Work Visas and COVID
As per USCIS notice, Proclamation 10014 suspends visa issuances for H-1B, H-2B, J, and L visas until December 31, 2020. The remaining work visa categories are not impacted by the existing Presidential Proclamations. For further information to the suspension of routing visa services obtaining a counselar appointment is currently difficult.Diversity Visa Lottery
A recent federal court ruling has allowed DV-2020 visa lottery winners to apply and obtain their immigrant visas. Due to court order, the government cannot suspend the issuance of visas for the Diversity Visa lottery despite the Coronavirus pandemic and various Proclamations. The court orders protecting DV winners are temporary and are set in place currently to prevent further injury to DV-2020 lottery winners. However, court orders do not grant relief to non-DV immigrant visa applicants.National Interest Exceptions
On August 12, 2020 the State Department issued guidance relating to the National Interest Exception for foreign workers entering the U.S. to perform temporary labor. The National Interest guidelines allow certain applicants to bypass the Proclamations including certain H-1B, H-2B, J, and L visa applicants whose entry is in the “national interest.” For further information please refer to the DOS webpage here.
The Sapochnick Law Firm will continue to monitor developments with respect to policy changes and will post updates on VisaLawyerBlog and in the firm’s Coronavirus Resource Center as additional information becomes available.