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GLF Articles

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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Letter of Appeal to Secretary of Homeland Security to Grant Filipinos in the U.S. TPS or “temporary protected status” due to Super Typhoon Haiyan

November 11th, 2013

Today, I wrote a letter of appeal to acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers to designate the Philippines and undocumented or overstays Filipinos in the U.S.  Temporary Protected Status due to the effects of Super Typhoon Haiyan. As a matter of background, it is within the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate a country whose nationals are here in the U.S. (they would be eligible to get work permits and reprieve from deportation for a specific period of time) who are unable to return safely to their homeland because of the effects of natural disasters of extraordinary proportions such as Super Typhoon Haiyan. Below is a copy of that letter:

November 11, 2013

 

 

The Honorable Rand Beers

 

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security

 

Washington, D.C. 20528

 

 

Re: Appeal to Designate the Philippine for Temporary Protected Status due to natural disasters of extraordinary condition caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan

 

 

Dear Secretary Beers:

 

 

As you may have seen in the news in the last few days, the central part of the Philippines was devastated by Super Typhoon or Cyclone Haiyan – deemed to be the world’s most powerful storm to hit land at more than 200 miles creating a path of destruction and tremendous loss of life in the islands of Leyte and Samar in the Eastern Visayas region and the islands of Iloilo and Negros in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines (10,000 estimated deaths according to  today’s New York Times article).

 

 

The New York Times article also cited a United Nations disaster assessment team that visited the area on Saturday and quoted Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, the head of the team in his statement: “The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami,” referring to the 2004 tsunami that devastated parts of Indonesia and other countries. “This is destruction on a massive scale.”

 

Super Typhoon Haiyan further devastated the already fragile central part of the Philippines not even a month after the island of Bohol was struck with a major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 on October 14 destroying one of the country’s old churches at the town of Baclayon on Bohol island and causing the deaths of 144 Filipinos.

 

 

I am appealing to your office (though I am not sure if one letter writer can be of any influence and as a matter of full disclosure, I am an immigration lawyer in Woodside, Queens, NY – dubbed as the Filipino-town of New York) to look into the effects of this natural disaster of extraordinary proportions which prevents Filipinos from returning safely to their homeland.

 

With the hope that this appeal would merit your kind consideration, I remain

 

 

Very truly yours,

Sid Garbanzos, Esq.

 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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