This past week, the President of the United States announced and signed an Executive Order temporarily limiting some forms of immigration as the country deals with an unprecedented situation. Despite initial concerns over how expansive the order could be, it appears to be more targeted and of limited duration.

For example, those in the process to become U.S. citizens should know that this order will only apply to those seeking green cards, not temporary foreign workers, and it will only last 60 days. The executive order will not suspend all immigration into the U.S., and it will only temporarily affect those seeking permanent resident status.

Based on an interview with an administration official, CNN further clarified that the new executive order would not apply to temporary work visas because these types of visas are a bit more complicated, according to the official. Specifically, many of those now in the U.S. whom are working on work visas are essential workers, like food processing and health care workers. This was confirmed by a recent Migration Policy Institute analysis.

While this order may affect many seeking residency status in California, due to many of the already existing immigration restrictions it will not affect as many immigrants as in years past. According to the Department of Homeland Security, from 2018 to 2019 new green card holders are down 13% to 459,000. In addition, because of these restrictions, work visas and greed card applications were already, largely, on hold.

As readers of our San Jose blog can see, immigration law can change in short order, which only complicates the process of coming to America, even on a temporary basis. The process, bluntly, can become difficult. Because of this complexity, seeking help on the path to a green card, business visa or U.S. citizenship can be an important first step towards a successful application. Those who work in this legal area are best equipped to help seek the best possible outcome. With help and persistence, even during these trying times, navigating this process can be done successfully.