COVID 19 – Unemployment Benefits for Immigrant Workers

immigrant’s eligibility for unemployment benefits and consequences on green cards

Question: Do I, as an immigrant, qualify for unemployment benefits if the coronavirus (COVID-19) causes me losing my job?

Answer: Yes, however, immigrant workers must satisfy the same requirements for #unemployment. You must be unemployed due to no fault of your own, and you must have earned enough wages or worked enough hours in your “base period” to qualify. If you are currently employed or if you quit, then you are not eligible for unemployment benefits.  If your employer offers sick leave to address COVID-19 in lieu of layoffs, you cannot quit on your own volition to get unemployment benefits. If an employer shuts down operations temporarily and no work is available, you are eligible for unemployment.

Question: If I cannot go to work because I quarantined myself, can I get unemployment?

Answer: MaybeIf your employer allows you to work remotely and you choose not to accept that work, you are not qualify. If the employer requires you to stay home but did not offer work from home, then you might be eligible for benefits.

Question: How much is unemployment?

Answer: Depends on your state law and the reason why you cannot go to work. In addition, Pandemic Federal Unemployment Compensation  allows an additional  $600 on top of weekly unemployment benefits for up to four (4) months, not to exceed July 31, 2020.

Question: Does unemployment benefits hurt my green card #adjustment of status application in the future?

Answer: USCIS does not consider “unemployment” in the public charge inadmissibility determination because they are considered earned benefits through the person’s employment. Unemployment is a type of insurance that employers pay into. This isn’t taxpayer money, so it does not affect your green card.

Question: If I am undocumented, do I get #unemployment benefits?

Answer: If you are undocumented, chances are you do not have valid employment authorization or valid SSN, then you are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Question: I applied for work authorization extension and have not yet received my new work card, can I get unemployment benefits?

Answer: If you have proof that you have applied for an extension, you might allowed to receive benefits. 

File unemployment with the Missouri Department of Labor here.

File unemployment with the Kansas Department of Labor here.

Ley de Libertad de Información

Para solicitar un registro de inmigración sobre usted, pruebe el nuevo Sistema de Registros de la Ley Libertad de Información. Hay una cantidad de registros de inmigración de USCIS disponibles a solicitud. Usted puede crear una cuenta de USCIS en línea para solicitar y recibir documentos digitalmente, y eliminar el tiempo y los gastos asociados con el envío de peticiones por correo.

Para comenzar, visite y cree una cuenta. Después de crear una cuenta de USCIS en línea y vincularla a su caso, podrá iniciar una sesión en el centro de entrega digital para ver y descargar los registros que solicitó.

Visite la página FOIA de CBP para solicitar registros de la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza de archivos de no extranjeros.

Para solicitar registros de que no sean de inmigración o un registro de inmigración en nombre de otra persona, debe usar una de las opciones de solicitudes por correo, fax o correo electrónico que se muestran a continuación. Esos tipos de procesos de peticiones aún no están en línea, ¡pero lo estarán pronto! También puede usar el Formulario G-639, pero no es obligatorio.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office
P.O. Box 648010
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010

  • Si puede escanear la firma notarial o la firma realizada bajo pena de perjurio del sujeto del registro, adjúntelo a un correo electrónico y envíelo a
  • USCIS no recopila los números de Seguro Social en relación con las solicitudes FOIA.
  • FOIA es gratis. 

USCIS Service Fee Change Show 21 Percent Increase

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to adjust USCIS fees by an increase of 21 percent. Read the federal regulation here DHS claims that current USCIS fees leaves the agency a shortfall of $1.3 billion per year and the fee increase is necessary to recover the full operating costs.

USCIS says it has conducted small entity analysis based on a representative sample of the impacted population, The new rules introduce form changes as well as several new forms.

