President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation on April 22, 2020 suspending visa issuance to certain immigrant categories initially for 60 days, and then extended until December 31, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact on the U.S. labor market. This Proclamation does not impact beneficiaries who were present in the United States on April 23, 2020, possessed a valid immigrant visa on April 23, 2020, or who applied for entry to the U.S. on a valid travel document.
In addition, the Proclamation also exempts the following additional individuals: lawful permanent residents; physicians, nurses, and health professionals working to alleviate the impact of COVID-19; EB-5 investors; spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens; individuals who will further U.S. law enforcement objectives; members of U.S. armed forces and their families; SI and SQ Special immigrants; and those whose entry would be deemed “in the national interest”. Additionally, on June 22, 2020, another proclamation was issued permitting children who will age out while the initial proclamation is in effect to qualify for a national interest exception. This age-out exception is available to those who will age out while the proclamation remains in effect, or within two weeks thereafter (January 15, 2021), and who are not eligible for protection under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). Moreover, on September 4, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted preliminary relief in Gomez, et al., v. Trump, et al., ordering the Department of State to undertake good-faith efforts to expeditiously process, adjudicate, and reissue visas for DV-2020 diversity visa applicants and their beneficiaries by the September 30, 2020 deadline.
Although many consular offices remain closed for routine visa matters, those who qualify for an exception, also qualify as “mission critical”, thereby permitting them to obtain a visa appointment despite the status of the consular office. Those who qualify for an exception to the Proclamation should contact their local Consulate post to request that their case be scheduled for an interview, demonstrating that they are eligible for an exception. The lawyers at NPZ Law Group, P.C. continue to be successful in obtaining these appointments on behalf of clients who are eligible for exceptions to the Proclamation.
Furthermore, it is important to note that although an individual may qualify for an exception to the Proclamation, if he/she has been present in a country subject to a COVID-19 health-related ban within the past 14 days, they will also need to establish an exception under that ban in order to receive the immigrant visa. These countries include China, Iran, Schengen Area countries, Ireland, UK, and Brazil.
The lawyers at NPZ Law Group, P.C. remain vigilant and attentive to the needs of clients and prospective clients and will provide updates regarding new proposals as they become available. To obtain more information regarding the Proclamation, or to schedule a consultation with any of the Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, please feel free to call the Firm at 201-670-0006. Our main office is in Ridgewood, New Jersey. We also have an office located in Raritan, New Jersey, and New York City. NPZ also maintains affiliated offices in India and in Canada. For more information about our Firm’s immigration and nationality law practice, please feel free to visit our website at https://www.visaserve.com or to send us an e-mail at email@example.com