Stay up-to-date on immigration news with Monty & Ramirez LLP.
Stay up-to-date on immigration news with Monty & Ramirez LLP.
Employment and Immigration Seminar
You are invited to join us on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 for our Immigration and Employment Update seminar. 
  • Registration and Breakfast 8:30 – 9 am
  • Presentation 9 am – 12 pm
*HRCI/SHRM credit pending approval
To register or if you have any questions please contact Jordannah Nathan, (281) 493-5529 or
Expanded Travel Ban includes Venezuela and North Korea
The Trump administration has announced a new travel ban for certain foreigners from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. The expanded travel ban has restrictions that vary by country and will enter into effect on October 18, 2017. The Venezuelan travel ban applies to government officials and their immediate relatives.
For more information, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at
October 1, 2017: USCIS will Expand In-Person Interviews for Certain Permanent Residency Applicants
Effective October 1, 2017 USCIS will begin in-person interviews for employment-based applicants seeking permanent residency and petitions for family members of asylees and refugees. This change is part of the agency’s comprehensive strategy to improve prevention and detection of fraud in compliance with the Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” USCIS will begin phasing in interviews for the following applicants:
  • Adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status); and
  • Refugee/Asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal Asylee/refugee applicant.
Applicants in these categories had been exempt from attending an in-person interview with USCIS officers to receive an immigration benefit. At this time, there has been no direction or guidance as to how the “phase-in” process will proceed. As such, it is unclear whether or not applicants who have already filed adjustment of status will be included in the “phase-in” process.
Additional information concerning this expansion shall be provided as it becomes available.
For more information, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at
Form I-9 with a Revision Date of July 17, 2017 Must Now Be Used By Employers
As of Sept. 18, 2017, employers must use Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (with revision date 07/17/17) in order to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee hired after Nov. 6, 1986, or for the re-verification of expiring employment authorization of current employees.
Prior versions of the form will no longer be valid for use. Employers who fail to use the revised form may be subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, as enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Employers can complete Form I-9 electronically on a fillable PDF or by hand by downloading the PDF using the latest version of the free Adobe Reader.
For more information, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at
USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has resumed premium processing for cap-exempt petitions including for the following H-1B petitioners:
  • Institutions of higher education;
  • Nonprofits related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education;
  • Nonprofit research or governmental research organizations.
USCIS has also resumed processing of H-1B petitions and waivers for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program.
At this time, premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions. As the workload permits, USCIS will resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions.
For more information, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at
Beginning of Fiscal Year 2018 for Issuance of 33,000 H-2B Visas
The 2017 Fiscal Year for H-2B processing is coming to a close on September 30, 2017. For employers with non-agricultural seasonal or temporary labor demands from October 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, the Department of State will be issuing 33,000 visas for eligible foreign employees during this half of the fiscal year. Interested employers are encouraged to contact our office to discuss how your company might benefit from the 33,000 visas that become available beginning on October 1, 2017. These individuals must be coming to perform temporary work that does not displace a regular full-time employee, and must demonstrate that the need is tied to a particular season or peakload period during the year. We encourage employers to begin the process at least five months before their anticipated date of need in order to ensure the best chance of success in competing for these limited visas.
For more information, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at
2017 Increase in Border Searches of Electronic Devices
In the first six months of Fiscal Year 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conducted approximately 15,000 electronic device searches. In the preceding six months CBP only conducted about 8,000 searches. In light of this increase, the American Immigration Lawyers Association has issued a practice pointer related to CBP’s electronic device search authority:
  • CBP border searches do not extend to information that is located solely on remote servers (i.e. “in the cloud”);
  • CBP equates a request for a personal device password to a request to a traveler to open their briefcase or purse under 19 CFR § 162.6;
  • CBP does not believe it has to inform the traveler of his or her right to refuse a social media or email account password;
  • CBP believes that a search of an electronic device transported by an international traveler does not require their consent; and
  • U.S. citizens will not be denied entry to the U.S. because of a refusal to provide such passwords.
CBP largely relies on 8 USC §1357(c) and the Border Search Exemption of the Fourth Amendment to permit CBP officers at the ports of entry to conduct warrantless searches of electronic devices.  Likewise, the Supreme Court articulated a “border search” exception to the Fourth Amendment protections against warrantless searches in 1925. See Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 154 (1925). Courts have not yet ruled whether electronic devices are covered under the exception, but CBP itself has a policy of requiring travelers to turn over their devices.
