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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Headquarters has confirmed that Canadians entering as H, L or J nonimmigrants are exempt from the Proclamation. This is due to Canadians being visa-exempt when entering the U.S.; However, Customs and Border Protection (CPB) is still awaiting guidance from CBP Headquarters with regard to how to implement the order. Caution is advised until we have more guidance.
The Proclamation should also not affect Canadians currently inside the U.S. in nonimmigrant status, who later leave and reenter in their respective nonimmigrant classification.
The Proclamation also should not affect those individuals who hold, or who are applying for, NAFTA TN nonimmigrant classification.
What does this mean for businesses and nonimmigrants ?
Consular officers have discretion to issue visas and the CBP officers have discretion to grant entry to foreign nationals seeking to enter the U.S.
Although CBP has confirmed that the Proclamation does not apply to Canadians, those Canadians seeking to enter the U.S. as nonimmigrants may still face increased scrutiny in the face of the Proclamation and will need to have strong submissions and supporting documentation evidencing that the Proclamation does not apply. The Proclamation is certainly going to affect international companies that have operations in the U.S. and regularly require certain nonimmigrants to work in the country.
Other types of nonimmigrant classifications that are not restricted by the Proclamation, such as treaty trader (E-1) and investor (E-2) nonimmigrant categories, will likely see increased demand which may result in longer processing times. We will continue to watch the developments of the application and interpretation of the Proclamation.
In conclusion, we believe that the presidential Proclamation does not apply to Canadians; Unfortunately, in the absence of clear guidance on this issue, the position taken by United States Customs and Border Protection will vary from port to port SO it is important to show that L1 status issuance is necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the U.S. Company and US jobs.