Canada: Canadians are Exempt from President Trump’s Proclamation Suspending Certain US Work Visas

On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak,” suspending the issuance of new L-1, H-1B, H-2B and J-1 nonimmigrant work visas for the remainder of 2020 to applicants who are currently outside the United States. These new restrictions took effect on June 24, 2020. The Proclamation is discussed in detail here.  

Canadian companies have been extremely concerned by these visa restrictions as they may substantially impact cross-border business activities. 

The good news is that late on June 24, 2020, the American Immigration Lawyers Association received confirmation from US Customs & Border Protection headquarters that Canadians are exempt from this latest Proclamation.

Bottom Line for Employers

When the Canada-United States border re-opens, and companies and their employees feel comfortable to resume travel to the United States, Canadian applicants can obtain L-1 work visas at US preflight inspection at major Canadian airports and land borders.  New H visas and J visas, as well as those already in progress, will also be processed.  This exemption does not apply to Canadian permanent residents or work permit holders

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.