Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2015


1.     No estoy casado con mi pareja, pero tuvimos hijos en conjunto.   Puedo aplicar? Si. No tiene que estar casado para calificar a DAPA. El único caso en que puede haber inconveniente es si el nombre del padre no aparece en el certificado de nacimiento porque los padres no estaban casados. En este caso lo que simplemente debe hacer es corregir el certificado de nacimiento en el condado donde el niño nació y reflejar el nombre del padre en el certificado. Si la madre no estuviese de acuerdo, un test de DNA sería necesario.  2.     No tengo hijos propios pero mi esposa tiene hijos que hemos criado en conjunto. Yo califico? Si. Siempre y cuando estuviesen casados antes que los niños cumplieran 18 anos. Inmigración los considera sus hijos para el caso de las aplicaciones de inmigración. Si actualmente usted no está legalmente casado, no se pueden considerar a estos niños como propios.     
3.     Yo fui deportado antes del 2010, pero me devolví a los Estados Unidos después de que me…

The Form I-9: A Little Document with Big Consequences

Employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.This is done by the employer and employee completing a Form I-9. In fact, we have probably all had to fill out a Form I-9 at one point or another in our careers.Likely, we did not pay much attention to the document and simply viewed it as another small paperwork hassle.
However, there can be big problems for employers who take this attitude as an incorrectly completed Form I-9 can lead to substantial penalties.Many employers mistakenly believe that penalties are only assessed to employers who hire undocumented workers and so they do not take the time to make sure the I-9 is completely and correct filled out.They are often shocked to discover that fines can be assessed regardless of whether or not the employee is legally able to work in the United States.
For example, ICE recently fined a small New York company several thousand dollars because the company d…

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Wait Another Moment to Become a U.S. Citizen

President Obama, in his recent Executive Action on Immigration, made the naturalization of the more than 8 million legal permanent residents in the United States a priority. The President is currently promoting naturalization, possibly letting applicants pay with a credit card, and may consider a fee waiver. The time to naturalize is now.

Legal permanent residents, also known as residents or green card holders, may apply to naturalize, or become a citizen after 5 years of being a permanent resident (or 3 years if received got your green card through a U.S. citizen spouse). You can file your application 90 days before your 5 (or 3) years are complete.
You should begin this process as soon as you are eligible, and here's why:

1. Immigration authorities can almost never deport you once you are a citizen.

Once you become a citizen of the United States, immigration authorities cannot deport you under any circumstances unless they denaturalize you. Immigration can only denaturalize you if…

It's Time to Prepare to File the H-1B Visa--Lottery Starts on April 1, 2015

Its remarkable how fast the April 1, 2015 H-1B filing deadline has arrived this year!  We want to remind all employers that if you are considering hiring a foreign national this year, you must begin the H-1B petition process now, to have it ready on April 1.  There appears to be little, if any chance that Congress will act on immigration reform this year, including a much needed increase in the H-1B cap. We also expect a record number of applications this year, given the expanding economy and lagging US educational system. As soon as possible, we encourage you to identify any employees who may require H-1B sponsorship. This year we again expect the cap to be reached as early as the first week of April. Once the H-1B cap has been reached, employers will be unable to file new cap-subject H-1B petitions until April 1, 2016.
In addition to the 65,000 H-1B cap-subject H-1B visas, there are an additional 20,000 visas available for individuals who have earned a master’s degree or higher from …

Why Georgia's SB-6, Seizing Driver's Licenses from DACA Recipients, Is Unconstitutional (and Bad Public Policy)

In an act that seems like a desperate last gasp to remain relevant, Georgia's anti-immigrant caucus has once again submitted far-reaching anti-liberty legislation to the Georgia Legislature in November 2014.  SB-6 was introduced by Senator Josh McKoon (R)(Columbus) during the November pre-filing period. SB-6 has remarkable breadth and overreach, and is not just limited to seizing driver's licenses from lawfully present DACA recipients.  It actually authorizes the Department of Driver's Services to take citizen's DNA before giving them a license.  This unnecessary DNA Seizure bill is simply not in the best interests of Georgia.  
As if the seizure of driver's licenses already issued to DACA recipients and other beneficiaries of federal immigration Deferred Action (such as battered women, victims of crimes, and those whose removal is not the national interest) is not enough, SB-6 also gives no legitimate reason why these noncitizens should be deprived of their legal …

Obamacare and Foreign Nationals: Who Pays the Tax Penalty?

We have recently received a lot of questions about the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") requirement that ALL persons in the United States prove that they have health insurance or face a penalty, and specifically whether that means ALL foreign nationals.  The answer is yes, and no. 
Anyone who meets the definition of a "tax resident," which is a person physically present in the US for more than 183 days in a year, must show that they have health insurance. This anyone with "lawful status" in the United States:  As The IRS Says on their website: U.S. citizens living in the United States are subject to the individual shared responsibility provision, as are all permanent residents and all foreign nationals who are in the United States long enough during a calendar year to qualify as resident aliens for tax purposes. Foreign nationals who live in the United States for a short enough period that they do not become resident aliens for federal income tax purpos…

TPS for Syria Renewed!

Yesterday USCIS announced that it would renew Temporary Protected Status for Syria, extending TPS for Syrians currently with TPS, but also including all eligible Syrians who are currently present in the United States as of January 5, 2015. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration benefit that allows qualified individuals from designated countries (or parts of those countries) who are in the United States to stay here for a limited time period.
The resignation period for TPS has been extended from April 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. This permits Syrian nationals who were physically present in the United States on January 5, 2015 to register or re-register for TPS. Those currently on TPS status who wish to extend their status must re-register during the next 60 days, through March 6, 2015. This 18 month extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  Any re-registrations who do not receive their new EADs until afte…

In Case You Missed It! --- Temporary Protected Status Announced for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

In the excitement of President Obama’s announcement on Executive Action back in November and the new DAPA Program, many missed the part where the Department of Homeland Security also designated Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).  As many of us know, TPS is already designated for numerous other countries, but these three are now added to the list as a result of the Ebola outbreak.
In order to qualify for TPS, one must be a native and citizen of one the named countries, must have been present in the United States on or before November 20, 2014, and must not have more than two misdemeanor convictions.  The applicant also cannot have an aggravated felony, but may still be eligible even with an order of removal.  It is important to note the date by which the individual must have been in the U.S., so that some do not try to enter the U.S. after November 20, 2014 thinking that they can apply for TPS.
TPS is a designation reserved for those countries that…

Dealing With the End of Employment for a Foreign National

We are frequently asked what obligation does an employer have when it terminates a foreign national employee, and what options are available to the foreign national employee if he is terminated.  This memo provides guidance to employers in dealing with immigration matters for the employee who is terminated, with or without cause, or who chooses to leave the employer.  Employers terminating foreign employees should also consider arranging for immigration counsel to advise foreign employees on the consequences of termination as one of the services provided to workers being terminated.
The foreign national employees referred to here do not include lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens. Foreign national nonimmigrant workers usually fall under the H-1B, L, E, O, and TN temporary work visa categories. The most common nonimmigrant work visa, H-1B, is used for an “alien who is coming to perform services in a specialty occupation.” L visas are used for intra-company transferees that ent…