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Bar on Certain F and J International Students Effective Noon Today

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At noon today, June 1, 2020, a ban on the entry into the United States of certain citizens and nationals of China took effect in accordance with a Proclamation President Trump signed on Friday, May 29, 2020. The Proclamation prevents certain Chinese nationals associated with entities in China that implement or support China’s “military-civil fusion strategy” from using entering the United States under the F or J nonimmigrant visas. The proclamation is indefinite in duration.

The Proclamation defines “military-civil fusion strategy” as “actions by or at the behest of the People’s Republic of China to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance [China]’s military capabilities.” No further guidance is provided on the term “military-civil fusion strategy.”

About the F and J Visas

The F-1, Academic Student nonimmigrant visa (F-1 Visa), is granted to foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States to attend a school as a full-time student in a degree-earning program at an accredited United States college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program, that is approved by the United States government.

The J-1, Exchange Visitor nonimmigrant visa (J-1 Visa), permits foreign nationals to enter the United States for a temporary period “to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.”

Who is Barred?

The Proclamation is limited in application to graduate-level or higher students and researchers from China who:

  • Receive funding from or who are currently employed by, study at, or conduct research at or on behalf of the Chinese Government; or
  • Have been employed by, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of, an entity in the Chinese Government’s military-civil fusion strategy.

The Proclamation does not bar entry into the United States of the following individuals who are citizens or nationals of China:

  • Undergraduate students;
  • Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States;
  • Spouses of United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States;
  • Members of the United States Armed Forces and any foreign national who is a spouse or child of a member of the United States Armed Forces;
  • Foreign nationals traveling per the United Nations Headquarters Agreement (such as China’s United Nation’s representative) or other international agreement to which the United States is a signatory;
  • Foreign nationals studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to China’s military-civil fusion strategy, as determined by the United States government;
  • Foreign nationals entering the United States to further law enforcement matters; or
  • Foreign nationals that must enter the United States to serve certain national security interests.

To learn more about this blog post or if you have any other immigration concerns, please feel free to contact me at rglahoud@norris-law.com or (484) 544-0022.