Effective June 1, 2020, the Presidential Proclamation by President Trump will block certain Chinese nationals from obtaining F or J visas if they are suspected of being associated with entities in China that are involved in its “military-civil fusion strategy.”
This strategy is defined by Trump as “actions by or at the behest of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to acquire and divert foreign technologies…to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities.”
This Proclamation targets a very specific demographic, which is the graduate level and higher students and researchers from the PRC that essentially are in any way related currently or previously with an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy.
Therefore, the Proclamation is not a total ban, and there are many that are unaffected by this Proclamation:
- Undergraduate students;
- Lawful permanent residents of the U.S.;
- The spouse of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
- A foreign national that is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and any foreign national who is a spouse/child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces
- A foreign national whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the U.N. Headquarters Agreement or who would otherwise be allowed entry into the U.S. pursuant to U.S. obligations under applicable international agreements.
- A foreign national studying/conducting research in a field that would not be considered contributable to the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy, as determined by the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security
- A foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest
The details of how this Proclamation will be enforced is still unclear. There are a couple of other factors in play within this Proclamation, which may drastically limit the entry of many Chinese nationals. The Secretary of State has the sole discretion to determine who falls under or is exempted from this Proclamation. The Secretary of State will be reviewing PRC nationals currently within the U.S. with an F or J status should have their visas revoked. Within the next two months, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security will review nonimmigrant and immigrant programs to determine if any further presidential action is required to reduce the risk of the PRC acquiring sensitive U.S. technologies and intellectual property according to their military-civil fusion strategy.
If you are affected by this Proclamation, please contact an immigration attorney immediately to figure out what to do next.