Category Archives: Working in the U.S.

Blog articles in this category include information about working in the U.S. and employment-related immigration topics.

USCIS Fee Increases Effective December 23rd

uscis fee increasesEffective December 23, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase the fees that must be submitted with the majority of its immigration forms. The USCIS fee increases, which were finalized in an announcement yesterday, can be found in a final rule published in the Federal Register. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after December 23, 2016, must include these new fees or USCIS will reject your submission.

During the early summer of 2016, USCIS announced fee increases would be coming. The USCIS fee increases became official yesterday. Fees increased by a weighted average of 21 percent for many forms. While fees for some forms increased only modestly, fees for other forms such as Form N-600 ballooned by 95 percent. Continue reading

Expired Green Card Creates 4 Big Problems

CBP officer holds an expired green cardMany people are carrying an expired green card right now. Because you don’t use your card everyday, it’s easy for an expired green card to go unnoticed. By law, permanent residents must carry a valid green card at all times. But in practice, this rarely happens and is rarely enforced by the U.S. government.

When a green card expires, it’s natural to procrastinate before renewing it. After all, the USCIS fee to renew or replace a green card is currently $450 (and will increase soon). That’s a lot of money for anyone. But an expired green card does have consequences that can be even more costly. Continue reading

Best Way to Send Money Abroad

best way to send money abroad internationallyYour first thought when sending money abroad might be to visit your bank or maybe even the convenience of the services at your local Walmart. In fact, you can find remittance services — funds sent overseas by foreign-born residents — in supermarkets, convenience and drug stores, and stand-alone storefront operations. Today, the variety of options can make it complicated to shop for the best way to send money abroad.

Each year, U.S. households send an estimated $135 billion to families, friends, and others abroad. The United States is the world’s largest source of remittances according to the Government Accountability Office. The graph below illustrates U.S. remittance amounts to the top 10 countries. Continue reading

Fight for Families Enters Supreme Showdown

The battle to unfreeze President Obama’s DAPA and expanded DACA executive actions is now in the U.S. Supreme Court

fight for families dapa immigrationYesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments over the lawsuit that froze the implementation of an expansion to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the creation of the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program. For immigration advocates, this is a major decision in the fight for families.
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Replace a Lost DACA Card

Replace a Lost DACA CardIt’s probably the first U.S.-government issued identification that you’ve ever had. So losing a work permit from your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grant can be an exasperating experience. Don’t despair; you can replace a lost DACA card.

It’s important to understand that losing the DACA card, officially known as an employment authorization card, does not mean that you’ve lost your grant of DACA. It’s only a card that proves your deferred action status and authorization to work in the United States.

However, not having the work permit in your possession can create at least two serious problems: Continue reading

USCIS Receipt Number Explained

USCIS Receipt Numbers ExplainedAfter you’ve filed almost any application or petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they will respond by mailing you a Form I-797, Notice of Action, within approximately 1-2 weeks. The I-797, Notice of Action, is commonly known as a receipt letter.

For applicants that have incorrectly filed or included the wrong payment, this receipt letter will indicate that the case has been rejected. The applicant will need to refile. If you’ve prepared the form correctly and followed the USCIS directions carefully, this receipt letter will indicated that your case has been accepted. Once the form has been accepted, USCIS will begin reviewing your case.

The receipt letter contains a unique 13-digit receipt number. Also known as a case number, it’s a very important number to help you track the progress of your case or identify a particular immigration filing.
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How Scalia’s Death Affects DAPA and DACA

scalia death dapa and dacaU.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent death and how a new Justice will be selected has injected new fuel into the Democratic and Republican debates. But it’s highly unlikely that a new Justice will be selected before this spring when the Supreme Court takes on expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Permanent Residents (DAPA). Both the DAPA and expanded DACA programs have been blocked by lower courts. In the case known as United States v. Texas, the Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision. Continue reading

File Taxes with DACA Status

file taxes with daca
After obtaining Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), recipients will generally have to file taxes with DACA. Like everyone else, your income tax return is due April 15th.

If future laws provide a path to citizenship for deferred action recipients, you can bet that your responsibility as a tax paying member of society will be scrutinized. Filing taxes after DACA is a great way to build a solid track record too. Down the road, there’s a good chance you’ll need to show compliance with tax requirements, proof of your income, or prove your physical presence in the United States. Continue reading

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up DAPA

As the fight for DAPA and expanded DACA moves to the Supreme Court, learn how to prepare for the deferred action application.

supreme court takes up dapaThis week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up the case of United States v. Texas. The case will determine the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration that expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and created Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

President Obama announced the expanded DACA and DAPA programs in November 2014. But the programs have stalled due to court challenges. The Supreme Court’s decision will be final.

The Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case is great news for proponents of Obama’s immigration actions. A ruling in the case will likely impact as many as 5 million undocumented people. The existing DACA addresses people who entered the U.S. as children and have no current legal status. (Note: The existing DACA program is unaffected by the court ruling.) The expanded DACA program, which is being challenged in court, makes the program available to a greater number of eligible applicants. DAPA addresses more than 4 million undocumented immigrants who have children who are American citizens or lawful permanent residents. Continue reading

3 Surprising Facts about F-1 Student Employment

f-1 studentThere are many rules and restrictions related to F-1 student employment in the United States. Non-immigrant visas are issued for specific, temporary reasons to visit the U.S.

When issuing a non-immigrant visa, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes measures to validate that the applicant intends to return home. Therefore, there are additional checks to make sure employment is related to your education.

When evaluating their employment options, many international students are surprised to learn about these 3 lesser known F-1 student employment facts: Continue reading