Presidential Proclamation: H-1B Visas

Page last updated: June 29, 2020

Suspension of New H-1B Visas

On June 22, the U.S. president signed a presidential proclamation suspending the entry of new non-immigrants in certain work visa categories until December 31, 2020.

We understand you may have questions about how this order will apply to your specific situation.

H-1B employees

Individuals who meet all of the following criteria will not be permitted to obtain a visa for the purpose of entering the U.S. in H-1B status:

  • are in, or will be in, H-1B status
  • are outside of the U.S. as of June 24, 2020, and
  • do not have a valid H-1B visa stamp in their passport dating prior ot June 24, 2020 to use to reenter the U.S.

Additionally, any dependent of an H-1B who would need an H-4 dependent visa to enter the U.S. will not be permitted to obtain a visa for the purpose of entering the U.S.


  1. Since Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.S., this proclamation does not impact them, as clarified by the amendment issued on June 29, 2020. 
  2. Certain individuals may be allowed to obtain an H-1B visa if their entry would be in the national interest as determined by the U.S. government.  Some examples include individuals providing clinical services to COVID-19 patients or doing COVID-19 related research.

The proclamation does not directly impact current H-1B status holders, those applying to extend their H-1B status while remaining in the U.S., or those applying to change to H-1B status while in the U.S.

Because of the uncertainty regarding new H-1B visa issuance and entry, we strongly advise against any international travel for the duration of the proclamation.

Contact us if you have a concern about an employment situation. While new H-1B employees arriving from abroad will be restricted, other options may be available. Our expert advisors can help review how the proclamation may impact you.

J-1 exchange visitors

The proclamation does not impact any current or incoming J-1 exchange visitor sponsored by IUPUI.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

While some reports suggested that OPT and/or STEM OPT extensions might be included in this order, that is not the case. No changes to the OPT program were included in this proclamation.

The value of international diversity

We remain committed to championing the value of internationally diverse learning and work environments, and the vital role that our international students and colleagues have in elevating the U.S. economy.