Thursday, October 21, 2010

When Should An Employment Authorization Form Be Submitted?

Employment authorization in simple terms is called the 'Work Permit'. Authorization for employment is a serious process and should be followed per the US government criteria. Regardless of the national origin or citizenship, individuals working in the US should be authorized to work in the US. Non immigrants in US, who are on a temporary stay in the US and are eligible to apply for authorized employment and can file the form I 765, which is the employment authorization form.

I 765 Application for Employment Authorization Document.

An EAD is basically a document which proves that an individual is authorized to work in the US. In case of lawful permanent residents it is not necessary to file the form as the the green card itself is an authorization to work. There are different categories through which an individual applies for the employment authorization form. Depending on the category and the requirements, one has to file the form I 765. A few of the categories that can file the form I 765 are listed below:

*Non immigrants who have filed for lawful permanent residents or application of adjustment of status.

*F1 students seeking OPT in an occupation directly related to studies

*Spouses of E and L visa holders

*M1 students seeking Practical Training after completing studies

*Employment- Based Non-immigrant Categories:

-B-1 Non-immigrant who is the personal or Domestic Servant of a Non-immigrant employee

-B-1 Non-immigrant Domestic Servant of a U.S. Citizen

*Family- Based Non-immigrant Categories:

-K-1 Non-immigrant fiancé(e) of U.S.Citizen

-V-1 Non-immigrant

*People in refugee status and paroled as refugee

*People under temporary protected status or applying for it.

*Individuals who are dependents of foreign government officials

Types of Employment authorization form:

There are four types of EADs and the employers must recognize the available types and authorize the individual per the requirement.

  • Regular EAD or Initial EAD:This is the document that proves that the individual is authorized to work in the US

  • Renewal EAD: This EAD proves that the foreign employee has renewed work authorization under the same category through which he/she has initially purchased. It is important to file Form I-765 at least 90 days before the original EAD expires.

  • Replacement EAD: This document is applied in cases where the original EAD is lost, stolen, or mutilated or the original EAD contained incorrect information, such as a misspelled name or name change .Individuals applying for replacement documents can present the receipt for the Form I-765 as evidence of employment eligibility .

  • Interim EAD: If the USCIS does not approve or deny a foreign employee's EAD application within 90 days (within 30 days for an asylum applicant), the employee may request an interim EAD document which allow her to work for a limited period of time.

Not many know the fact that a work permit or an employment authorization document is very essential for an individual who aspires to work in the US. If the individual is eligible for the employment authorization form then he/she can get the assistance from the employer to help in submitting the form I 765 or the employment authorization form.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Family Immigration - Understanding The Process

A lawful permanent resident has the authorization to permanently live and work in the United States. As a proof of the permanent resident status the individual is given an identification or an authorization card which is commonly called as Green Card . There are many ways in obtaining permanent residence status in the United States. One such way is through Family Immigration. Family based immigration allows an individual to become a permanent resident through a family member who is a US Citizen or a Permanent Resident of United States. The United States allows U.S. citizens and permanent residents to petition for their relatives to come and live permanently in the US.

Family Based Green Card

Obtaining a green card through family immigration is a two step process. The first step is filing the Family Immigration Petition form I-130 where the sponsor must establish a qualifying relationship with the immigrant. The second step is filing the green card application. The second step is not needed if the sponsor is a US Citizen and the immigrant is the spouse or parent or minor child who is currently in the US. Other immigrants who do not fall in this category must go through both the process .

If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen, the applicant may be able to get a green card if he/she is the immediate relative or the family member of the US Citizen. If the applicant is the spouse (husband or wife), or the child (unmarried and under 21 years old), or the parent (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years or older) of a U.S. Citizen then they are called as Immediate Relatives. An applicant is called the Family Member of a U.S. citizen if he/she is an unmarried son or daughter (21 years or older) , a married son or daughter (any age) or a sibling (brother or sister) of a U.S. citizen.

If the Family Member is a Permanent Residents, the applicant may be able to get a green card if he/she is the immediate relative of the Permanent Resident. If the applicant is the spouse of a Green Card holder, or the child (unmarried and under 21 years old / above 21 years) of a Green Card parents, then the applicant is called an Immediate Relative.

To sponsor a family member, the sponsor must meet the following eligibility criteria.

  • The sponsor must be either a US Citizen or a Permanent Resident of the US and a document must be provided as proof for such status.
  • must have a qualifying relationship with the immigrant.
  • must be willing to sponsor the immigrant by filing the family immigration form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)
  • must prove that he/she will be able to support the immigrant and other sponsored family members financially at 125% above the mandatory poverty line.

