Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China

22:54 29 May in News Updates

Today President Trump issued an Executive Order Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from the Peoples Republic of China. The Proclamation indicates that the restriction is designed to prevent “China’s acquisition of sensitive U.S. technologies and intellectual property to modernize its military, which is a threat to the United States’ long-term economic vitality and the safety and security of the American people.”

The proclamation will become effective on Monday, June 1, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT and will remain in effect until terminated by the President.     

Who Does the Order Affect?

The proclamation suspends the entry of Chinese citizens into the United States pursuant to F-1 or J-1 visas seeking to study or conduct research in the U.S. at the graduate level, if the individual either currently or in the past

  • Receives funding from
  • Is employed by
  • Studies at
  • Conducts research for

An entity in China that implements or supports the PRC’s “military-civil fusion” strategy.   The term “military-civil fusion” strategy is defined as “actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities.

What About Individuals Who Are Already in the United States?

At this time the Order only affects individuals seeking entry into the U.S., not those already present in the U.S.   However, there is a provision which directs the Secretary of State to consider whether nationals of China currently in the U.S. pursuant to F or J visas and who otherwise meet the criteria should have their visas revoked.

What About Undergraduate Students?

The Order does not apply to undergraduate students.  The Order specifically exempts F or J visa holders seeking to pursue undergraduate study in the U.S.

Who Will Determine Whether an F or J visa holder is subject to the ban?

The Secretary of State (Mike Pompeo) or his designee, in his sole discretion.  In reality, this means that consular officers at U.S. consular posts worldwide will be charged with this determination.

What About Immigrant Visas? 

At this time, this order does not apply to immigrant visas, or other classifications of nonimmigrant visas.   However, the Order directs the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, within 60 days, to review nonimmigrant and immigrant programs and recommend to the President any other measures that “would mitigate the risk posed by the PRC’s acquisition of sensitive United States technologies and intellectual property.”

Does the Order impact immigration filings for Chinese nationals with USCIS in the United States?

No, not at this time.

Who Does the Order Exempt?

The proclamation does NOT apply to:

  • Students pursuing undergraduate education
  • Lawful permanent residents of the US
  • Spouses of US citizens or US Lawful Permanent Residents
  • Members of the United States Armed Forces, their spouses or children
  • Individuals whose travel falls within the scope of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement
  • Individuals studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to the PRC’s military civil fusion strategy, as determined by the Departments of State and Homeland Security
  • Individuals whose entry would further US law enforcement objectives as determined by the Departments of State and Homeland Security, and based on a recommendation of the Attorney General
  • Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Departments of State and Homeland Security, and based on a recommendation of the Attorney General

This proclamation does not limit the ability for individuals to seek asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

As always, should you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact your LAC attorney.    As the laws and policies change, we will continue to update you.

The Team at Larrabee Albi Coker LLP


This update was prepared by Fausta M. Albi, Partner, Larrabee Albi Coker LLP.

Legal Disclaimer:   This e-blast is provided for informational purposes only and does not substitute for legal advice based on the circumstances of a specific matter.  Immigration laws and policies change frequently, often without notice.  It is therefore important to seek direct legal counsel based upon individual circumstances.


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