US immigration ban – Who is affected?

Immigration stop, entry ban, executive order – more and more US regulations are coming into force and cause general uncertainty, especially among participants and winners of the Green Card Lottery. We try to shed light on the situation.

Reasons for the immigration ban

On April 22, 2020, immigration to the United States was suspended for the first time by the US authorities for 60 days. This was due to the ongoing corona pandemic and the resulting increase in unemployment.

Officially, President Donald Trump justified this hotly debated decision by arguing that it would lead to a recovery of the US labor market. However, large American companies do not share this view.

What's new?

On June 22, 2020 Trump signed a new decree that extends the immigration ban, which would have expired on that date, until December 31, 2020 and adds a halt on non-immigrant visas. In addition to immigration visas, various work visas are now also affected. This new regulation comes into force on 24 June.

Subsequently, it will be examined in 30-day and then 60-day steps to determine whether the regulation will be adjusted again.

Image of US President Trump

Immigration ban vs. entry ban

It is important to clarify the terminology beforehand: the entry ban continues to apply for an unlimited period of time, completely independently of the new regulation. This ban, also known as "Travel Ban", means that currently no foreigners - except Green Card holders (!) - are allowed to enter the USA if they have been in a Schengen country, Great Britain, Brazil or China in the last 14 days.

So if you are currently staying in a country other than those mentioned or have enough time to spend the 14 days immediately before your flight to the USA in a third country (many USA travellers currently choose Mexico), you can still enter the USA with an ESTA as a tourist without any problems. Moreover, although the entry ban is "unlimited", it will in all probability be lifted much earlier than the new immigration stop.

The new "Immigration Ban", on the other hand, basically affects everyone worldwide who does not want to enter as a tourist, but who intended to apply for a Green Card or a specific work visa. In this case, even a detour via another country will not help. The effects of the new regulation for USA fans willing to emigrate will be explained below.

Who is affected by the immigration ban?

From 24 June 2020, the immigration ban will affect not only the new issuance of immigration visas but also the issuance of certain work visas:

Visa Target group Category
H-1B Visa Specialized experts Work Visa
H-2B Visa Temporary Nonagricultural Workers Work Visa
L-Visa Intracompany transferee  Work Visa
J-Visa Interns, trainees, exchange program participants, au pairs  Student Visa
EB-1-4 Visa Employment-based Green Cards Immigrant Visa
Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery winners Immigrant Visa

What are the exceptions?

The following persons, among others, are still not affected by the official proclamation of the US authorities:

  • Green Card applicants who are in the USA and have applied for a status adjustment
  • Green Card holders inside and outside the USA
  • Applicants for an Investors Green Card
  • People who are married to a US citizen and apply for a Green Card through them
  • People whose biological children are unmarried US citizens under 21 years of age
  • People who are of national interest, such as health care professionals, food workers, etc.

Impacts for DV-2022 participants

Participants of this year's Green Card Lottery DV-2022 do not have to worry, as the regulation does not affect the implementation of the DV program in October. President Trump may impose entry bans and make limited changes to the conditions of entry. However, last year's passport regulation, for example, resulted in a lower number of participants, but at the same time it also improved the chances of winning. We recently congratulated more than twice as many winners as last year!

However, he cannot suspend or even abolish the lottery by decree!

It can be assumed that the situation will have eased again by the time the results are announced in May 2021, so that if you win, you should certainly be able to apply for your Green Card without any problems.

In our view, the new decree will lead to a further decline in the number of participants in the lottery and, as a result, to steadily increasing chances of winning!

Impacts for DV-2021 winners

Should you have been one of the numerous winners of the DV-2021 at the beginning of June 2020, you can also rest assured. It is possible that the first interview appointments at the consulate could now take place in January instead of October. In the past years, however, the majority of consulate appointments have also only taken place between January and September. You will therefore still have enough time for the interview at the consulate and the activation trip.

The Democrats have already announced that if they win the elections in November, they will be the first to overturn the immigration ban. But perhaps it could be done even faster: Since American corporations fear that the regulation will have rather negative effects on the US economy, as previously required skilled workers from other countries will no longer be available, it can be assumed that this executive order will be challenged promptly and perhaps even lifted before December.

Should you need help with the further process, you are welcome to make use of our professional winner service. Our Green Card experts will then assist you in the process and keep you regularly informed. We highly recommend a prompt processing, also and especially under the latest developments.

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Impacts for DV-2020 winners

If you are a winner of the DV-2020 and have not yet received an interview appointment at the US Consulate, unfortunately things look worse. In these cases, it will probably not be possible to complete the process successfully. According to US law, the immigrant visa may only be issued until the end of the tax year 2020 - i.e. September 30, 2020.

Due to the extension of the immigration ban, this should no longer be possible, so that you honestly have only a very small chance of hoping that a possible lawsuit against this regulation will be granted within the next days or weeks.

But even if it doesn't work out this time, we would like to advise all DV-2020 winners not to give up their dream! It is not impossible to win the lottery a second time! Every year we have winners who have been lucky enough to win the lottery twice! Of course, those of our customers who miss their interview appointment just because of this unfortunate situation will participate in the next lottery for free!

Does this affect this year's Green Card Lottery?

No! Even though the entry ban has now been extended until the end of the year, it has no effect on this year's Green Card Lottery!

If you would like to participate with The American Dream, you can put your Green Card ticket in the pool right now and we guarantee that it will be submitted to the US authorities in due form and time.

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