Update on U.S. Visa Policies That Have Been Implemented in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic

This is Yuka of IMS. As much of the nature of COVID-19 still remains a mystery, we have seen border restrictions across the world undergo repeated changes to adjust to the constantly changing situation of the pandemic. Since it can be extremely challenging to keep up to all of these updates, today I will talk about some of the most important new U.S. visa policies that have been implemented in response to the pandemic.


The Trump administration has suspended the entry of foreign national workers who possess H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and nonacademic J-1 visas. Routine visa services for the aforementioned visa categories have also been suspended in response to the widespread unemployment in the U.S. caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

E Visas, however, will continue to be processed. Corporations that are currently reevaluating their plans due to the suspension of the aforementioned visas may consider applying for E visas. Please feel free to contact IMS for any necessary assistance.


In addition, the U.S. government has rescinded its policy to halt the renewal of F-1 and M-1 visas of international students who will be taking classes entirely online for their fall 2020 semester after an outpour of responses from schools such as Harvard and M.I.T., who sued against the policy. International students who are currently in the U.S. will no longer be forced to leave the U.S. for their home country, even if all of their classes happen to move online.