Skip to Main Content

Court Enjoins Proclamation Banning H, J, L Visas

On October 1 a federal district court in California immediately enjoined the implementation of the President's Proclamation against the issuance of visas in the H, L, and J classifications, pending further hearings in the case. The court concluded that the Proclamation eviscerated the balance of concerns reflected in the Immigration & Nationality Act giving rise to such visa classifications and thus exceeded the President's authority. The order technically only benefits members of the plaintiff organizations in the case, which are the National Association of Manufacturers, Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, National Retail Federation, Technet, and Intrax, Inc. Nevertheless, it seems possible that the State Department will choose to implement the order more broadly.

Even for workers of these plaintiff member organizations, the injunction does not solve the systematic unavailability of visa interview appointments at most U.S. consulates throughout the world due to short staffing in light of COVID, and visa applicants and travelers still face the restrictions on travel for those who have been in certain countries (China, Iran, Brazil, the Schengen area [Europe], United Kingdom, and Ireland) during the 14 days before seeking U.S. entry. Workers seeking visas will need to show special interests to obtain expedited appointments and "national interest" to waive the 14-day restrictions.

The government may appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which already affirmed a similar ruling concerning a Proclamation prohibiting visas to people without certain health insurance. The Supreme Court could take action, but the technical limitation to plaintiffs' members may insulate the decision in the near term.

If you have any questions, please contact Robert Divine or any member of Baker Donelson's Immigration Team.

Subscribe to


Have Questions?
Let's Talk!

To discuss how this topic could affect
your company, click above to email us.

Email Disclaimer

NOTICE: The mailing of this email is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Anything that you send to anyone at our Firm will not be confidential or privileged unless we have agreed to represent you. If you send this email, you confirm that you have read and understand this notice.
Cancel Accept