President Trump signed an executive order on April 22, 2020. The executive order applies to those seeking U.S. permanent residency from outside the United States. It does not apply to those already in the U.S. applying for permanent residency. In fact, the I-485 applications are still being processed. Only in-person I-485 interviews and biometrics appointments have been suspended.
The suspension and limitation on entry to the U.S. based on the executive order applies to only those who:
1. are currently outside the U.S.;
2. do not have an immigrant visa that is valid before April 22, 2020; and
3. do not have an official travel document other than a visa that is valid. (This does not apply to those who possess a valid travel document (advanced parole) issued before April 22, 2020.)
The suspension and limitation on entry to the U.S. does not apply to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. The exemption also includes any alien seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional. Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest are also exempt. However, unlike the national interest assessed by the USCIS for EB2 National Interest Waiver petitions, the national interest for this exemption will be assessed by the Dept. of State. Thus, an approval of a NIW petition will not automatically qualify for this exemption. We will have to see how the U.S. Embassies or Consulate offices implement this executive order.
In sum, immigrant visa applications through consular processing will be suspended for the next 60 days. However, I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status will continue to be processed and will not be affected by this executive order.