Over the last few years, immigration has become laden with obstacles, delays, and extra costs. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these obstacles have multiplied. Due to challenges like blanket travel restrictions and suspended USCIS services, both immigrants and nonimmigrants need as much support as they can get during this uncertain time. While much of the world has shut down, your need to reunite your family or secure an employment opportunity may now be more important than ever.
The Law Offices of Sholeh Iravantchi understands how high the stakes may be for you and your loved ones, which is why we are continuing to serve our clients and community during the pandemic. The most recent (and sweeping) policy that affects many of our clientele is Trump’s executive order, a 60-day immigration ban. We have put together the following FAQs to help you understand how this may affect your case. As always, please reach out to us with any questions or concerns—we are fully prepared to assist you.
When does the ban take effect?
The President signed the order on April 22, 2020, and the ban took effect on April 23rd at 11:59 PM EDT.
How long will the ban last?
The ban will last for 60 days (until June 21, 2020). However, the administration has said it may extend the ban depending on the circumstances at the end of the 60 days.
Why did the President sign this order?
The President described this ban as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus and limit international job competition. He wants American-born employees to be “first in line” as new jobs become available.
I’m applying for a temporary visa. Can I still come to the U.S.?
The 60-day immigration ban only affects green card applicants, not individuals applying for nonimmigrant (i.e. temporary) visas. However, you may be inhibited by closures or changed operations at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
I was already in the U.S. when the ban took effect. Can I still get a green card?
Yes, although you will need to contend with various other obstacles, such as suspended in-person services with USCIS.
What if I was outside of the U.S., but I had advance parole?
If you had advance parole or any other official travel authorization, the ban should not affect your case or your ability to reenter the U.S.
My case is currently pending with USCIS in the U.S. Will the ban prevent me from getting a green card?
No. The executive order states that those with pending cases with USCIS in the U.S. will not be affected by the ban.
My parent/spouse is a U.S. citizen. Can I still get a green card?
Yes. Children and spouses of U.S. citizens are exempt from the 60-day ban, as are prospective adoptees of U.S. citizens seeking IR-4 or IH-4 visas.
My parent/spouse is a lawful permanent resident. Can I still get a green card?
No. During the ban, only U.S. citizens can sponsor their children and spouses for permanent residency.
I’m seeking an asylum-based green card. Will the ban affect my case?
The executive order states that the ban does not affect asylum-seekers or refugees.
What if I’m immigrating to the U.S. as a doctor?
Physicians, nurses, medical researchers, and many other professions have been deemed essential in mitigating the effects of COVID-19. As a result, these professionals are exempt from the 60-day ban. If you are one of these professionals, your spouse and children can still come to the U.S. as well.
Are there any other exceptions to the ban?
You may be exempt from the ban if:
- You are applying for an immigrant investor (EB-5) visa
- You are (or your parent/spouse is) eligible for a Special Immigrant visa; or
- You are (or your parent/spouse is) a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
In very limited circumstances, the Secretaries of DHS and State may designate an individual’s immigration as beneficial for national interests or law enforcement objectives. These individuals will be exempt as well.
What do I do if I’m denied a green card?
You may be able to file an appeal, but you will need to retain qualified support as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Sholeh Iravantchi, we are equipped to handle even the most complex cases. If the executive order or similarly restrictive policies prevent you from accomplishing your immigration goals, we can do everything in our professional power to help you implement a solution.
For case-specific information or immediate assistance with your legal matter, call (714) 619-9303 or contact us online today.