US president Donald Trump hit the headlines all over the world with his tweet banning immigration
to US. This was followed by signing of an executive order Wednesday to “pause”; the issuance of
green cards for 60 days, describing it as an effort to protect Americans from competition from
foreign workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This announcement has created a lot of confusion and anxiety amongst our people in US as well has
here in India”, said Mr. Paresh Karia (a Chartered Accountant specializing in Immigration).
We have analysed the executive order and other announcements in this regard and attempted to
Who is Banned?
A major category of people who are banned is those seeking green cards through an
American family member- a parent, child (above 21 years) or a sibling.The order temporarily
bars green card holders from sponsoring a spouse or child for permanent residency.
Individuals who have applied for green card through other means, such as employment or
the EB-1 “extraordinary ability” category.
Who is Exempted ?
Firstly, to the great relief of many EB-5 investors, this category of immigrant visa has been
specifically exempted from the ban. This is because EB -5 visa requires you to investment
minimum US$900,000 and create at least 10 jobs, something which US, specially Donald
Trump needs desperately in the current situation, in an election year.
Spouses and children under 21 of American citizens can still get green cards.
Medical professionals, defined as "a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional"
working to combat COVID-19, are exempt, and may bring their spouses and unmarried kids
What about Business Visas?
The ban does not apply to business visas like E-2,L-1 etc. which allow entry into US for setting up
business. There are any people who would be looking at this type of visas to explore business
opportunities in US which in the wake of current economic crises will through up a lot of bargains.
What about people already in US?
This ban will not apply to any of existing visa holders – Immigrant as well as non-immigrant – EB-5,
E2, L1, H1-B, F1 etc.People with valid existing visa can continue to live, work, study and do business
How long will the ban last ?
The order will be effective from April 23, 2020 and terminates after 60 days. 10 days before the
expiry of this period, the administrationwill recommend the president whether he should continue
or alter it. However, considering that the US administration is in lock down and in case not processing any
immigration applications or documents, it means that this order will have little or no effect in real
terms. (the Author is a Chartered Accountant specializing in Immigration)