Presidential Proclamation Suspends the Entry of Certain Chinese Graduate Students and Researchers into the U.S.

Jun 9, 2020

by Kristine Nazir

The Proclamation bans Chinese nationals in F or J status in graduate-level programs who are or have been associated with Chinese entities involved with China’s “military-civil fusion strategy” from applying for visas or seeking entry into the U.S.   The “military-civil fusion strategy” is defined as “actions by or at the behest of China to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance China’s military capabilities.” The Proclamation took effect on June 1, 2020 and will remain in effect until terminated by the President.

The Proclamation does not apply to Chinese nationals who are undergraduate students, lawful permanent residents of the U.S., the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, a foreign national who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and any foreign national who is a spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, among others. The Proclamation does not indicate whether the restrictions will apply to students seeking to enter the United States to work pursuant to post-graduation Optional Practical Training.

The Proclamation also grants the U.S. State Department the discretion to determine whether a person is subject to or exempt from the Proclamation as well as the authority to revoke previously issued visas to Chinese nationals currently in the U.S. to which the Proclamation would otherwise apply. In addition, within 60 days of taking effect, the Proclamation requires the State Department and Department of Homeland Security to review immigrant and non-immigrant programs and recommend additional measures to address this issue.


Immigration – The Firm represents businesses, institutions of higher learning, and individuals with respect to immigration-related matters, including obtaining visitor visas, temporary and permanent work visas, consular processing of visas, obtaining citizenship, advising employers on employment sanctions issues, and defending employers faced with INS I-9 audits and investigations.

Kristine Nazir represents corporations and institutions of higher education with their immigration needs, including obtaining temporary and permanent visas, handling employer sanctions issues, I-9 and E-Verify employment eligibility verification compliance, consular processing, and naturalization.   Prior to joining the firm, Kristine clerked for the Honorable Jeffrey M. Geller at the Baltimore City Circuit Court and for the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review at the Arlington Immigration Court. During law school, Kristine interned with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor and National Security Law Section; the Superior Court of the District of Columbia; and Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy LLP. Before attending law school, Kristine also served in Peace Corps Mongolia as a community economic development volunteer.

Melanie Gurley Keeney practices in the areas of employment, immigration and education law. Melanie has been included in Best Lawyers in America ® for 25 years, and has been recognized in all areas of her practice. She also has been named to Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers ® lists for over 10 years, and has been rated one of the top 50 female lawyers in Missouri and Kansas. She was named a “Top Missouri Lawyer” by St. Louis Magazine and Kansas City Magazine for Immigration Law. Melanie has been distinguished as Best Lawyers ®  St. Louis Immigration Law Lawyer of the Year in 2019, 2015, and 2012, and St. Louis Education Law Lawyer of the year in 2017. In 2016, Missouri Lawyers Weekly presented Melanie with the Women’s Justice Litigation Practitioner Award and in 2014, Washington University School of Law honored Melanie with the International Women’s Day Award for Employment Law. She has served as an adjunct professor at Washington University and is a frequent presenter on legal topics. Melanie is a founding Shareholder of the Firm and currently serves as the Chairperson of the Firm.