Can’t Travel, Visa Expires, What Do I Do Now?

A lot of people stuck abroad have experienced panicking moments in the past two weeks when flights are cancelled and borders are closed due to the #COVID-19 shutdown. In March, 2020, the U.S. Department of State announced that immigrant (IV) and nonimmigrant visa (NIV) appointments at ALL Consulates are suspended due to coronavirus. Many countries are also restricting exiting and entering in order to control spread of the pandemic.
So what does this mean when my visa expires? 
These travel restrictions have made family unity and returning to work difficult, if not impossible. Employers are now in the dark with no specific return date for their valued employees and facing uncertainties as to their future needs. Since many visas have a maximum period allowed pursuant to regulation, consular officers do not have the authority to extend visa validity. However, the consular may be able to re-print a visa once travel becomes possible.
Consulates are able to re-issue a new visa provided that all supporting documents, such as police certificates, medical examinations, etc., have not expired. If the supporting documents have expired,  the applicant will be required to obtain new copies prior to the re-issuance of the new visa. Applicants will have to contact the consulate for the re-issuance and different consulate has different procedures. 
For people who are stuck in the U.S. either on valid visas or during grace period, but are not able to leave the U.S. to return to their home countries, options are also limited. Many have applied to extend or change their status using the Form I-539, but this also comes with a hefty fee. Others are banking on the fact that a brief overstay won’t be too problematic if it is limited to 180 days.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has filed a complaint against USCIS calling for the immediate suspension of immigration benefit deadlines and the maintenance of status for nonimmigrants in the U.S. in light of the pandemic, urging USCIS to extend its filing deadlines so that lawfully present foreign nationals in the United States can maintain status during the pandemic.
While we wait for the outcome of this lawsuit, we urge everyone to stay tuned and take care of yourselves. 

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.

Signature Required: If Your Green Card, EAD, or Travel Document is Being Delivered

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will begin using U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service to mail Green Cards and other secure documents beginning April 30, 2018. In order to track delivery of your Green Card, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and Travel Document, you have to sign up for USCIS’ online case management:

Applicants must present identification to sign for their documents upon delivery. Applicants can sign up for USPS Informed Delivery to receive delivery status notifications. Applicants will also have the option to arrange for pickup at a post office at a convenient date and time by going to the USPS website and selecting “hold for pickup.”

自从2018年4月30日起,美国公民和移民服务局(USCIS)宣布将开始使用美国邮政服务局(USPS)签名确认限制送达服务邮寄绿卡和其他安全文件。为了跟踪您的绿卡, 工卡(EAD)和旅行证件的递送情况,您必须注册USCIS的在线案例管理:

申请人必须出示身份证明以在交付时签署文件。 申请人可以注册 USPS 交付以接收送达状态通知。 申请人还可以选择在方便的日期和时间在邮局安排取件,方法是前往USPS网站并选择 “hold for pickup”。


今年10月1号就可以拿到你辛苦多年翘首以盼的H-1B签证。终于可以安心赚钱,报效父母了。但是如何可以长期永久的留在美国呢?毕竟来说,H-1B签证也只有6年期限。答案就是 – 你需要你的雇主为你申请绿卡!

大多数基于就业的请愿都需要美国劳工部 (Deparment of Labor) 的永久劳工证书和永久的全职工作机会。永久性劳动验证计划的运作通常被称为PERM Process。一旦永久劳工证书申请已经由DOL批准,雇主将需要向USCIS申请移民授权。

一般来说, 申请需要三个步骤 1) PERM永久劳工证书短缺证明; 2) I-140移民申请; 3)I-485调整身份或者领事程序申请移民签证。雇主在向劳动局提交永久劳工证书申请前,需要先证明你的岗位的工资应该是多少 (Prevaling wage determination) 。然后大约要三到四个月的时间刊登广告招聘,证明缺乏美国劳动人力 (good faith recruitment effort)。如果这些都成功了 – 表示没有其他人可以胜任你的岗位,你的雇主会提交劳工证书。劳动局通常需要六个月以及更多的时间来审批,然后才能知道结果。

永久劳工证书批准以后,雇主可以为雇员递交I-140移民赞助表格。 I-140表格一般也需要六个月左右处理,但是同时也可以要求加钱申请加速审理。这一步是没有悬念的。除非你在这个起劲啊想要转换工作,或者你被炒鱿鱼了,那你需要找一个有经验的移民律师来分析你的情况。



