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June 22 Proclamation Suspending Admission of H-1B, H-2B, L and Certain J Nonimmigrants Does Not Apply to Canadians

25 Jun

On June 22, President Trump issued a proclamation further extending and expanding the suspension of admission of certain immigrants to the United States through December 31, 2020. It also expanded the scope of the suspension to include nonimmigrants seeking entry in H-1B, H-2B, or status, as well as individuals seeking entry in J status to participate in certain exchange programs. The suspension applies to those who were outside the United States on June 24 without a valid visa. 

Since the proclamation, a number of questions have emerged regarding how the proclamation will be implemented and applied in different circumstances. One lingering question was the applicability to Canadian citizens. 

Since the effective date of the proclamation, some Canadians have successfully entered the United States in the affected classifications, and according to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has confirmed that the proclamation does not apply to visa-exempt Canadians. Accordingly, Canadian citizens who were not physically present in the United States when the new proclamation went into effect on June 24 may still apply for admission in H-1B, H-2B, L, and J nonimmigrant status so long as they meet all requirements for admission in the requested status. 

Although Canadians may continue to seek admission to the United States, even in H-1B, H-2B, L and J nonimmigrant status, CBP has recently confirmed that it will no longer adjudicate inadmissibility waiver applications at CBP preclearance stations at airports in Canada. Accordingly, applicants who require an inadmissibility wavier will need to submit their applications at designated ports of entry or via the Admissibility Review Office in connection with a visa application at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa or a U.S. consular post.