Monty & Ramirez LLP Important Business Immigration Information

H-1B Registration Selections Have Been Made For The FY2021 H-1B Cap Season:
USCIS has completed the random selections of the properly submitted H-1B registrations between March 1, 2020 to March 20, 2020. They have notified all petitioners with the selected registrations as of March 31, 2020. All selected registrations are now eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.
Each registrant online account will show one of three (3) following statuses for each registration:
  1. Selected: Those selected now have 90 days from April 1, 2020 to file the H-1B cap- subject petition. 
  2. Submitted: Submitted registrations may continue to show “submitted” to remain in consideration until the new fiscal year, October 1, 2020. At this point, all registration status will be shown as Selected, Not Selected, or Denied. 
  3. Denied: A denial may be given if there was a duplicate registration submitted by the same registrant for the same beneficiary, or a payment method was declined or not reconciled. 

If any employers filed their own H-1B Registrations and have been selected to file, the experience immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez, LLP can help you file the H-1B cap-subject petition. Please contact us at 281-493-5529 or
Employers Must Continue to Comply with the U.S. Department of Labor Notice Requirements During COVID-19 Outbreak

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 qualified U.S. workers.

However, H-1B Employees are allowed to work from home. The Labor Certification Application (“LCA”) require that LCA posting notices be posted in his or her home for 10 consecutive days and then stored in the employer’s Public Access File after they are taken down.

If the employee lives outside of the metropolitan statistical area (“MSA”) on the LCA, a new LCA would need to be filed to include the home address as a worksite and an amended petition would need to be filed. The regulations do provide a 30 day “Short Term Placement” option that allows H-1B employers to place an H-1B worker at a worksite not listed on its approved LCA. Only work days are counted towards the 30-day count. If the quarantine last longer than 30 days, the employer will then need to file a new LCA to cover the employee’s residence and comply with all of the LCA notice requirements.

For more information, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP a t .

Travel Restrictions for Nonimmigrant Visa Holders

The U.S. Government has placed travel restrictions from China, Iran, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and Ireland with specific limitations.

The U.S. government has also limited non-essential travel from Mexico and Canada. The essential travel that will be allowed includes travel for medical purposes, to attend educational institutions, emergency response/public health purposes and lawful cross-border trade. Therefore, employment-based nonimmigrant visa holders from Canada or Mexico that have not entered the U.S. will be restricted from entering the U.S. unless they meet one of the essential purposes above.

For more information, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at .

Temporary Closure of USCIS Offices and Consulate Offices Abroad

As of March 18, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is canceling all face-to-face appointments and events, including asylum interviews and citizenship ceremonies, in an effort to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus. This suspension is scheduled to last until at least May 3, 2020. USCIS will provide emergency services for limited situations.

All U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Mexico, and the majority of those in Europe, have suspended routine visa services for both immigrant and nonimmigrant matters. Services for U.S. citizens have also been limited. Emergency services may be provided for limited situations. Information on when the suspensions will be lifted is forthcoming.

For more information, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at .

Impact on Nonimmigrant Status Expirations

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.

In the event that the status expires while USCIS is processing the extension request, employees in most employment-based nonimmigrant statuses will receive a 240-day extension of their work authorization.

When planning for status expirations, petitioners and beneficiaries should keep the following updates in mind:
  • Premium Processing Suspended: On March 20, 2020, USCIS announced that all Premium Processing Services for petitions requiring Form I-129 or Form I-140 will be temporarily suspended.
  • Signature Requirements Relaxed: On March 20, 2020, USCIS announced that it will accept all benefit forms and documents with reproduced original signatures (including the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) for submissions dated March 21, 2020, and beyond. 
  • Visa Waiver Program (VWP) or ESTA Program: Individuals admitted under the VWP/ESTA program who find themselves unable to depart the US before the expiration of their current period of admission due to COVID-19 related issues and who were admitted to the US through IAH, Houston Hobby, DFW, Austin and San Antonio airports (only) or are temporarily residing with the Houston Field Office area of responsibility can contact the Deferred Inspections office at the locations below starting Thursday, March 19, 2020 to request Satisfactory Departure (up to 30 days).  
  • 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 the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at .

Monty & Ramirez LLP
150 W. Parker Road, 3rd Floor
Houston, Texas 77076

Phone: 281.493.5529
Family Immigration: 713.289.4546
Toll-Free: 1.866.427.0152