Executive Orders Ban New Foreign Workers; Align Federal Contracting Practices

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June 22, 2020 and August 3, 2020

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On June 22, 2020, the Trump Administration issued an Executive Order banning travel and admission of foreign nationals into the U.S. under certain nonimmigrant visa categories. Individuals who are already lawfully present in the United States prior to the implementation of the Order are not affected by this ban, nor individuals who hold a currently valid nonimmigrant visa.

Most U.S. embassies and consulates have already suspended routine visa services and restricted entry points into the U.S.  The effects of this travel ban will be most apparent once consulates reopen and resume issuing non-immigrant visas, as individuals abroad seeking H-1B, H-2B or H-4 visas (temporary workers), J visas (exchange visitors participating in education or certain child care industries), or L visas (intracompany transfers) will have visa applications refused.

The travel ban does not specify how extensions or changing of nonimmigrant status for individuals already present in the U.S. will be handled.  For example, an employer may still be able to file a petition to hire an H-1B worker presently working at another employer.

On August 3, 2020, another Executive Order was issued to align with the June 22nd Order, to support hiring U.S. citizens and green card holders. Specifically, the Order requires federal agencies to review 2018 and 2019 federal contracts to determine if they used temporary foreign labor or offshore labor for jobs that were once in the U.S., and whether doing so impacted opportunities for U.S. workers as well as any potential effects on national security. Federal agencies must issue a report of findings within 120 days to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for review and who may recommend changes and presidential action if deemed necessary. There was also a call to action for the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security to protect United States workers from any adverse effects on wages and working conditions caused by the employment of H-1B visa holders within 45 days of the Order.

Action Items

  1. Consult immigration counsel if employing individuals or seeking to employ individuals with visas.
  2. Prepare for review of federal contracts and corresponding workforce, where applicable.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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