On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued Proclamation 10052, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak.” This took effect on June 24, 2020 and suspended “entry into the United States of any alien seeking entry pursuant to any of the following nonimmigrant visas” until December 31, 2020, subject to section 3 of the proclamation:
- an H-1B or H-2B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;
- a J visa, to the extent the alien is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;
- an L visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien
Section 3 of the Proclamation established that this entry bar applies only to an individual who:
- is outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation;
- does not have a nonimmigrant visa, of any of the classifications specified in section 2 of this proclamation and pursuant to which the alien is seeking entry, that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and
- does not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.
On October 1, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction in the case National Association of Manufacturers, et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al which blocked the enforcement of Proclamation 10052, but that injunction is limited to the plaintiffs in the case only, which includes the National Association of Manufactures (NAM), the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, the National Retail Federation, Technet, and Intrax, Inc.
Therefore, any J-1, H-1B, H-2B, or L-1 visa applicant who is either sponsored (as an exchange visitor) by, petitioned by, or whose petitioner is a member of, one of the above named organizations is no longer subject to PP 10052’s entry restrictions and can apply for their visas.
H-1B, H-2B, and L-1 Visa Applications: Applicants must be prepared to demonstrate that a U.S. employer/petitioner is a named plaintiff or member of any of the named plaintiff associations. Applicants may provide evidence directly to the consular officer at the time of visa interview. Applicants may provide to a consular officer a letter issued by one of the named plaintiffs to the applicant’s petitioner attesting that the petitioner is a member in good standing of one of the named plaintiff associations. Consular officers will take steps to independently verify that the petitioner or sponsor is indeed a member of one of the plaintiff associations. Once the consular officer is able to confirm membership, they will be able to process the visa application to conclusion without regard to PP 10052.
Companies with H-1B, H-2B, and L-1 workers impacted by the proclamation should consider joining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, if they have not already done so, to be included in the group of those eligible to apply for their visas. Depending on the size and type of employer, the membership fee for the U.S. Chamber may be as little as $250.
 Many consular sections at U.S. consular posts around the world are not operating at full capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and unique in-country conditions. Accordingly, such Posts with reduced visa services may not be able to routinely process H, L, or J visa applications. However, at those posts, H, L, and J visa applicants may request emergency appointments following the guidance provided on the consular posts’ websites. It should be noted that Department of State does not consider PP 10052 as a factor when reviewing requests for emergency appointments.