The Executive Order signed April 22, 2020 merely confirms much of what has been in practice for the last several weeks. Effective April 23, 2020, U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas will be prohibited from processing and interviewing Immigrant Visa applicants for a period of 60 days.

The term Immigrant Visa in this context refers to individuals processing the final stage of their Legal Permanent Residence (LPR or green cards) petition through a US Embassy or Consulate overseas. The EO does not impact those applying for LPR in the US using the Adjustment of Status process. Most employment-based applicants apply for the final stage of the LPR process through Adjustment of Status rather than through a US Embassy or Consulate abroad. Therefore, the vast majority of employment-based and family-based applicants will not be impacted by this order.

It is important to understand that the EO does not apply to any applications filed with USCIS, the entity responsible for processing non-immigrant and immigrant visas inside the US.

Finally, US Embassies and Consulates continue to issue temporary visas under limited circumstances for essential workers. Once the State Department re-opens their facilities, it is anticipated that normal visa operations will resume.