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GLF Articles

DEPENDENTS OF H1B WORKERS WILL BE GIVEN WORK PERMITS

May 9th, 2014

The Department of Homeland Security announced proposed rule changes this week to allow the spouses of some highly skilled temporary workers to hold jobs in the United States, and to remove some of the obstacles that make it difficult for some groups of highly skilled workers to remain here.

That’s very good news for some of the tens of thousands of temporary immigrants, particularly those from China, India and the Philippines, who come to work in science, engineering and related fields under the H1B visa program. In many cases these workers’ spouses have similar educations and skills, but under current law they are forbidden to hold jobs themselves. That makes living in the United States harder on these families, and allows the spouses’ technical skills and career prospects to languish.

The proposal for work permission is limited, however, representing just a modest adjustment in the direction of common sense. It’s only for spouses of H1B workers who have already begun the (often obscenely long) process of seeking permanent residency, or green cards.

Meanwhile, of course, the global race for highly skilled workers continues. Countries with far more generous visa policies, such as Canada and Australia, continue with the proverbial eating of America’s lunch.

This raises the question of why the United States isn’t doing more. An immigration lawyer and blogger, Angelo Paparelli, told The Times that the rules changes were “a rather miserly grant,” given that America’s competitors were “clamoring to get the best and the brightest.” Why not let every spouse of an H1B worker, not just those on the green-card track, have work authorization?

That bolder idea is actually a component of the ambitious immigration bill — but it’s comatose in Congress right now because of staunch Republican opposition. President Obama’s modest changes to the H1B program are an attempt to use his executive powers to repair the inefficient immigration system around the edges. Republicans, naturally, condemned it this week.

The country has to do a lot more to attract immigrants at all skill levels, to reunite families, to be a place where entrepreneurs and innovators the world over want to come, contribute and put down roots. President Obama gets it. Republicans talk about competitiveness, too, but too often they stand in the way.

Sources: New York Times, US Department of Homeland Security

Attorney SID GARBANZOS is a graduate of the City University of New York School of Law and is admitted to practice in New York and Washington, D.C. Practice areas include: Commercial Litigation, Landlord-Tenant, RN & Medical Profession License Defense and Immigration. Please note that this article is written for a gratuitous purpose only and no attorney-client relationship is created in this publication. This article is not, nor intended to be legal advice. The reader should consult with a reputable lawyer based on his or her individual circumstances. Please call Garbanzos Law Firm at (718)725-7324 if you have any questions about this article.

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Philippine Government Has Formally Requested the US to grant Filipinos in the U.S. Temporary Protected Status

December 16th, 2013

The Philippines has formally requested the United States to place the country under a Temporary Protected Status (TPS).  Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario said designating the Philippines under TPS will allow eligible Filipinos to stay and work in the US to assist in the country’s continuing recovery efforts after the monster typhoon hit Central Visayas last month.

The said request was officially conveyed on December 13 by Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. to the Department of Homeland Security through a Note Verbale sent to the US Department of State.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said the request will be evaluated first by US authorities and may take some time.

If the request is approved, eligible Filipinos can start filing their applications which will be reviewed on a case-to-case basis.

Also if approved, the Philippines will join El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Honduras as the countries that were placed under TPS after going through similar natural disasters.

WHAT SHOULD  FILIPINO  IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR TPS PREPARE TO DO ?

1. KEEP RECORDS OF YOUR PRESENCE IN THE U.S. such as  Checking or Savings Account, Money Remittances (Western Union), Money Order Receipts, Cell Phone or Cable Bills, Credit Card Bills, Utility Bills such as Electric or Gas, Medical Records (doctor’s/hospital bills/children immunization records), Lease, School Records (Transcript of Records), Your Children’s School Records (Report Cards), State Issued driver license or  State ID even if expired or Passports issued by your Country’s Embassy or Consulate in the United States
3. DO NOT LOSE YOUR I-94 ARRIVAL DOCUMENTS
4. GET A PASSPORT FROM YOUR CONSULATE OR EMBASSY AND OBTAIN A CERTIFIED COPY OF YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES (If Married)
5. AVOID USING PHONY NAMES ON OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS
6. LEARN ENGLISH. Attend English as Second Language (ESL) Class.
7. PAY TAXES. YOU CAN OBTAIN AN INCOME TAX IDENTIFICATION ITIN) NUMBER IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.
8. IF YOU WERE ARRESTED, GET AN ARREST DISPOSITION FROM THE CLERK’S OFFICE OF THE COUNTY WHERE YOU WERE ARRESTED
9. BEWARE OF IMMIGRATION SCAM
10. SAVE FOR FEES

Sources: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, ABS-CBN News Balitang America

Attorney SID GARBANZOS is a graduate of the City University of New York School of Law and is admitted to practice in New York and Washington, D.C. Practice areas include: Commercial Litigation, Landlord-Tenant, RN & Medical Profession License Defense and Immigration. Please note that this article is written for a gratuitous purpose only and no attorney-client relationship is created in this publication. This article is not, nor intended to be legal advice. The reader should consult with a reputable lawyer based on his or her individual circumstances. Please call Garbanzos Law Firm at (718)725-7324 if you have any questions about this article.

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US Immigration (USCIS) Reminds Filipino Nationals Impacted by Typhoon Haiyan of Available Immigration Relief Measures

November 15th, 2013

Release Date: November 15, 2013- Republication from USCIS Announcement

In light of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (named “Yolanda” by Philippine authorities), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would like to remind Filipino nationals that they may be eligible for certain immigration relief measures if requested.

USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to establish or maintain lawful immigration status in the United States. Therefore, Filipino nationals impacted by Typhoon Haiyan may be eligible to benefit from the following immigration relief measures:

  • Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;

  • Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;

  • Extension of certain grants of advance parole, and expedited processing of advance parole requests;

  • Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;

  • Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs);

  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and

  • Assistance to LPRs stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when the LPR is stranded in a place that has no local USCIS office.

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