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Executive Order Ends Hong Kong Preferential Visa Policies

President Trump signed an executive order on July 14 to end preferential immigration treatment for people born in Hong Kong. People born in Hong Kong will now be treated the same as nationals of People’s Republic of China (PRC) for immigrant visa quotas and for visa sticker validity. Within 15 days of July 14, the government will issue guidance on how this new executive order will be implemented. 

Here’s our breakdown of the executive order.

For individuals who were born in Hong Kong seeking Legal Permanent Resident status (“green card”) in the United States, the order means they will be subject to lengthier wait times, due to Visa Bulletin backlogs currently affecting PRC..

The order also means those individuals will be issued visas with shorter validity periods and greater restrictions, in line with those for citizens of the PRC.

The changes to visa validity periods and restrictions for Hong Kong passport holders include:

  • H-1B and H-4 visas will be reduced from 60 months to 12 months maximum.
  • L-1 and L-2 visas will be reduced from 60 month to 24 months maximum, with an additional fee of $120.
  • O visas will be reduced from 60 months to three months maximum.
  • F and J visas will be unchanged for the time being.

Legalpad is following the order closely and will provide more information as it becomes available. We’re here to support all those with questions surrounding the order. Please reach out to one of our immigration experts at hello@legalpad.io.

For those seeking answers to how the order may affect their immigration status, we recommend joining our webinar this Thursday, July 23 where Y Le, Legalpad’s Corporate Council, will be providing a detailed overview of the order as well as a Q&A session to follow. Register here.