US Government Proclamation Limits the Entry of Certain Chinese Nationals on Student and Research Visas

Practice Areas

By: Lihua Tan and Gladys Gervacio


On May 29, 2020 the United States government issued a presidential proclamation barring certain Chinese nationals on F and J visas from entering the US if they are associated with an institution in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that supports or implements the country’s “military-civil fusion strategy.”

The proclamation takes effect on June 1, 2020 at 12 PM EDT, and it remains in force until it is terminated by the president.

which Chinese Nationals are Impacted?

The proclamation blocks Chinese nationals from entering the US if they hold F or J visas for graduate-level research or studies, and they are affiliated with a Chinese entity that furthers the “military-civil fusion strategy” in one of the following ways:

  • They receive funding
  • They are currently or have formerly been employed by the entity
  • They conduct or have conducted research on the entity’s behalf
  • They study at or have studied at the entity

The “military-civil fusion strategy” is defined as “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.”

The Secretary of State may revoke the F and J visas of Chinese nationals who are currently in the US and who meet these criteria, based on the Secretary’s discretion.

Exempt Chinese Nationals

The proclamation does not apply to certain categories of Chinese nationals, such as:

  • Undergraduate students
  • US Green card holders
  • Spouses of green card holders or US citizens
  • Members of the US military, their spouses, or their children
  • People whose entry is in the US national interest or furthers US law enforcement goals
  • Individuals seeking asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or similar protection under US law
  • Those whose travel is required under certain international agreements
  • People conducting research in fields that would not contribute to the “military-civil fusion strategy”

Next Steps

Chinese nationals who are on a J or F visa and who may be impacted by the proclamation should monitor the situation closely before leaving the US, as they may not be allowed to reenter.

US immigration authorities will review nonimmigrant and immigrant visa categories within 60 days from June 1, 2020. They may announce additional changes to US immigration policy to reduce the risk of sensitive US information being leaked to the Chinese military.


To understand how this presidential proclamation impacts your or an employee’s visa, schedule an immigration consultation with an experienced Chugh, LLP immigration attorney by sending an email to


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