The most important forms with a fee increase are as follows:

Form No. Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative $535 $555 $20
I-131 Application for Travel Document $575 $585 $10
I-131 Travel Document for an individual age 16 or older $135 $145 $10
I-131 I-131 Refugee Travel Document for a child under the age of 16 $105 $115 $10
I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant $930/585 $1,415 $830/ $485
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal $930 $1,040 $110
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion $675 $705 $30
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant $435 $455 $20
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (certain applicants under the age of 14 years) $750 $1,120 $370
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur $3,675 $4,015 $340
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status $370 $400 $30
I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal $0 $50 $50
I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative $775 $810 $35
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility $930 $985 $55
I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver $630 $960 $330
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence $595 $760 $165
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization $410 $490 $80
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Renewal) $0 $275 $275
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition $465 $500 $35
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status $3,750 $3,900 $150
I-924A Annual Certification of Regional Center $3,035 $4,470 $1,435
I-929 Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant $230 $1,515 $1,285
N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention $270 $1,320 $1,050
N-336 Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings $700 $1,755 $1,055
N-400 Application for Naturalization $640 $1,170 $530
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes $355 $1,600 $1,245

This may prove to have significant financial consequences for several groups, including people who have previously been removed from the U.S. and is eligible to re-enter the U.S. (an $830 increase in fees), U visa family members (an $1,285 increase to qualify as U-1), people who seek to naturalize as U.S. citizens (a $530 increase) people whose naturalization have been denied and are seeking review (a $1,055 increase). We recommend that if you are eligible for the above filings, we need to get them in as soon as possible.

Forms that will becomes cheaper are as following:

Form No. Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card $455 $415 -$40
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) $535 $520 -$15
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $700 $545 -$155
I-191 Application for Relief Under Former Section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) $930 $800 -$130
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status $1,140 $1,120 -$20
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship $1,170 $1,015 -$155
N-600K Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 $1,170 $960 -$210
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document $555 $545 -$10
  USCIS Immigrant Fee (consular processing green card fee) $220 $200 -$20
  Biometric Services Fee $85 $30 -$55
  Dishonored Payments (Returned Check Fee) $30 $0 -$30
I-910 Application for Civil Surgeon Designation $785 $650 -$135
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits $600 $590 -$10

The deceased fees, comparing to the increases, are minimal. In addition, DHS is proposing to separate Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, into several forms, including the following:

Form No. Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference
I-129CW (Proposed) Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker $460 $705 $245
I-129E&TN (Proposed) Application for Nonimmigrant Worker: E or TN Classification $460 $705 $245
I-129H1 (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-1 Classification $460 $560 $100
I-129H2A (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-2A Classification $460 $860 (named); $425 (unnamed) $400 (named)
I-129H2B (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-2B Classification $460 $725 (named); $395 (unnamed) $265 (named)
I-129L (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: L Classification $460 $815 $355
I-129MISC (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-3, P, Q, or R Classification $460 $705 $245
I-129O (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: O Classification $460 $715 $255

If you have any reliefs pending and need assistance, we recommend everyone take the opportunities now.

EAD Automatic Extensions for Six TPS-Countries

El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan TPS EAD extension

DHS is automatically extending TPS Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) validity listed for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan through January 4, 2021. These EADs should have category code of A-12 or C-19. Read the automatic extension notice here.

What is TPS?

TPS is a temporary immigration benefit for certain countries suffering from on-going armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. It allows qualified individuals in the U.S. to stay here for a limited time period as ordered by the President. 

What are my rights at work?

Persons covered by TPS can receive the Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). TPS workers, like everyone else, have the right to provide their choice of valid documentation to demonstrate their identity and work authorization. An employer that treats TPS workers differently in the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify) based on the worker’s citizenship status or national origin may violate anti-discrimination laws.

Blanket Extension

When the government extends a country’s TPS,  USCIS sometimes issues a blanket extension of all expiring EADs for that country, to allow time for USCIS to issue new EADs. Such extension can be found here. If USCIS automatically extends your EAD, you do not have to show an I-797C with your EAD to keep working. An employer should not  ask for additional documentation to prove employment eligibility.

