Proclamation issued to restrict entry of certain Chinese nationals on F-1 and J-1 visas

29 May 20

UNITED STATES

President Donald Trump signed a proclamation Friday suspending entry of Chinese nationals seeking to enter the U.S. on an F or J visa to study or conduct research in the U.S. if they have connections to an entity in China that implements or supports the country’s “military-civil fusion strategy.” Chinese nationals coming to the U.S. to pursue undergraduate study are not subject to the restrictions.

Key points:

  • The proclamation will take effect June 1 at 12 p.m. ET and will remain in effect until terminated by the president.
  • To be subject to the proclamation, an individual must currently receive funding from or be employed by, study at, or conduct research at or on behalf of, an entity in China that implements or supports the country’s military-civil fusion strategy; or have done so in the past.
  • The proclamation defines “military-civil fusion strategy” as actions by or at the behest of China to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance China’s military capabilities.
  • The order requires the State Department to consider whether to revoke visas of Chinese nationals currently in the U.S. on F or J visas who meet the criteria in the proclamation. It also directs the immigration agencies to review nonimmigrant and immigrant programs and provide recommendations within 60 days on other measures to mitigate the risk posed by China’s acquisition of sensitive U.S. technologies and intellectual property.
  • Exempt from the entry suspension are: students pursuing undergraduate study; those who are studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to the country’s military-civil fusion strategy, as determined by the U.S. government; and people whose entry would be in the national interest.

BAL Analysis: Entry of foreign nationals who have been physically present for a 14-day period in China is currently restricted, which means the impact of this proclamation may not be clear for some time. The restrictions on entry will apply only to Chinese nationals who are outside the U.S., though the State Department has discretion to cancel or revoke visas of individuals who are currently in the U.S. so that they cannot re-enter. If the State Department does revoke the visa of a person in the U.S., the visa revocation would only affect future travel and would not rescind the student’s status. The proclamation does not indicate whether or not the restrictions will apply to students who are seeking to enter the U.S. to work under post-graduation Optional Practical Training (OPT). BAL is continuing to review the proclamation and will provide additional analysis in the coming days.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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