DACA (Dream ACT) Renewal: What You Need to Know

July 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Two years ago it was announced that individuals who came to the US as children and met several guidelines could request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.

The time for renewal of the initial two-year grant of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) is upon us and we want to highlight the renewal process. To request a renewal, you must meet the initial DACA guidelines:

  1. You were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012
  2. You came to the US prior to your 16th birthday
  3. You have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007
  4. You were physically present in the US on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
  5. Either you entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012
  6. You are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces
  7. You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and you do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety

 

In addition, for your renewal, you must also meet the following:

  • You have not departed the US on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole; and
  • You have continuously resided in the US since you submitted your last DACA request that was approved.

We recommend that submissions for renewal occur no later than 120 days before your current period of deferred action will expire; earlier submissions may be rejected with instructions to file closer to the date of expiration.

There is a $380 filing fee for Form I-765 and an $85 biometric fee for a total filing fee cost of $465 paid to the immigration service.

For more information, please visit the following USCIS website or contact our office.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have and we can assist you with the renewal process of your status. Immigration is all we do!

Coming Soon: H-1B Specialty Occupation Visas!

January 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

H1-B Visas Coming Soon!

April 1 is the annual roll out for the coveted H-1B Visa. The H-1B visa category is one of the most highly sought-after visa classifications by US employers and foreigners. It is open to professionals that will work in a specialty occupation that generally requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

The visa is issued for three years and is renewable. Last year, there were more H-1B visa petitions filed in the first 5 days than the entire allotment in the calendar year of 65,000. Hundreds of employers across the country were unable to hire all the professional talent that they needed.

Contact us if you have an employee you want to hire who requires an H-1B Visa to work for your company.

John Wilson to Speak at NH Institute of Politics Immigration Panel

December 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

Immigration Panel at NH Institute of Politics

GoffWilson partner John Wilson will participate in the panel on Immigration from Canada and its Impact on Economic Development in New England on Tuesday, December 17 at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anslem College.

The event, sponsored by Comcast Business, will take place in the New Hampshire Institute of Politics Auditorium from 8:00-9:45 a.m. To register online, click here.

The economic effect of Canadian firms making their way into New Hampshire and Vermont is an increasingly important issue for New England. During this panel, participants will address a range of questions, including:

  • Who can participate in the job-creating benefits of the EB-5 program?
  • Does the H1B visa fee hinder the development of STEM programs for New England youth?
  • Will relaxing the rules for H1B visas help grow the local economy?
  • Does the sharing of immigration information make it easier for Canadian companies to invest in New England?

The proposed panel of speakers includes experts with a range of relevant expertise, including:

The panel will be covered by Fox Business Channel and moderated by Mike Nikitas, New England Cable News (NECN) anchor and host of “This Week in Business.”

We hope to see you there!

USCIS Responds to Typhoon Haiyan

November 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Immigration-Typhoon-natural-disaster

Time after time we are reminded of the devastating impact of natural disasters.

Along with physical destruction and loss of life, these disasters impact a variety of different people and businesses. Typhoon Haiyan (referred to as “Yolanda” by Philippine authorities) formed off of the coast of the Federated States of Micronesia on November 2, 2013 and passed through the Philippines on November 8, 2013.

Recorded as one of the strongest storms on the planet, Typhoon Haiyan left a wake of destruction leaving thousands in precarious situations.

On November 15, 2013, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a statement reminding Filipino nationals of possible immigration relief measures, if requested. Understanding that natural disasters sometimes make establishing and maintaining a lawful immigration status difficult, USCIS has issued the following measures to ease the process for people affected from this disaster:

  • 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 application, where appropriate; and
  • Assistance to LRPs stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards).

If you, a family member, or someone you know is experiencing immigration difficulties from Typhoon Haiyan, or have questions on what we can do, please give GoffWilson a call; we are ready to help!

Applying for a Social Security Card

October 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

How-To-Apply-Social-Security-Card

If you just received lawful permanent residence status or obtained a visa authorizing you to work in the United States, you may be wondering how to apply for a Social Security card.

The Social Security Administration provides Social Security cards to U.S. citizens, permanent residents (green card holders), and foreigners who have Department of Homeland Security authorization to work in the U.S.

