Trump Ban on L1, H1B & J1 Visa Processing Lifted

A court ruling has partially lifted the ban on processing certain US work visa applications.

The Presidential Proclamation of June 22, 2020 temporarily suspended entry to the US for certain groups of nonimmigrant visa holders, primarily, H, L and J visa holders, and banned the processing of H1B, L1 and J1 visa applications made outside the US at an Embassy or Consular overseas.

But in a ruling on October 1, Judge Jeffery White of the Federal Court for the Northern District of California held that applications in the categories of L1, H1B and J1 visas from individuals and sponsors that are members of relevant trade groups should be progressed. Trade groups that qualify under the ruling include:

  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • The National Retail Federation
  • Technet
  • Intrax, Inc. which sponsors cultural exchange programs

Spouses and dependents are also able to benefit from the decision.

In deciding against the Trump Administration, the District Judge found the Presidential Proclamation from June went beyond the President’s authority. The Judge also questioned the Administration’s evaluation of the economic impact that sponsored visa workers may have on US unemployment.

The ruling took immediate effect and will apply pending any government appeal, additional court order or trial completion.

The decision is a positive step for workers and their employers in enabling operations and personnel mobility into the US during the pandemic.

While the ruling remains valid, applicants are able to make their applications under the H, L, or J visa classifications to the US authorities for processing. However, applicants should note that COVID-19 measures may still apply affecting local processing services and travel restrictions. Seeking professional advice will help ensure you are aware of the latest issues for your specific circumstances.

US immigration advice

NNU Immigration are specialist US attorneys based in London. For advice on US visas or immigration, including guidance on policy and rule developments, please contact us.

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.

Last updated: October 15, 2020