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Employment immigration will be affected by new Executive Order

Canadian citizens may be interested in an Executive Order that became effective in the United States on March 16. It will likely affect employment immigration. However, the Executive Order clearly states that all visas issued prior to this date will remain valid – unless they have expired.

Furthermore, visa appointments scheduled before the effective date of the Executive Order will not be cancelled, and applicants can proceed with their applications. However, each prospective individual will have to show eligibility for an exemption or waiver. All the requests will be subject to the careful scrutiny of a consular officer who will determine if and how the Executive Order affects the applicant. The officer will further establish qualification for a waiver or exemption.

Individuals without valid, unexpired visas may apply for waivers, and each application will be considered separately. Examples of discretionary waivers include foreign nationals returning to continue a previous long-term activity such as employment or study. Any such applicant who was temporarily out of the United States when the Executive Order entered into force and wanted to return to continue the study or work will be considered for a waiver. The possibility of the activity being impaired by denial of the person’s reentry will play a role in the decision.

Citizens of Canada who are employed in the United States, have a job offer from there or who are scheduled for an intercompany transfer may have many questions about their futures. The most appropriate step to take might be to consult with an experienced lawyer who is seasoned in dealing with employment immigration and informed of the recent developments regarding movement into the United States. Such a professional can explain the latest laws and restrictions and assist with the visa application and the motivation for a waiver.