3 key things to know about Trump’s freeze on work visas, according to an immigration lawyer

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President Donald Trump speaks to workers at the headquarters of tool manufacturer Snap-On on April 18, 2017, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. During the visit, Trump signed an executive order to try to bring jobs back to American workers and revamp the H-1B visa guest worker program. Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday suspending new work visas for immigrants until at least December 31, 2020.
  • The order extended the 60-day ban that Trump set on US work visas in April.
  • Administration officials previously told Business Insider that the initiative would reserve 525,000 jobs for American citizens.
  • Business Insider spoke to an Nandini Nair, an immigration lawyer, who broke down three key points about the ban.
  • Per Nair, the ban does not apply to people who were outside the US prior to June 22; it only applies to certain visa categories; and there is still some debate of sections of the proclamation.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On Monday, President Donald Trump signed a proclamation freezing a variety of immigration visas. Under the order, H-1B, H-2B, H-4, J-1, and L-1 visas will be halted. Major tech companies, including Amazon, Google, and Twitter, criticised the move, saying it would make American companies less competitive and less diverse.

Business Insider spoke to Nandini Nair, an immigration lawyer who focuses on US visas and who broke down three key points about the proclamation.

1. The new proclamation only applies to people who were outside the US before June 22

Nair told Business Insider that she has received several calls about whether or not Trump’s ban applies to people who are currently in the US. The answer, Nair said, is straightforward: It does not.

If you were recently laid off on an H-1B visa and you are in the US, Nair said, the ban does not affect you. This means you can still look for a new employer to sponsor your H-1B visa or apply to change your visa status.

2. It only applies to certain visa categories

Nair told Business Insider that it is also important to note that the ban does not apply to all visa categories. The ban temporarily suspends H-1B, H-2B, H-4, J-1, and L-1 visas.

This means you can still apply for other US visa categories in 2020, including B-1 visas, which are meant for those visiting the US for business purposes; B-2 visas, which are meant for tourists; and F-1 visas, which are meant for students. Per Nair, you can still apply for O-1,E-3, and E-2 visas.

3. There is still some debate over sections of the new proclamation

Nair said that the proclamation left her with questions to ponder. She said that the proclamation doesn’t clearly state whether or not the ban applies to individuals who previously had visas and are now stuck abroad. For example, she said if someone was in the US on an H-1B visa, departed the country a few months ago, and now needs to secure a new visa, she is unsure if the proclamation applies to those individuals.