If the applicant is inside US during the family immigration ins application process, he/she may qualify to adjust status to Permanent Resident without returning to their home country. Or if the applicant is outside US, then he/she may be eligible for Consular processing through a Consulate or through an US Embassy that has jurisdiction over their foreign place of residence.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Immigration Guidelines

Immigration basically refers to the movement of people from one country to another. People immigrate due to varied reasons. Some immigrate due to conflicts, some due to poverty and some may voluntarily immigrate and the process on the whole is a very complex issue. Perhaps one needs a lot of courage to move altogether to a new place considering the facts of new culture and norms and also the pressure to earn for a living in a pretty expensive place with meager savings as well. The guidelines are designed to maintain the economic needs and are pillars of a healthy economy.


The USCIS is a major backbone for all the immigration related issues. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services or the USCIS is a government agency which provides all services pertaining to immigration related issues and has been guiding the people. It is known for its profound services.

The progress of immigration laws has been very uneven during the past years. The laws were created by the independent colonies during the colonial times. Naturalization Act of 1790 made the first attempt to naturalize the foreigners, which later stopped by the Chinese Exclusion Act for the Chinese people from naturalizing and later the Immigration Act of 1924, straightened out the number of people (immigrants) to be permitted depending on the nationality. The Immigration and Naturalization Services, INS was created by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.

Initially the process was carried on by five departments of the federal government which are the Department of State, Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services. Later the immigration INS took the place of Department of Homeland Security, which enforces the immigration laws and guides the foreigners. This is again subdivided into three different departments, the USCIS, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection. This transition took place in the year 2003 due to the scandals in the year 2001. All functions of the INS was taken over by the Department of Home land Security, DHS due to the ineffectiveness of the INS. The ICE functions took over the US immigration and Customs Enforcement and the USCIS took over all the immigration related service functions.

The United States has been accepting more number of immigrants than any other country and hence the name, Land of Immigrants. Immigrating to the US has been a source of cultural change and population growth in the American history. In other words America has been energized by the immigrants who come from different culture and background. The USCIS makes sure that accurate and useful information is given to the people, by granting citizenship and immigration benefits and promoting awareness and thereafter ensure the unity of the immigration system. The USCIS plays a major role in processing the naturalization, refugee, asylum and the visa petitions, issuing employment authorization documents and granting permanent resident status. Effective and efficient processing of the applications is performed by the USCIS through the Application Support Centers and National Customer Service Center. Apart form these, the other goals of the USCIS include easy access to the resources and forms to the customers, secured information of the customers, providing customer oriented immigration benefits and information services, bringing a dynamic culture by promoting talented work force.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Extend or Change Non Immigrant Visa Status

Nonimmigrant status is one that is temporary in nature, whereas an immigrant status is permanent. B-1/B-2 visa status falls under non immigrant status. Work visas holders also fall under non immigrant status. B-1 visa is issued to one who enters U.S. temporarily for business whereas B-2 visa is issued to person who enter as a tourist, or as the dependent of a B-1 visa holder or other non immigrant visa holder.

Having a visa allows you to travel to the US port-of entry and there the permission to enter the US is decided. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are the authority who can permit or deny admission to the United States. At the port of entry, if granted entry to the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security, US immigration inspector will provide Form I-94, the arrival-departure record in your passport. Per US immigration laws, you need to leave the United States if your I-94 contains a specific date. You can extend your visa status to stay longer than the date on your I-94 in the US if you were lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant visa,

At times, persons who entered the US through a visitor visa might want to extend B-1/B-2 status or switch to B-1/B-2 status from another status. In such cases, the applicant must be able to show that the extended stay is temporary, and that he/she intends to return to his/her home country as soon as the status expires.

After the applicant entered on a valid mom immigrant visa, the application to extend or change to B-1/B-2 status is made through I-539 immigration form. The reason for requesting this extension should be justified. If the applicant is a tourist, then he/she needs to detail the places he/she will visit and the activities that are planned. If the applicant is a business visitor, he/she should furnish a letter from the host business detailing the reason for extension or change of status.

Ensure you file this application before your authorized stay expires. Certain cases might be excused if the delay in filing was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control and you need to prove this.

Why should I change my status ?

If you entered the United States as a tourist, but want to become a student, you need to get your visa status changed by submitting an application to the USCIS. You will be going against the US immigration ins laws if you do not apply to change your nonimmigrant visa status. You may also be removed/deported if you break U.S. immigration laws.

While filing I-539 immigration form for your extension, you can also include your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21 in your application. But all have to be in same non immigrant visa category. You can also include them in your I-539 immigration form if your spouse and children were given derivative non immigrant status. Derivative nonimmigrant status means based on your non immigrant status, your spouse and children were given nonimmigrant visas.