The most convenient way of applying for a Social Security card is to request one as part of the immigrant visa application. During the visa application process, the foreign national may request a SSN on their visa application.  After the foreign national arrives in the U.S., the U.S. government sends the Social Security card to the U.S mailing address provided on the visa application.  So, there’s no need to wait in line at your local Social Security office!  The card should be waiting in your mailbox within three weeks of your arrival in the U.S.

Nonimmigrants with work authorization from the Department of Homeland Security, as well as immigrants who did not apply for a SSN during the visa application process, must visit a Social Security office to apply for a card.  In order for the Social Security Administration to verify your immigration information, you must wait 10 days from your arrival date to the U.S. to apply for the card.

After 10 days, you must complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5) and provide current, unexpired documents proving age, identity, and work-authorized immigration status.  (Note: The Social Security Administration only accepts original documents or copies certified by issuing agency.)

The SSA requires the following documents:

  1. Immigration Status: The applicant must provide a current U.S. immigration document.   This could include: a Form I-551 (Lawful Permanent Resident Card) with your unexpired foreign passport or an I-94 card.
  2. Age:  The applicant must present a foreign birth certificate.  If you are age 12 or older you must also be interviewed by the SSA to ensure you do not already possess a SSN.
  3. Work Eligibility: I-94 card or DHS work permit (I-766)
  4. Identity:  The Social Security Administration requires a current DHS document as proof of identity.  Acceptable documents include: an I-94 card, I-766 work permit from DHS, or a Form I-551 with unexpired foreign passport.

Additional documents are required for students and exchange visitors.  Foreign students with eligibility to work must provide a letter from their designated school official (DSO) identifying the applicant, confirming the school status, and identifying the employer and type of work the applicant will be doing.

The SSA also requires a letter from the student’s employer describing the nature of the job, the number of hours the applicant will be working, and the supervisor’s contact information. In addition, students must also provide their Forms I-20 as evidence of immigration status.

A card will be mailed to you at your U.S. mailing address as soon as the Social Security Administration, in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, verifies your documents. This can take several days or weeks.  If you have any other questions, contact us. It’s what we do!

CBP rolls out New I-94 Process for Arrival/Departure Records

May 3, 2013 § 1 Comment

New I-94 Form Process

As of April 30, 2013, foreign travelers entering the United States (by air or sea) will no longer be issued a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Card.

Instead, Form I-94 will be an electronic documentation of arrival with information obtained by scanning a traveler’s passport. This automation will streamline the entry process for travelers, facilitate security and reduce federal costs.

Customs and border officials will still stamp the passport with the date and traveler status at entry. Foreigners should then go to CBP.gov/I94 to review their record. Any errors discovered should be immediately reported to CBP.

If travelers need information from their I-94 admission record to verify immigration status or employment authorization, the record number and other information will be available at CBP.gov/I94.

Once the foreigner leaves the country, s/he will no longer have access to the records. Our immigration lawyers recommend that travelers print a paper version of their Form I-94 in order to maintain an immigration record of time spent in the U.S.

Please note that because advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP will still issue a paper Form I-94 at land border ports of entry.

Click here to see the dates and airports where the process will be rolled out, and please contact GoffWilson with any questions.

Don’t Miss Our Seminar on How to Complete the New I-9 Form and E-Verify

April 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

I9-Seminar-2013-HRCIEmployers and human resource professionals, do you have questions about how to complete the new 2013 I-9 Form? Don’t miss our training seminar, “The Brand New I-9 Form: How to Complete it & E- Verify for 2013” on Thursday May 16 at the Delta Dental Auditorium in Concord, NH.

We urge you to register early as this event always sells out quickly.

With a revised format and e-verification stipulations, it’s essential you understand how to properly complete the new I-9 which will be required for all new hires starting on May 7, 2013. We’ll cover everything you need to know about the new I-9 Form and how to complete it properly. We will also review E-verify.  The workshop will offer extensive I-9 compliance training, with topics including:

  • Lists of Acceptable Documents
  • Receipt Rules Samples
  • Establishing Office Procedures to Ensure Compliance
  • Issue Spotting, Retention Requirements and Social Security
  • No-Match Letters and E-Verify Requirements
  • Federal Contractor and I-9 Compliance Resource Guide

In addition to intensive I-9 training, attendees will receive three hours of HRCI credit, the updated version of the GoffWilson proprietary I-9 manual, and breakfast. Space is limited and this event sells out fast, so register today to reserve your seats!

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