Trump signs Executive Order Suspending Immigration: What You Need to Know

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick goes over each section of President Trump’s new executive order, “Proclamation Suspending the Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” which suspends and limits the immigration of certain types of aliens for a 60-day period beginning on April 23, 2020.

Keep on watching for more information.


Who is impacted by the Executive order?

The suspension applies to individuals who, as of April 23, are:

(1) outside of the United States

(2) do not have an immigrant visa

(3) do not have official travel documents other than visas and

(4) are not otherwise exempted from the Proclamation.

Who will enforce the Executive Order?

The President’s executive order will be enforced by U.S. Consulates worldwide beginning 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020. Consular officials will have the discretion to determine whether an immigrant is eligible to receive a visa and whether they are exempt from the order.

Who is exempt from the Executive Order (not impacted)?

  • Lawful Permanent Residents of the U.S.;
  • Aliens who are the spouses of U.S. Citizens;
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and any spouse and child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • Aliens under 21 years of age who are children of United States Citizens and prospective adoptees;
  • Aliens seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional;
  • Aliens seeking to enter the U.S. to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19;
  • Any spouse any unmarried child under 21 years of age of any such alien who is accompanying or following to join the alien;
  • Any alien applying for a visa pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program;
  • Aliens whose entry furthers important United States law enforcement objectives;

  • Any alien seeking entry pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, and any spouse and child of any such individual;
    • SI: Certain aliens employed by the U.S. Government in Iraq or Afghanistan as translators or interpreters
    • SQ: Certain Iraqis or Afghans employed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government
  • Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest of the United States (national interest waivers);
  • Aliens seeking entry for asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.


Q: Does the order apply to pending adjustment of status applications?

No. Because the executive order does not specifically address pending adjustment of status cases and does not say that adjustment of status applications will be stopped, nor that people will be precluded from filing adjustment of status cases, it is our interpretation that AOS applicants will not be impacted.

Remember that the order specifically states that it applies only to aliens who are outside of the United States. Applicants for adjustment of status are inside the United States, so they will not be impacted by the order.

Q: Are visas already issued/approved impacted by the order?

No. The proclamation is not retroactive. It does not apply to visas that were issued/approved before April 23rd.

Q: Can AOS or non-immigrant visas be impacted in the future?

It is possible. The President will review the situation in 30 days and decide whether to extend the executive order or issue a new order.

Q: Aren’t Consulates closed anyway?

Yes. The order has little practical effect because even without the order, U.S. Consulates worldwide remain closed and will likely remain closed for at least the next 60 days (when the order is in effect).

Q: Are VAWA self-petitioners affected by the order?

VAWA self-petitioners residing in the United States are not affected. However, VAWA self-petitioners applying through the U.S. Consulate are affected.

Q: Are spouses of US Citizens affected?

No. Spouses and children of US Citizens under age 21 are exempt from the order. This means that U.S. Citizens will be able to continue to immigrate spouses and children under age 21 either via Consular processing or adjustment of status.

Q: Are employment-based green cards affected?

EB-5 investors, aliens whose immigrant petition is in the national interest, and physicians, nurses, healthcare professionals, and medical researchers, seeking immigrant visas are exempt from the order.

Additionally, the suspension does not apply to you if the following are not true.

(1) You are an alien outside of the United States

(2) You do not have an immigrant visa

(3) You do not have official travel documents other than visas and

Q: When does the order start?

11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020.

Q: When does the order end?

June 22, 2020 (60 days from its effective date of April 23rd) and may be continued as necessary.

Q: Can the order be blocked by court order?

Yes. As you may remember, many of Trump’s previous executive orders on immigration were blocked by several courts. We believe that this lawsuit will be challenged in court and will eventually be blocked.

Q: Where can I find more information about this order?

For more information about the order please read our blog post here.

Read the complete copy of the executive order here.

NEW Facebook Group

We have created a new facebook group to address the impact of the executive order and other changing developments related to COVID-19. Follow us there.

For more COVID 19 related immigration updates please visit our Immigration and COVID-19 Resource Center here. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these updates please contact us at or call our office at 619-819-9204 for a consultation.

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