This topic would be much clearer if the Executive Order was titled :
- “K-1 Fiance Visa Ban”
- “Immigrant Visa Ban”
- “H-1B/H2B/J1/L1 Visa Ban”
- “Continuation/Addition to the April 22, 2020 Executive Order”
However, since there isn’t clear language, confusion has arisen. Following the June 22, 2020 Executive Order titled: Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak, many people are left with the following immigration questions:
- Is the K1 Visa affected by the executive order?
- Are K1 Fiance Visas Banned?
- Can I attend a K1 Fiance Interview or has that been banned?
There are many ways to ask the question, but lets start at the beginning.
The April 22, 2020 Executive Order titled: Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak, bans many Immigrant Visas from being interviewed, approved, or issued at the US Consulates and Embassies. This executive order specifically targetted “Immigrants.”
The June 22, 2020 Executive Order “Continues” the April 22, 2020 Executive Order, but ADDS some Non-immigrant Visas.
But, we will have to go a little bit before the beginning of the Immigration Ban to see why/how K-1 Visas are not being issued right now. On March 11, 2020, Executive Order titled: Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus, this Executive Order created a new evaluation on what the US Consulates will process:
- Mission Critical
- Non-Mission Critical
It isn’t until you merge all three (3) Executive Order do you start to realize K-1 Visas are not Mission Critical and are not being issued at the moment.
Summary of the June 22, 2020 Immigration Ban:
The Ban applies to people who:
- are outside the United States;
- does not already have a nonimmigrant visa; and
- does not have an official travel document other than a visa.
Visas Specifically Banned:
- H-1B visa
- H-2B visa
- J visa intern
- J visa trainee
- J visa teacher
- J visa camp counselor
- J visa au pair
- J visa summer work travel program
- L visa
The Executive Order does not apply to:
- any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
- any alien who is the spouse or child of a United States citizen;
- any alien seeking to enter the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain; and
- any alien whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
- Continuation of Proclamation from April 22, 2020 (Link found here)
- Amending/adding the above mentioned Non-immigrant Visas
But, isn’t the K-1 Visa a “nonimmigrant visa”?
Technically, the K-1 uses the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application, but the resulting visa and intention is to “Immigrate.” Even the US Government titles the K-1 as an Immigrant Visa and a Non-immigrant Visa.
This topic carries the feeling that the US Government allowed the Fiance Visa to “fall between the cracks” and be neglected for the year of 2020.
Determining something is “Mission Critical” on March 11, 2020 in a super open-ended Proclamation, and then confusing the process with multiple later Proclamations, it is clear 2020 will be one of the lowest K-1 Visa years in recent US History.
The K-1 Fiance Visa is not Banned, but they are not being processed at the Consulate Stage or being issued since they are not “mission critical.” So, they are technically not banned, but just not being given out by the US Consulates/Embassies.
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