As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, tighter restrictions on immigration to the United States will impact your ability to get a green card or visa.
The United States continues to experience impacts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As cases have slowly declined, businesses and government agencies are reopening, but many are operating under reduced hours and offer only basic services. Immigration continues to be impacted, as well, with recent policies put in place making it difficult if not impossible for certain people to obtain green cards or visas. As experienced Nashville immigration attorneys, we want you to be aware of the latest changes and how they could potentially impact you and your loved ones.
Suspension of Immigration into US Due to COVID-19
On April 23, 2020, a proclamation from President Donald Trump went into effect. As a result of COVID-19, much immigration into the United States was suspended and immigrants were temporarily banned from receiving green cards or visas. The move is just one of dozens of immigration-related actions taken by the U.S. over the past few months, ostensibly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. While the administration claims these actions are needed to reduce the spread of cases, they also reflect general anti-immigration attitudes among current administration members.
The recent Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of immigrants to the U.S. is a temporary measure. It is set to expire at the end of 2020. Currently, those impacted include:
- Spouses and children of immigrants currently holding a visa or green card who wish to enter the country;
- Immigrating spouses and children of lawful U.S. residents;
- Those who currently have a visa pending;
- Those seeking a visa application (with certain important exceptions, such as for the children and spouses of U.S. citizens).
For the time being, immigrants in the above groups are largely prohibited from entering the United States. However, there are important exceptions to each of these bans, and it is important to consult with an immigration attorney who may be able to determine if a particular case falls within an exception to a ban.
Immigrants Who May Obtain Green Cards and Visas
Those who remain able to obtain immigrant (i.e., permanent, green card) visas at consulates and embassies include spouses and children of United States citizens. If you are a current green card or visa holder, you may be able to apply to have your status extended, provided you are already in the country. Furthermore, the administration’s policy does not affect applications for adjustment of status (applications for permanent residence filed within the United States). Check with our attorneys or your local immigration office.
On June 4, 2020, United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed non-emergency, face to face services at certain locations. Acceptance and processing of visa and applications will resume at a later date, depending on any additional proclamations issued.
Our Nashville Immigration Attorneys are Here to Help
This is a confusing and frightening time for many immigrants. At Ozment Law, PLC, our Nashville immigration attorneys are here to help. To discuss the options in your case, call or contact our office online to request a consultation today.