber has reported the ban could last 120-180 days and that it would be followed by possible new regulations that would affect the staffing of U.S. companies, including:

  1. Employing foreign graduates of U.S. colleges and universities through Optional Practical Training (OPT);
  2. Elimination of work authorization for the spouses of H-1B visa holders with approved I-140 immigrant worker petitions (this has under consideration for more than a year);
  3. New and increased H-1B filing fees; and
  4. Expanding “joint-employment” liability to companies contracting with businesses that employ H-1B workers.

The Chamber indicated President Trump will announce these changes by Friday, June 19, 2020.

For more information about these and other immigration issues, please contact the author of this alert, James G. Aldrich, Jr., at jaldrich@dykema.com or 248-203-0583.

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