On Wednesday, February 24, President Biden revoked the Trump Administration’s ban on immigrants, saying the order failed to advance American interests.  The ban’s rescission is effective immediately.  Immigrant applicants, including those selected in the FY 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery, may apply for a green card at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy, with the caveat that many consulates continue to operate with reduced staff and significant backlogs due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, President Biden’s Presidential Proclamation may not have a significant impact in the short-term. As mentioned, the availability of visa appointments remains limited as many U.S. Consulates and Embassies face continued closures or are operating with reduced staff and backlogs due to covid-19 risks and local conditions.  As such, immigrant applicants may still need to apply for a National Interest Exception to expedite their immigrant visa applications.  As covid-19 vaccinations increase, immigrants will enjoy greater opportunities to take advantage of President Biden’s rescission of the Trump Administration’s restrictive immigration policies.

The non-immigrant visa ban affecting certain H-1B/H-4, L-1/L-2, or J-1/J-2 visa applicants remains in effect.  Non-immigrant visa applicants in these categories would need to apply for a National Interest Exception to obtain a visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.  The non-immigrant visa ban is set to expire on March 31, 2021.

President Biden’s newest Presidential Proclamation once again reinforces his view that immigrants are essential to who we are as a nation and critical to our aspirations for the future. Immigration policy has been a cornerstone of his legislative agenda during his first 100 days in office.

Content courtesy of WR Immigration.