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Latest Presidential Proclamation on Visas Bars Chinese Foreign Students

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2020 | Common Immigration Questions and Problems |

Last Friday, President Trump issued another proclamation suspending entry of certain foreign nationals. This latest salvo is directed, in particular, at certain Chinese nationals attempting to enter the US on F-1 student visas or J-1 visas. At first blush, the order appears to restrict such visas to all Chinese nationals, but upon closer reading, is narrowly tailored towards Chinese nationals associated with organizations or entities that implement or support China’s military civil fusion strategy. Military fusion strategy is further defined as actions “by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities.” Subject to certain exceptions, the order covers any Chinese individual seeking to enter on an F-1 or J-1 to study or conduct research and who “either receives funding from or who currently is employed by, studies at, or conducts research at or on behalf of, or has been employed by, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of an entity in the PRC that implements or supports” China’s military fusion programs.

That being said, there are a number of carveouts that may potentially blunt the impact of the edict. The proclamation does not apply to:

· Undergraduate students

· Any lawful permanent resident of the US

· Any spouse of a US Citizen or lawful permanent resident

· Members of the US Armed Forces, or spouses or children of members of the US Armed Forces

· Foreign nationals whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement or who would otherwise be allowed entry into the US pursuant to US obligations under applicable international agreements

· Foreign nationals studying or conducting research in fields deemed not to contribute to China’s military civil fusion strategy

· Foreign nationals whose entry would further US law enforcement objectives

· Foreign nationals whose entry would be in the national interest

While the proclamation is intended to restrict the issuance of visas at US consulates abroad, section 6 does allow the government to revoke the visas of Chinese students currently inside the US who would otherwise meet the criteria prescribed in the order.

In practical terms, the order will likely affect only a small population of Chinese nationals seeking F-1/J-1 visas. The effective date is Monday, June 1 with additional provisions incorporating periodic review for revisions.

The above is general information only and not intended to be construed as legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions, please consult with an attorney.

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