COVID-19 and Suspension of Immigration Order

The President has signed the executive order temporarily banning the issuance of immigrant visa green cards. The order suspends new immigrant visas for 60 days, according to the text, which was released today. The order applies to people who are currently outside the U.S. seeking entry and do not currently have a valid visa.

We are currently reviewing the order but please see below for the information we know now.

Exceptions to the Order

The policy will not apply to children or spouses of U.S.citizens who are outside the US. or to those coming to the country temporarily, such as agricultural workers. Members of the US military are also exempted from the order.

The order will apply, based on our interpretation of the text, to spouses and children of lawful permanent residents. As well as fiance’s, parents, adult children, and siblings of U.S. Citizens.

If the applicant is already in the United States

Those who are applying for adjustment of status are not affected by the order, your cases will be processed as per normal protocol. Although we are expecting delays due to COVID-19 related USCIS closures.

If you do not fall under the exceptions and your family member is aboard and the petition is pending or you will be filing a petition soon

The order is temporary and has been issued for 60 days, although it can be extended, the processing times for these applications are much longer than the time frame we anticipate this order will remain in place. Therefore, we advise that you proceed with filing your application as planned so that you do not delay the processing time further.

If your application is already pending we do not know that this will affect your processing time since the consulate is closed currently and visa processing is temporarily halted at this time. Hopefully, this will not impact your processing time for interviews to be scheduled any further than the COVID-19 closures. The national visa center is still accepting documents and we will proceed with NVC processing in the meantime.

If you have filed or will be filing a Fiance Visa application

Non-immigrant visas are not subject to the ban. Typically this applies to temporary visas, such as tourist or work visas. However, even though the K-1 recipient’s purpose is to permanently immigrate to the U.S., the Department of State qualifies the K-1 Visa under the non-immigrant visa category. This means, as of now, the K-1 visa is not subject to the ban. The order also states that in 30 days nonimmigrant visas under the ban will be re-evaluated so this may be updated in the next 30 days.

If your green card was recently approved and you are awaiting your card in the mail

We do not anticipate that this order will have any effect on the issuance of your green card.

If you are a resident seeking to remove the condition on your 2-year green card

We do not anticipate that this order will have any effect on the issuance of your green card.

What’s Next?

If the order is legally challenged and an injunction is ordered halting its implementation we will be letting you know.

We are saddened by this news for our clients and all those who will be affected and separated from their loved ones.

On a personal note, I have to say over the last three years, nothing surprises me anymore with this administration’s actions in regard to immigration policies. We will continue to file as many applications as possible. Our goal is that you all become citizens one day, you exercise your right to vote to prevent this from happening in the future again and hopefully, reverse the damage that has been done by this administration to an already broken immigration system.

Please let us know if you have any questions.