Presidential Proclamation of June 22, 2020 FAQs

Updated 07/08/2020

On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued a presidential proclamation aimed primarily at the H-1B visa program. Since this proclamation was issued, the ISSO has received a number of questions from students, scholars and faculty about the scope and impact of this proclamation on current and future visa holders at UCSF. We have compiled the most frequently asked questions, along with our response below. As we learn more about the proclamation and what its implementation will look like, we will update our questions and responses.

Please check back regularly, especially if you are currently an H-1B visa holder or intend to transition into H-1B visa status in the future.

Update: see our J-1 Visa Chart and H-1B Visa Chart for a visual representation of how the Presidential Proclamation of June 22, 2020 impacts these visa types.

J-1 and F-1 Visa Questions

I am currently in J-1 visa status and I heard this proclamation bans the J-1 visa. What does this mean for me?

The Proclamation does not impact the J-1 categories that UCSF's ISSO issues DS-2019s for: short term scholar, research scholar, professor, degree seeking student and and non-degree seeking student categories. The Proclamation only affects six J-1 visa categories that UCSF's ISSO does not issue legal documents for: intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, and summer work travel program. As long as UCSF is listed as the Program Sponsor on your DS-2019, you are not impacted by this Proclamation and should be able to continue your program at UCSF as you planned.

My J-1 (or F-1) visa stamp is expired. Can I still go abroad and get a new visa at the US embassy, then return to the US?

The June 22, 2020 Proclamation will not prevent international visitors from re-entering the US in J-1 or F-1 status. However, your ability to re-enter the US in J-1 or F-1 status may be impacted by previous Presidential Proclamations. ISSO strongly advises against all international travel at this time. If you are currently in the US and would like to travel abroad due to an emergency, contact your international adviser prior to traveling.

I am currently in J-1 (or F-1) visa status and my department was planning to sponsor me on an H-1B visa. Is this still possible?

Yes.

As long as you remain in the US, you should be able to transition from J-1 or F-1 visa status into H-1B visa status. This process is not impacted by the proclamation.

H-1B Visa Questions

I am currently in H-1B visa status and my end date is approaching soon. Can I still extend my H-1B visa status?

Yes.

The proclamation does not impact anyone who is currently in the US in H-1B visa status. If you need to extend your H-1B, transfer your H-1B to a new employer, or amend your H-1B for a new title, you may still do so.

The H-1B visa stamp in my passport is not expired. Can I still travel abroad and return to the US as long as my visa is not expired?

The June 22, 2020 Proclamation will not prevent international visitors from re-entering the US in H-1B status if your H-1B visa will be valid upon US re-entry. However, your ability to re-enter the US may be impacted by previous Presidential Proclamations. ISSO strongly advises against all international travel at this time. If you are currently in the US and would like to travel abroad due to an emergency, contact your international adviser prior to traveling.

The H-1B visa stamp in my passport is expired. Can I still go abroad and get a new visa at the US embassy, then return to the US?

Unclear.

If your consulate abroad has reopened for visa processing, you may be able to apply for an H-1B visa based on a National Interest Exception for the following reasons:

  • For travel as a public health or healthcare professional, or researcher to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to conduct ongoing medical research in an area with a substantial public health benefit (e.g. cancer or communicable disease research). This includes those traveling to alleviate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that may be a secondary effect of the pandemic (e.g., travel by a public health or healthcare professional, or researcher in an area of public health or healthcare that is not directly related to COVID-19, but which has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic).
     
  • Travel supported by a request from a U.S. government agency or entity to meet critical U.S. foreign policy objectives or to satisfy treaty or contractual obligations. This would include individuals, identified by the Department of Defense or another U.S. government agency, performing research, providing IT support/services, or engaging other similar projects essential to a U.S. government agency.

H-1B scholars will need to request an exemption letter from the consulate at the time of their interview to board a flight. This exemption letter is in addition to the visa stamp that the consulate will issue. Please note that even with a valid visa, it may still be possible that the you may be denied US entry due to the Proclamations barring entry for certain foreign nationals. If you are currently in the US and would like to travel abroad due to an emergency, contact your international adviser prior to traveling.

I am Canadian. How does the proclamation affect me?

According to the latest amendment to the presidential proclamation, Canadians are exempt from the ban. Canadians (visa exempt) may enter the US in H-1B status with their passport, a document that permits entry to the US.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic international travel is severely disrupted. For this reason, ISSO strongly advises against international travel at this time. If you are currently in the US and need to travel abroad due to an emergency, contact your international adviser prior to traveling. If you were to depart the US, it is not certain if or when you would be able to return.

Finally, ISSO discourages re-entering the US from Canada through land borders due to inconsistent implementation of CBP policies. If you need to travel between the US and Canada for an emergency, we recommend using air travel.

H-4 Visa Questions

The ISSO understands how difficult family separations are for our international students and scholars, especially during the current international health crisis and we'll do our best to provide you with the latest immigration news to help you make informed decisions for you and your family.

I have been in the US in H-1B visa status before 6/24/2020 and my spouse (and/or child) is outside of the US and they don't have H-4 visa stamps. Can they get a visa stamp to enter the US and join me?

May be possible if the consulate has reopened for visa processing, and the H-4 is able to apply for a visa based on a National Interest Exception. H-4s will need to request an exemption letter from the consulate at the time of their interview to board a flight. This exemption letter is in addition to the visa stamp that the consulate will issue. Please note that even with a valid visa, it may still be possible that the H-4 is denied US entry due to the Proclamations barring entry for certain foreign nationals.

 

I am currently in H-1B visa status and my spouse (and/or child) is currently outside of the US but has a valid H-4 visa stamp that was issued before 6/24/2020. Can they still enter the US?

Yes.

If the H-4 visa is not expired and was issued before 6/24/2020, the H-4 visa holder(s) should be able to enter the US.

I am currently in H-1B visa status and my spouse (and/or child) is currently outside of the US. The H-4 visa stamp in their passports have expired but my H-1B was approved before 6/24/2020. Can my spouse (and/or child) still apply for a new H-4 visa stamp and then re-enter the US?

Unfortunately, no.

If your spouse (and/or child) is outside of the US and does not have a valid H-4 visa before 6/24/2020 then they would not be allowed entry into the US as a result of the proclamation.

Me and my family will change visa status from J-1 and J-2 to H-1B and H-4 after 6/24/2020. Can we still travel and get H-1B and H-4 visa stamps before 12/31/2020?

Unfortunately, no.

Even though this new action suggests that obtaining a new visa may be possible, there is still some uncertainty around this. Furthermore, because of the Covid-19 pandemic international travel is severely disrupted. If you were to depart the US, it is not certain if or when you would be able to return. For this reason, both UCSF campus guidance and ISSO guidance strongly discourage international travel at this time.