工作就业移民的绿卡有很多种,最常见的是EB-2或者EB-3. 对于在美国读书然后找到工作留下来的留学生来说,这个两种是最常见的。

  • 就业移民:第二优先EB-2。 如果您是拥有高级学位或同等学历的专业的成员,或具有特殊能力的外国人,您可以获得基于就业的第二优先签证。
  1. 在高级学位子类别下,你必须证明你申请的工作需要高级学位,并且拥有这样的学位或同等学历(学士学位以及5年的实地工作经验)。通常,像官方学术记录那样的文件证明你具有高级学位就足够了。
  2. 如果你是一个在科学,艺术或商业方面具有卓越能力的外国人,你也可以申请EB-2。特殊能力文件通常包括,学术成绩,执业专业执照,至少10年的全职工作经验,对成就的认可等。
  3. 最后的一项是,国家利益豁免(NIW)。申请人不需要劳动认证流程,如果您的工作是可以对美国做贡献的。 国家利益豁免申请人通常需要证明特殊能力以及您的就业将大大有益于国家。此外,寻求国家利益豁免的人可以为他或她自己请求,不需要雇主参与。
  • 就业移民:第三优先EB-3。 EB-3类别是为熟练工人,专业人员或其他工人设计的。
  1. 在“Skilled Worker 熟练工人”的子类别中,您必须证明您的工作需要至少2年的培训或工作经验
  2. Unskilled Worker 不熟练工人的子类别,申请人展示执行非熟练劳动力的能力。
  3. 如果您寻求成为专业人士,您必须能够证明您拥有美国学士学位或同等学历,并且学士学位是进入职业的正常要求。经验不能替代学位要求.

Employment Based Green Card Process Overview

Now you have your H-1b, how do you get your employer to sponsor you for an employment-based green card? The visa number backlogs vary enormously based on the applicant’s nationality. It is always better to start early.

The procedure for an employer to sponsor foreign nationals for lawful permanent residence (a.k.a. green card) is composed of three phases: the PERM labor certification, the visa petition, and the application for permanent residence.

I. PERM Labor Certification

A foreign national seeking to obtain U.S. lawful permanent residence through employment must be the beneficiary of an approved application for permanent employment certification. This application requires the employer to test the labor market to determine whether there are any qualified and available U.S. workers who are immediately available to accept the offered position of intended employment. The U.S. employer is required to obtain a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC).  After obtaining a PWD, the employer is required to take required recruitment steps.

II. The Visa Petition

If the PERM application is certified and the employer wishes to proceed to the next step, filing the employment-based immigrant petition (Form I-140) with USCIS, the beneficiary will be required to provide documentation to establish that he or she met the advertised requirements for the position on the date that the PERM application was filed. To file the immigrant visa petition, the employer must also establish that it has the ability to pay the beneficiary of the PERM application at least the prevailing wage as determined by the formal PWD requestor the offered wage, which may be higher than the prevailing wage.

III. Application for Lawful Permanent Residence

The last phase of the process allows the employee file his or her Form I-485, applications for adjustment of status (the application that grants permanent residence). At the end of this step, the employee will be granted permanent residence, and, shortly thereafter, be issued a “green card” as evidence of permanent residence. In the event of a backlog in the employment-based priority dates, the beneficiary and family members will not be able to file concurrent I-485 applications. They will need to wait until their priority date becomes current before they can file these applications.


2018 Diversity Visa Lottery Program 2018多元绿卡彩票抽签计划

Online registration for the DV-2018 Program begins on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 12 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and concludes on Monday, November 7, 2016 at 12 noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST). The lottery will select 50‚000 green card entries. There is no fee to register for consideration in the lottery.Here is the official instructions in English:  DV-2018 Program Instructions. If you prefer to watch a video about the Diversity Visa program, there is one for that too.

Eligible countries? The purpose of the DV program is to diversify and encourage immigration from countries that send lower numbers of immigrants to the United States. A foreign national from the following geographic regions: Africa; Asia; Europe; North America; Oceania; and South America‚ Central America, and the Caribbean, can apply, but there are restrictions. Excluded countries include Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born)*, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

* Persons born in Hong Kong (SAR), Macau (SAR) and Taiwan are eligible.

从2016年10月4日,星期二,中午12时,东部夏令时间(EDT)开始,DV-2018 (绿卡彩票)项目可以网上报名。报名将于周一,2016年11月7日中午12时,东部标准时间(EST)结束。绿卡彩票将选择50000绿卡受益人。绿卡彩票没有费用。英语版的官方说明:DV-2018 Program Instructions。也有可以观看的节目视频:video 

符合条件的国家?绿卡彩票的目的是多样化,从送移民美国的人数较低的国家鼓励移民。以下地理区域的外国人可以申请:非洲; 亚洲; 欧洲; 北美; 大洋洲; 南美洲,中美洲和加勒比海地区。排除的国家包括孟加拉国,巴西,加拿大,中国(大陆出生)*,哥伦比亚,多明尼加共和国,萨尔瓦多,海地,印度,牙买加,墨西哥,尼日利亚,巴基斯坦,秘鲁,菲律宾,韩国,英国(北爱尔兰除外)及其属地,越南。


