Hong Kong Nationals Lose All US Immigration Benefits

 In Immigration News, International Travel, Trump Administration

On July 14, 2020, President Trump issued another executive order and this one targets Hong Kong nationals directly. The order states that Hong Kong will no longer receive preferential treatment related to US immigration benefits like visas, DV Lottery, shorter wait times, or ESTA (Visa Waiver Program) to name a few. The United States intends to suspend the Hong Kong Policy Act, which provides a number of immigration-related benefits to the people of Hong Kong. In a quote from President Trump, “Hong Kong will now be treated the same as Mainland China: no special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies.” How will this order apply to Hong Kong nationals seeking visa applications?

Firstly, the Order states that it will eliminate the treatment of Hong Kong as a separate foreign state, basically treating it in the same way as Mainland China as to immigration benefits. Hong Kong will be removed from the list of countries that are eligible to participate in the Diversity Visa Program. Hong Kong will no longer be allowed to participate in the Visa Waiver Program. In addition, they will now receive the same visa reciprocity as mainland China. Therefore, no more shorter wait times for visas, special-immigrant status to certain immigrant and non-immigrant employees, and no more limited number of visas provided to certain employees. Nationals of Hong Kong will also be subject to additional screening which was not the case prior. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidents-executive-order-hong-kong-normalization/

This new Executive Order severely impacts Hong Kong nationals causing extreme retrogression and backlogging of visa processing for applicants waiting for their immigrant benefits.

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