Washington, D.C. – Following the Administration’s Executive Order suspending U.S. entry for nonimmigrants with certain visas, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik worked with Secretary Chad Wolf to ensure that Canadians would be exempt.
“The cross-border partnership is a critical economic driver for the North Country, and I voiced my regional concerns to Acting Secretary Chad Wolf about the negative impacts this Executive Order would have on our local economy,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Today’s announcement that Canadians will be exempt from the Executive Order is excellent news for our region that I worked to secure. I will always advocate for the interests of our businesses, our partnership with our neighbors to the North, and the economic wellbeing of the North Country as a whole.”
"We can't thank Congresswoman Stefanik enough for her determined and effective advocacy behind the scenes on this critical matter," said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "While suspension of these visa programs is generally a negative for economic growth, it was especially important that Canadians not be included, given the high degree of integration between our two economies. L-1 visas in particular are crucial for our many bi-national manufacturers who need to share and move key personnel back and forth. The ability to do that is a prime reason they are here, and not having these visas available would stymie renewed economic development just as Canadian companies are starting to express fresh interest. The bottom line is that the availability of these visas to Canadians has helped to create thousands of manufacturing jobs here and will now continue to do so."
The Canadian Association of New York released the following guidelines on today’s clarification:
1. Canadians who currently have H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J work visas can continue to use their work visa, travel freely on their work visa, and renew their work visa as necessary.
2. Canadian citizen spouses and dependent children of work visa holders are also exempt from the proclamation and travel restrictions.
3. Canadians waiting for 2020 H-1B visa approvals or planning to apply for their first L-1, H-1B, H-2B or J visa are also not affected. They can proceed with their work visa applications without restriction.
4. Canadians holding other common types of work visas (TN, E, O, P) are entirely unaffected by the proclamation. They can work, travel and renew their work visas as necessary.