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Will Athletes Be Impacted By The Latest Presidential Visa Proclamation?

On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending the entry of certain non-immigrants in specific work visa categories. The proclamation will remain in effect through December 31, 2020 and may be continued or modified as necessary.

The Proclamation suspends the issuance of visas for those seeking entry pursuant to an:

  • H-1B visa and any foreign national coming to join them;

  • H-2B visa and any foreign national coming to join them;

  • J visa, to the extent the foreign national is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any foreign national coming to join them; and

  • L visa, and any foreign national coming to join them.

Notably, most foreign athletes and their support staff enter the U.S. with O-1 or P-1 visas and would not be impacted by the Proclamation.

Furthermore, the Proclamation will only apply to an individual identified above if they are outside the U.S. on the effective date of the Proclamation and do not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of the Proclamation.

Finally, the Proclamation will not apply to the following individuals:

  • lawful permanent residents;

  • spouse or child of a U.S. citizen;

  • any individual seeking entry to provide temporary labor essential to the U.S. food supply chain;

  • any individual whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

For now, athletes and their staff would not be impacted by the Proclamation, but leagues, tours and teams that employ H-1B professions could be impacted unless the individual is subject to one of the exemptions listed above.

*Steven M. Ladik is past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and represents numerous professional golfers on the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR. He also serves as the outside Immigration Counsel to the National Football League. He is a Partner at Seltzer Chadwick Soefje & Ladik, PLLC.

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