President Donald Trump signed a proclamation today restricting immigrant visa issuance for nationals of six countries. The proclamation is entitled “Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry.”

Key points:

  • The proclamation will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Feb. 21, 2020.
  • Nationals of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and Nigeria will be restricted from obtaining immigrant visas (including employment-based, family-based, and diversity visas).
  • Nationals of Sudan and Tanzania will be restricted from obtaining immigrant visas under the diversity visa program only.
  • The proclamation does not apply to nonimmigrant (i.e., temporary) visas, such as visitor or business visas, or H-1B and other temporary worker categories.
  • The proclamation will not apply to individuals who have already been granted valid immigrant visas as of the effective date.
  • The proclamation includes exemptions and a waiver process.

BAL Analysis: Employers whose employees may be impacted are encouraged to consult with their BAL professional. The State Department and Department of Homeland Security may release guidance on how the proclamation will be implemented. BAL will continue to monitor these new restrictions and will report additional developments as they become available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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