Trump Executive Order Suspending Immigration— Implications for European-American Business and Investment

On April 22, 2020 President Trump issued his latest Executive Order banning entry into the United States by all immigrants. This includes all types of business immigrants whose transfer to the U.S. fosters foreign direct investment (FDI) by European companies. The only principal exceptions to his ban are spouses and children of U.S. citizens, EB-5 investors, and medical personnel needed to fight COVID-19. 

Further, the bottom line is one of great uncertainty. Trump’s Order expires in 60 days but may be extended as necessary. The rationale– that immigration must be suspended to protect American workers—is not easily reviewable by the courts. White House advisors now publicly indicate that the Order will stay in place until the November elections. The Executive Order  may also be expanded to include temporary business and work visas like L-1B transfers from European parent corporations to U.S. subsidiaries;  H-1Bs for software engineers, market researchers and other professionals;  H-2B temporary workers, particularly in the hospitality industry;  F-1 OPT Practical Trainees, and other visa categories where the Trump Administration believes that foreigners are taking jobs away from Americans.  Although the U.S. Consulates are now closed, when they reopen, they cannot and will not process business immigrant visas. This is just another disruption to the international supply chain, one involving human capital, not just spare parts.

The “new normal” means we need to think outside the box and be ready to pivot to new strategies to enable family members and key personnel to enter the USA.  Smart use of business visas involves the right choices. For families, now may be the best time for certain high net worth investors to utilize investment choices under the EB-5 Program, given the flexibility and security it provides to the investor, his/her spouse, and children in obtaining Green Cards.  We encourage you to consult with your immigration attorneys to plan for an uncertain future for business, investment and family visas in 2020. Future developments will be posted on this website. We expect the next update from the administration on the Suspension of Immigration to be announced by the end of May, 2020.

For more information, you can view  an excerpt or the full recording of our webinar on the Trump Executive Order by clicking on this link: info@transatlanticpartners.org.  Thank you. Eliot Norman, President, TRANSATLANTIC Partners LLC.