COVID-19 and H-1B Compliance Challenges: Amendments Required for Part-Time H-1B Employment

If you company employs H-1B workers, employers are still required to comply with all U.S. Department of Labor notice requirements. Employers must continue to pay H-1B workers the same wages and corporate benefits of similarly employed U.S. workers.

An employer seeking to convert a full-time H-1B employee to part-time must file a new LCA to reflect this change. Once a new LCA is required, the employer is required to file an amended H-1B petition.
The employee is permitted to commence part-time employment upon the receipt of the H-1B petition by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
For more information, please contact your Monty & Ramirez attorney or the Immigration Section at .

Extending Form I-94 Inside the United States

Requests to Extend Nonimmigrant Status : The experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez can assist with I-94 extension requests in the U.S. Especially for foreign nationals who would normally travel abroad to request new visas, this is a friendly reminder that status can be extended in the U.S. instead.

Petitioners and beneficiaries should be aware of any upcoming expiration dates for nonimmigrant visas or statuses. Requests for extensions of nonimmigrant statuses such as H-1B, TN, and L-1A may be filed up with USCIS to 6 months before their expiration.

30-Day Extensions for Visa Waiver Program (VWP) or ESTA Program Entrants : Additionally, individuals admitted under the VWP/ESTA program who find themselves unable to depart the U.S. before the expiration of their current period of admission due to COVID-19 related issues may contact the CBP’s Deferred Inspections office to request Satisfactory Departure for up to 30 days. USCIS also has the authority to temporarily provide additional 30-day periods of satisfactory departure.

Individuals and their attorneys are permitted to request Satisfactory Departure if the individual’s period of stay will expire within 14 days of contacting the Deferred Inspections office. If their period of admission has expired, the decision to grant satisfactory departure will be considered on a case by case basis.

For more information, please contact your Monty & Ramirez attorney or the Immigration Section at .

DHS Extends Flexibility in Requirements Related to Form I-9 Compliance Due to COVID-19

DHS announced that it has extended the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic by an additional 30 days.

Procedure for List B Documents Not Extended by an Issuing Authority

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that, beginning May 1, 2020, identity documents found in List B (such as driver licenses) set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.

When your employee presents an acceptable expired List B Document that has not been extended by the issuing authority, you should:

  • Record the document information in Section 2 under List B, as applicable; and,

  • Enter the word “COVID-19” in the Additional Information Field.

Within 90 days after DHS’s termination of this temporary policy, the employee will be required to present a valid unexpired document to replace the expired document presented when they were initially hired.

Procedure for List B Documents Extended by an Issuing Authority

For List B Documents expiring on or after March 1, 2020 that were extended by the issuing authority, employers should treat the document as an acceptable List B Document (not as a receipt) for the extension timeframe specified by the issuing authority.

When your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has been extended by the issuing authority you should:

  • Enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2; and,

  • Enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information Field.

For extended documents, the employee is not required to later present a valid unexpired List B document.

For more Form I-9 updates and information, please contact the experienced attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at .

Temporary Restriction of Travelers Crossing US-Canada and Mexico Land Borders for Non-Essential Purposes Due to COVID-19

On March 21, 2020, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada temporarily restricted non-essential travel across the US-Canada land borders. On May 20, 2020, all parties agreed to extend the restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for 30 additional days until June 21, 2020.

This restriction does not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, persons from foreign countries who hold valid travel documents, and persons from foreign countries in the visa waiver program who are not otherwise subject to travel restrictions. This order does not apply to individual persons who should be excepted based on considerations of law enforcement, officer and public safety, humanitarian, or public health interests.

Additionally, travelers with essential purposes can continue to cross the land border and will be exempt from a self-isolation requirement. Travelers with family care, educational or humanitarian reasons will continue to be affected.

For more information, please contact your Monty & Ramirez attorney or the Immigration Section at .

Monty & Ramirez LLP
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Houston, Texas 77076

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Family Immigration: 713.289.4546
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