On March 31, 2021, President Trump's Proclamation 10052 expired. This proclamation temporarily suspended the issuance of certain employment-based non-immigrant visas.
These included the following visas:
H-1B: grants temporary employment for foreign workers in specialty occupations;
H-2B: grants employment for non-agricultural foreign workers who provide services for a limited time based on their employer's seasonal/temporary needs;
J: permits participation in exchange programs (restricted categories include intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel programs); and
L: permits intracompany transferees (in managerial or executive positions) or persons with specialized knowledge, employed by foreign companies, to work at their U.S. offices
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has advised that visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview "will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance."
Visa applicants who were previously denied a visa under PP 10052 will be allowed to reapply (with a new filing fee).
DOS reminded stakeholders that posts are currently prioritizing services for U.S citizens, as well as mission-critical and emergency services, in line with DOS’s COVID-19 safety protocols. Additionally, DOS has reported that as post-specific conditions improve, it will provide additional services, culminating in the eventual complete resumption of routine visa services.
Visa applicants are encouraged to consult the website of the U.S. post nearest to them to determine its current level of operations.
While the expiration of PP 10052 provides hope for persons with a vested interest in traveling to the U.S., it is important to remain attentive to the travel restrictions outlined in other COVID-era presidential proclamations.
One such proclamation is PP 10143, which restricts travel from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil and South Africa.
Additionally, since U.S. posts have offered limited services in the last year, there is a considerable backlog to clear.
Visa applicants should be mindful of these sober realities as they seek to obtain their travel documents.
Presidential Proclamation 10052
Presidential Proclamation 10052 was issued to protect the U.S. labor market during its economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19. In response to the alarming U.S. unemployment rate, President Trump suspended the entry of non-immigrant workers to avoid displacing and disadvantaging U.S. workers vis-à-vis the job market.
PP 10052 suspended the entry of foreign nationals who, on the date the proclamation went into effect:
Were outside of the U.S.;
Did not possess a valid non-immigrant visa; and
Did not possess a valid travel document (regardless of whether such a document was obtained after the proclamation went into effect).
However, the proclamation did not apply to foreign workers already present in the U.S.
Boosting the U.S. Economy
The expiration of PP 10052 has been celebrated by many U.S. companies, particularly in the tech industry, who have been denied access to foreign labor talent for several months.
The ban on employment visas has created significant losses for companies who could not benefit from the income generated by their hopeful hires stranded abroad. Thousands of applicants were left in limbo as they could not obtain visas.
With PP 10052 gone, there is hope for a broader, more diverse talent pool that can increase the productivity and profitability of the U.S. market.
If you would like to apply for an employment visa or discuss another immigration matter, contact us here.
We assist countless foreign nationals and we will be happy to personally assist you with your application as well. Send us an E-mail or call us at (888)354-6257. For reasons on why you should consult an immigration attorney whenever you have an immigration issue, see our page titled: Reasons Why it is Vital to Use an Immigration Lawyer.