Renewal Application

If the government does not issue a blanket extension for TPS EADs, a TPS worker can apply for a renewal EAD, the worker can present the current TPS EAD with the I-797C receipt notice showing that USCIS received the EAD renewal application. This document combination is valid for 180 days after the original EAD expiration date, and are valid for employment eligibility verification purposes. 


Resident and Nonresident taxation

在世界上的任何地方的美国公民(USC)以及绿卡持有者 (LPR)都必须对所有收入来源缴纳美国个人所得税,无论此类收入是来自美国境内还是境外,因此所有美国公民以及绿卡都是美国纳税居民。

美国国税局(Internal Revenue Service)强烈鼓励严重欠税的纳税居民偿还欠款或与美国国税局(IRS)签订付款协议. 2015 签订的FAST法案要求国务院拒绝欠税人的护照申请或拒绝护照更新。在某些情况下,国务院可能会撤销严重欠税的纳税人的护照。该法律影响的纳税人是那些欠债严重的人。具有严重拖欠税款的纳税人通常是欠国税局超过 51,000美元的应交税款,罚款和利息。

出于联邦个人所得税的目的,外国人分为居民或非居民外国人。绿卡都是居民。居民也包括在一年内在美国居住超过31天,或者在两年内在美国居住超过183天的人。如果某人在外国拥有税籍并且在美国的停留时间少于183天,则将被视为非居民。另外来说,在美国拥有 F,J,M或Q签证的人,也可被视为非居民。

居民应与美国公民遵守相同的联邦所得税法。与美国公民一样,绿卡居民也应就在美国和国外赚取的所有收入缴税。 绿卡居民使用1040表格系列提交纳税申报表,可以申请扣除和抵免额,并按与美国公民相同的税率纳税。绿卡居民与美国公民一样,除了个人所得税以外,会需要缴纳社会保障和医疗保险税(FICA税)和自雇收入税(SECA税)。

非居民应按美国境内来源的收入征税,但通常不对外国来源的收入征税。 税收条约(Tax Treaties)为非居民提供福利。 如果非居民在美国的停留时间少于规定的时间段(例如90天,180天或183天)或收入金额少于指定的金额(通常在3000到10,000美元以内),并且由外国雇主支付,则不需要缴税。 此外,特定群体(例如,学生,教师,运动员和外国政府雇员)的收入通常也免征美国税。非居民无需缴纳SECA税.

通常,离开美国的非居民必须从国税局获得IRS许可证(sailing permit),该证明表明该人“已遵守所得税法对他施加的所有义务。” 如果在未获得许可的情况下离开,国税局可能会在出境海关处对他们进行检查要求缴纳应缴税款。 某些外国人可以不申请IRS许可证,包括国际组织和外国政府的雇员; 具有F,H,J和M签证的学生; 军事学员; 持B-1或B-2签证的访客; 持C-1签证在美国过境的外国人; 以及来自加拿大和墨西哥的通勤者。

美国的全球征税还是很复杂的。在某些情况下,有些许 “无意的美国人”  – 这些人可能是因为出生在美国后而在美国境外长大,或者出生在美国境外但父母是美国公民 – 多年来一直没有意识到他们作为 USC 的身份。 最初,对于 “无意的美国人” 来说,发现自己是美国公民可能使人非常兴奋,直到他们发现自出生以来一直是美国纳税居民。 正是在这一点上,美国公民的价值可能下降。对于 “无意的美国人” 来说,这是非常困难的,因为他们的义务是遵守美国税法。




传言中因为由于享受政府福利而被禁止移民的法规终于最终出台。这对于在纽约拿过白卡或者享受过 medicaid 的人来说将有哪些影响呢?尽管美国移民法并未明确定义“政府福利”一词,但自1999年以来,移民局指南将其解释为 “将有可能主要依赖于政府援助”或“需要长期政府承担的经济困境“的人群,也就是说无论是长期依赖的还是短期的政府援助,都有可能被列入这项法规之内。

