Quick Takeaways:

  • Changes now in effect.
  • Canadians and Bermudians excluded from Executive Order by virtue of being visa exempt.
  • All foreign nationals with presently valid H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 Visa holders also excluded, even if they have not entered the United States as of June 24.
  • Other questions still remain.

The newest Executive Order halting the issuance of H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 Visas (and for their dependents) went into effect June 24. Less than a day into its existence, we have learned two key points as to how the Order will be implemented:

  1. Canadians and Bahamians, who are generally visa exempt, are also excluded from this Order. As such, Canadians and Bahamians may continue to travel to the United States in these statuses as before and should be able to apply for L visa classification at the border. With the U.S. – Canada Land Border now closed to “non-essential” travel through July 21, 2020, Canadians must continue to demonstrate that they are traveling to the United States to work for their U.S.-based employer that remains operational despite the ongoing effects of COVID-19. 
  2. If a foreign national (regardless of nationality) has an H-1B, H-2B, J-1, or L-1 Visa that is valid as of June 24, 2020, they may continue to travel to the United States using that visa even if they have not yet entered the United States on it.

Though we are happy to receive these clarifications, several questions regarding to whom the Executive Order applies, linger. We will continue to update our Blog as we learn more, and invite you to reach out if you have any questions as to how the Order impacts your situation.


  • Jonathan Grode serves as the U.S. Practice Director and Managing Partner for the Firm.

  • Josh Rolf is a Senior Associate Attorney in the Firm’s Philadelphia office. Josh focuses his practice on various types of immigrant and nonimmigrant matters, including investor-based petitions.

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