On Friday, May 29, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation that would restrict entry of certain Chinese students and researchers seeking to enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status. His concern was that the People’s Republic of China’s (“PRC”) “acquisition of sensitive United States technologies and intellectual property to modernize its military is a threat to our Nation’s long-term economic vitality and the safety and security of the American people … The PRC authorities use some Chinese students, mostly post‑graduate students and post-doctorate researchers, to operate as non-traditional collectors of intellectual property. Thus, students or researchers from the PRC studying or researching beyond the undergraduate level who are or have been associated with the [People’s Liberation Army] are at high risk of being exploited or co-opted by the PRC authorities and provide particular cause for concern.”

As of 12:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time on June 1, 2020, any PRC national seeking to enter the United States in F-1 and J-1 status “to study or conduct research in the United States, except for a student seeking to pursue undergraduate study, and who either receives funding from or who currently is employed by, studies at, or conducts research at or on behalf of, or has been employed by, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of, an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC's ‘military-civil fusion strategy’” is prohibited from entering the United States. (Note that those entering the United States for undergraduate studies are not restricted.)

The term “military-civil fusion strategy” means 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.

Exceptions to this Proclamation include the following:

  • any lawful permanent resident of the United States (“LPR” or green card holder);
  • any spouse of a U.S. citizen or LPR;
  • any member of the U.S. Armed Forces and anyone who is a spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • anyone whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement or who would otherwise be allowed entry into the United States pursuant to United States obligations under applicable international agreements;
  • anyone who is 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 Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the appropriate executive departments and agencies (agencies);
  • anyone whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or
  • anyone whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

While no specific termination date has been provided, there is a 60-day review date to determine the effectiveness of the above and whether further action would be needed.

The above contains only highlights of the proclamation and has been provided for informational purposes only. Please contact your Clark Lau LLC attorney to determine whether the above applies to your circumstances.