首先我们需要了解的是这项法规将会造成的两个不同的结果。 一是可能会排除很多申请绿卡人(ground of inadmissibility)国土安全局(DHS)和国务院(DOS)主要实施美国移民法。 长期以来,美国移民法都有包含排除和驱逐条款。美国政府想要在财政上限制对贫困的移民的支出。 根据美国移民法,如果个人“随时有可能申请并获得联邦福利”,则可能被拒绝入境美国或得到绿卡身份。当个人申请调整为绿卡身份时,国土安全局的下属移民局 USCIS 会决定申请人是否“可能申请并获得联邦福利”。 在国外,当个人申请移民签证时,国务院领事官员作出这类决定。这是坚定个人移民是否达标的一个关口。

第二种可能性是“联邦福利”可能会被用来驱逐已经持有绿卡的人(ground of removability)。如果但是人在申请绿卡时没有报告自己接受过福利,则可能被移民局视为说谎从而被递解出境 。这也可能发生在拿着绿卡回国重新入境美国的人群。每一次你离开美国国土过后返还美国,海关都有权利问话。绿卡持有人也可能会因为过去获得过联邦福利而被从美国驱逐出境。 这项驱逐的理由一般很少被用,但目前来说没有人可以知道将来是否会成为递解移民出境的武器。


  • 难民和庇护人群;
  • 军人的配偶和子女;
  • U型或T型签证申请人;
  • U型或T型非移民申请调整身份;
  • VAWA自诉人,

这些类别的个人可免被免除。国务院在2018年1月对《外交事务手册》(FAM)进行了修订,以指示领事官员在面试签证申请人积极考虑更广泛的公共福利,无论是目前确定接受或是曾经接受过福利的个人都将可能被拒。 在2019年8月,Politico报纸报告了拒绝移民签证的原因,发现:“在过去一年中,来自所有国家/地区的申请人由于依赖政府的福利而被拒的人数大量增加。POLITICO获得的初步数据显示截止到7月29日,有12,179人由于依赖政府福利从而签证被拒—这使该部门的进度超过了去年的总数。2016财政年度,美国国务院仅以依赖政府福利的理由拒签了1033个人。 ”

2019年8月14日,美国公民及移民服务局发布了依赖政府福利的最终规则。该规则于2019年10月15日(美国东部时间)上午12:00生效。DHS仅将此规则应用于在生效日期或之后(或以电子方式提交)的申请和请愿书。 在规则生效之日已提交移民局的申请和请愿书(即已在规则生效日之前加盖邮戳,并已被移民局接受)将不受该规则约束。


Trump asylum rule

政府在2019年7月时表示将终止所有抵达美墨边境的移民的庇护从而削减在美国寻求庇护的人数。政府政策是 – 所有在前往美国途中经过另一个国家(在这种情况下是墨西哥)的移民将没有资格获得庇护。 该政策也适用于单独越过边境的儿童。

受此政策影响的绝大多数人来自中美洲。 但有些人也来自中国,非洲,古巴,或海地和其他国家。任何试图通过美国 – 墨西哥边境入境美国的移民将会受此政策影响。此政策有一些例外,包括人口贩运受害者。 美国法律允许难民在抵达美国时请求庇护,无论他们如何到达或越过美国边境。寻求庇护者必须通过一个最初的庇护审查,来证明必须证明他们有靠谱的恐惧。这将成为新政策下绝大多数人的障碍。 根据新政策,除非这些移民至少在一个途径国寻求庇护并被拒绝,否则他们将无法通过最初的庇护审查。 此政策适用于抵达美国的移民,而不是那些已经到达该国的移民。

今年9月11日的时候, 美国最高法院同意了川普政府的这项新的政策,如果申请人在前往美国途中经过另一个国家而没有在停留国申请庇护,这类庇护申请表将被拒绝。他们将被置于快速驱逐出境程序中。这种转变扭转了美国几十年的庇护政策。 目前尚不清楚政府何时会正式执行该政策。此项政策将对很多从美墨边境入境的寻求政治庇护的中国人造成影响。