To ensure the safety of privileged information, we recommend that clients store any sensitive information, such as intellectual property and trade secrets, on the cloud rather than on a physical device, as CBP cannot request access to remote servers. We also recommend that individuals limit their use of social media applications for posting political content, and consider deleting any social media accounts prior to travel.
Department of State revises 30/60 Day Rule
On September 1, 2017, the Department of State updated the Foreign Affairs Manual with new guidance on the term “misrepresentation” for the for purposes of determining inadmissibility under INA §212(a)(6), which provides: "Any alien who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure (or has sought to procure or has procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States or other benefit provided under this Act, is inadmissible".
Specifically, the 30/60 rule has been eliminated, and new sections regarding status violations or “inconsistent conduct” within 90 days of entry and after 90 days of entry have been added. These changes apply to holders of nonimmigrant visas who seek an extension of status, change of status, or adjustment of status to lawful permanent residency in the U.S.
The 90-days rule conduct that violates or is inconsistent with an alien’s nonimmigrant status includes but is not limited to:
  • Engaging in unauthorized employment;
  • Enrolling in a course of academic study, if such study is not authorized for that nonimmigrant classification;
  • A nonimmigrant in a status prohibiting immigrant intent marrying a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident and taking up residence in the United States;
  • Undertaking any other activity for which a change of status or an adjustment of status would be required, without the benefit of such a change or adjustment.
The presumption of willful misrepresentation will be applied to an individual who engages in these activities within 90 days after their entry to the U.S. Under the prior rule, there was a presumption of misrepresentation by the government that could ban the individual’s entry to the U.S. only if the status violation or conduct occurred within 30 days of entry. For conduct between 30 and 60 days of entry that suggested immigrant intent, the government would need to show a reasonable belief that misrepresentation occurred, and the individual was given a chance to present evidence to the contrary. Generally, there was no basis for a finding of misrepresentation or inadmissibility for an act that occurred 60 days after admission.
Under the new 90-Day Rule, if an individual engages in conduct inconsistent with his or her nonimmigrant status more than 90 days after entry, there is no presumption of willful misrepresentation. For conduct after 90 days, U.S. Consular officers may still seek to revoke the visa if there is a “reasonable belief” based on the facts of the case that the alien misrepresented his or her purpose of travel at the time of the visa application or admission.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that handles change of status and adjustment of status applications in the U.S., has not yet updated its guidance to replace the 30/60 day rule, but this may happen in the near future. Individuals with a pending adjustment of status application are advised to speak with our experienced immigration attorneys to strategize their cases going forward. 
For more information, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at
Trump Delays Implementation of International Entrepreneur Parole Rule for 8 months
The International Entrepreneur Parole rule would have expanded entry provisions to foreign entrepreneurs seeking to start a new business in the United States. After an initial parole period of 18 months, the foreign entrepreneurs would be allowed to extend their stay in the United States if they met certain benchmarks, which included an investment of $250,000 or more and the creation of at least 5 qualifying jobs. If their startups were successful during that time period, they could renew for an additional 30-month period. These entrepreneurs could have then brought their spouses and children to the United States to further develop their businesses and expand their operations.
This Rule was approved by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) in January 2017 during the Obama administration. The Rule was scheduled to take effect on July 17, 2017.  President Trump has now delayed the implementation of this rule until March 14, 2018. DHS is expected to rescind the rule pursuant to the Executive Order: “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements.”
For more information, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at
Global Entry Eligibility Expanded to include Citizens of Colombia, Switzerland and the Republic of Singapore
U.S Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) is in charge of operating the Global Entry International trusted traveler program. This is a voluntary program that provides pre-approved travelers arriving at the United States to be processed at Global Entry kiosks located at designated airports. CBP has expanded eligibility for Global Entry to include the Republic of Colombia, Republic of Singapore and Switzerland. Travelers who wish to participate in this program must apply via the Global On-Line Enrollment System (GOES) Website,, and pay the applicable fee. CBP began accepting applications for the program on August 14, 2017. Additionally, U.S. citizens who are participants of the Global Entry will have the option to apply for membership in Singapore’s enhanced Immigration Automated Clearance System.
The October 2017 Visa Bulletin has arrived!
The Visa Bulletin for October 2017 has been released by the Government. For more details, go to
If you have questions about the October 2017 Visa Bulletin, contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at

Monty & Ramirez LLP
150 W. Parker Road, 3rd Floor
Houston, Texas 77076
Phone: 281.493.5529
Toll-Free: 1.866.427.0152
Like us on Facebook at
Follow us on Twitter at
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.