• Nan Berezowski

US Immigration in the Time of Covid-19 US Tightens Immigration Again Canadians Are Exempt

This Update should be read in conjunction with my June 23, 2020 update on the extension of Presidential Proclamation 10014, "Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labour Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak" (85 FR 23441, 4/27/20).


On June 22, 2020, the Trump administration issued a Proclamation; in effect from June 24, 2020 until December 31, 2020. The Proclamation blocks access to the United States for many non-immigrant workers including H-1B (Specialty Occupation) and L-1 (Intra-Company Transfer) non-immigrants and their families. On June 23, I wrote that while the Proclamation would no doubt restrict many foreign nationals’ ability to work temporarily in the US, it did not clearly address the Canadian situation as, unlike most foreign nationals, Canadians do not enter the US with non-immigrant visas. Canadians are visa exempt except for E (Investor) visas.


I have now received additional Information concerning the implementation of the June 22 Proclamation - namely clarification from US Customs Border Protection (CBP) Headquarters that Canadians entering as H, L1-A or L-1B (or J) non-immigrants are exempt from the Presidential Proclamation. The confirmation also indicates that CBP Headquarters has provided guidance to local CBP Ports-of - Entry on this issue.


As such, despite the extension of restrictions limiting non-essential travel at US land ports of entry with Canada and Mexico until July 21, 2020, Canadians with L1-A and L-1B status should be permitted entry for work. Additionally, the border closure has not prevented, nor does the Proclamation mention, Trade NAFTA or TN status. On this positive note, business and pleasure visitors are also being processed as per normal requirements at airport Pre-Flight inspections, albeit not the border.