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On Thursday, October 1st U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White blocked the Trump administration from restricting new H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 visa restrictions, arguing that President Donald Trump exceeded his authority by implementing these restrictions. These visa restrictions were enacted by the Trump administration this past summer as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus. This ruling is in conflict with a conclusion reached by a federal judge in Washington, meaning that the constitutionality of these restrictions will likely be decided in an appeals court.

These visa restrictions blocked foreign nationals from applying for new H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 visa petitions. While the judge did block the Trump administration from further implementing these restrictions, only the plaintiffs in the case including Amazon.com, the Microsoft Corp, the U.S. Chamber of commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, TechNet, and Intrax Inc., as well as organizations and individuals that have qualifying relationships with these organizations, can currently move forward with these previously restricted visa applications.

Question: Can I apply for an H-1B, H-2B, L-1 or J-1 visa now that these restrictions are temporarily halted?

Yes, though there are certain qualifying relationships you will need in order to move forward on any of these petitions prior to an appeals court ruling. Employment information, associated organizations, and your specific profession will play a major part in being able to take advantage of this news.

If you, a coworker, or employee were previously unable to apply for an H-1B, H-2B, L-1 or J-1 visa as a result of these travel restrictions, and are interested in taking advantage of this latest news, schedule a consultation with our team to discuss your options in moving forward. We are closely monitoring this news and will provide updates as they become available.

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