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Trump Narrows Immigration Ban to 60 Day Suspension of Green Card Issuance

UPDATE: President Trump signed an Executive Order that suspends issuance of new green cards. The Executive Order will not impact all green card petitions, including:

  1. Anyone physically present in the US on April 22, 2020. U.S. residents with pending I-485s will be not be affected. If an individual was travelling, anyone with an Advance Parole is also exempted;
  2. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are exempted;
  3. Petitioners under the EB-5 foreign investor program; and
  4. Spouses and minor children of US citizens are exempted.

4/21/2020: President Trump has clarified that the immigration ban he announced Tuesday evening will apply only to issuance of new Green Cards (lawful permanent residence) for a period of 60 days.  An executive order has not yet been issued. 

It remains to be seen whether there will be any exceptions to this more modest suspension, such as for essential workers or for cases involving an applicant who is already physically present in the U.S.  The President stated that an Executive Order would be released today, however, the New York Times has reported that the Justice Department is still researching whether the executive branch has the authority to unilaterally invoke this type of suspension.

Though a 60 day ban on issuing Green Cards will be upsetting news for those near the end of the Green Card process, most Green Card applications require 6 months to several years to be adjudicated, depending on the category of filing and fluctuating government processing times.  A 60 day delay will not have an adverse legal impact on the vast majority, if any, of the Green Card cases currently under the management of FordMurray. Once the Executive Order is issued, we will provide further analysis and guidance for our clients.