USCIS to Allow Additional Applicants for Provisional Waiver Process 美国移民局允许更多的申请人申请临时豁免

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a final rule expanding the existing provisional waiver process to allow certain individuals who are family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and who are statutorily eligible for immigrant visas, to more easily navigate the immigration process.  The provisional waiver process promotes family unity by reducing the time that eligible individuals are separated from their family members while they complete immigration processing abroad, while also improving administrative efficiency。

美国移民局(USCIS)最近宣布了一项最终法规扩大现有临时豁免程序的法令。 新的政策允许一些美国公民和合法永久居民的家庭成员,具有法定资格可以移民的人,可以更方便的经历美国移民过程。这项新的豁免程序允许符合条件的个人减少在境外等候完成移民的处理时间,同时也提高了行政效率,促进家庭团结。

Until now, only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens were eligible to seek such provisional waivers before departing the United States for the processing of their immigrant visas.   The new regulation expands eligibility for the process to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the waiver. To qualify for a provisional waiver, applicants must establish that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents would experience “extreme hardship” if the applicants are not allowed to return to the United States.

之前来说,只有美国公民的直系亲属有资格寻求豁免。某些由于在美国有过非法居留不能在境内调整身份(adjustment of status)而必须到境外美国使领馆办理移民签证的目前居住在美国的美国公民的直系亲属可以在新规定生效后先在美国境内向移民局提出临时豁免申请并在申请获准后再出境办理移民签证手续。新的规定扩大了此类申请人的资格。现在来说,要获得豁免,申请人必须证明如果申请人不能返回美国的话,他们是美国公民或合法永久居民的配偶或父母会经历“极端困难” 。

If you would like to find out more about the new rule or if you think you have a case, please call us today.


美國公民入籍 – 如何成为美国公民


  • 居民身份要求: 申请公民的时候必须要有合法的居民身份。 您需要在過去五年裏一直是合法的永久居民 (持綠卡人仕)。 如果你已和美國公民結婚, 則需三年。
  • 連續居住要求:你需要在你目前居住的州住满三个月。
  • 境外旅行要求:您每次離開美國的時間不超過半年。 以及您在美国持有绿卡期间至少有一半時間(2 年 6 個月)身在美國。 如果你已與美國公民結婚,則你至少有一半時間(1 年 6 個 月)身在美國。
  • 良好的道德品質的人:在你递交公民申请表之前3到5年的时间内,你有良好的道德品质。如果你在此之间有触犯过法律,你需要尽快跟你的律师联系以免滋生问题。
  • 选择性参军編號: 在美國居住的, 出生在 1960 年後的男性, 年齡介於 18歲到 26 歲, 均應登記參加 Selective Service。 如果你曾经被要求登記, 但是你在滿 26 歲之前仍未登記, 你應當在申請入籍之前諮詢移民律師。
  • 宣誓效忠美國:所有入籍申請者都願意支持和捍衛美國和美國憲法。 您會宣誓效忠美國,会为美国政府尽力,以及在法律要求下保卫美国。


  • 通常来说,你需要用英語回答美國公民知識 (歷史和政府)方面的問題。你需要能夠讀、寫、說一些會話英語。你的回答不需要完美,语法错误没问题。达到一定年纪的老年人可以有优惠待遇。
  • 如果您没有通过公民身份考试的话,你將有第二次機會參加考试(通常在 60-90 天內). 你不必遞交新的申請表。你將收到一封郵寄來的信, 通知你考试的日期、時間和地點。如果你再次考试不及格,你的申請將被拒絕。
  • 同时你也可以请求豁免。 医疗豁免是指如果你有一種妨礙你學習的殘障 需要“特殊照顧”(援助)。 一般性的例子有:帕金森;母语不会讲;听力不好影响你的学习;創傷後壓力症侯;其他很多种类的疾病残障影响你的学习能力。


  • 把申請材料送到移民局;
  • 在一到兩個月內收到移民局開出的收據表明它已收到你的申請表 ;
  • 移民局告訴你已為你安排好打指模的時間和地點;
  • 打完指模幾個月後, 你將會收到一封信函,告訴你面詴安排的時間和地點。 (3-4 个月);
  • 面詴後, 你將收到你的考试成績,然后在面试过后1-2 月入籍儀式上宣誓效忠美國

如果你想申请公民,感觉无从入手的话,现在就给你的律师打电话吧。本事务所提供免费咨询。我的工作电话是 913-717-7112.