For New Immigrants: A Welcome Guide


New Immigrants: USCIS recently published a Welcome Guide for New Immigrants.   This guide provides helpful information on topics such as how to keep you permanent resident (green card)  status, how to get a social security number, and what could happen if you are convicted of a crime. To view this guide, click on  Guide for New Immigrants




Replace Green Card


Good News for Green Card Replacement: Those who need to either renew or replace their green cards may now do it online.  Green cards have an expiration date that is normally 10 years from the date of approval of the green card application.  The expiration date is listed on the card. Although permanent resident  (Green Card) status does not expire, the card itself. expires.

What does this mean?

It means that even though your card expires, your permanent residence status does not expire.  You remain a permanent resident as long as you can prove that you have the intent to live permanently in the US a and do not  do something that makes you deportable.  For example, many kinds of criminal convictions can make you deportable.

What happens when my Green Card expires?

If you travel outside the US, you may have a difficult time returning to the US with an expired green card.

You may have trouble beginning new employment with an expired green card.

What if I have a two-year (conditional) green card?

A conditional green card is valid for two years. When you a have a conditional green card you must file an application to remove the condition  within the 90 day period before it expires. In this case, your permanent residence (green card) status does expire unless your application to remove the two-year condition is approved.

To determine when you became a permanent resident, the date that your conditional permanent residence application was approved is the date to use. For example, if you became a conditional permanent resident on January 1, 2014, and your application to remove the condition was approved, your green card would expire January 1, 2024.

For more information  on how to replace or renew your green card see Replace Green Card.

Three Groups Most Likely to be Deported(New Immigration Policy)


Three Group Most likely to be Deported: A change in immigration policy announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will affect 11 million people who are in the US without documents (sometimes called illegal immigrants). DHS will focus on deporting the following three groups of undocumented immigrants.

1. Convicted Criminals

2. Terrorist Suspects

3. Those who have recently crossed the US border (Since January 2014)

For more information on this change in enforcement policy see Who will be deported? 


While not being deported does not lead to getting a green card, or any other immigration benefit, it may provide some peace of mind for those who do not fall within the above groups.

There is one one group who may file an immigration application. Those who qualify for Two-year DACA, may file for temporary relief from deportation and permission to work in the US. For information on who may apply for DACA now see Two-Year DACA

Employment for Husband or Wife of Some H-1B Workers


Some husbands or wives of H-1B workers may file an application for permission to work in the US beginning May 26, 2015.

Who can apply?

  1. Must be in H-4 status and be married to an H-1B worker, and
  2. H-1B husband or wife must fit into one of the following groups:
    1. The H-1b worker has an approved I-140, but must wait to apply for a green card until an immigrant visa (green card) becomes available based on the Visa Bulletin (H-1B can file application for extension of status in three-year increments until he or she can apply for a green card, or
    2. H-1B  spouse can file application for extension of status in one-year increments because either a Labor Certification or an I-140 was filed for him or her before the end of the 5th year in H-1B status.

A husband or wife of an H-1B worker who meets the above requirements may file an Application for Employment Authorization on Form I-765 beginning May 26, 2015 with supporting evidence and a $380 filing fee.

What supporting Evidence is Required?

  1. Marriage certificate showing marriage to current H-1B husband or wife
    1. Evidence that shows H-1B husband or wife meets the above requirements for filing an application for extension of H-1B status beyond 6 years
  2. Entry Documents from Most Recent Entry to US
    1. I-94, either card (front and back) or printout
  3. Copy of most recent EAD
  4. If H-4 has never received an EAD, submit copy of government-issued identity document showing picture, name and date of birth, such as,
    1. Passport
    2. Birth certificate with a photo ID
  • Visa issued by foreign consulate, or
  1. -National identity document
  2. Two identical color photographs of yourself, taken within 30 days of filing your application

Warning!! No H-4 EAD applications will be accepted before May 26, 2015. Do not pay anyone to file an EAD application for you before that date.





H-4 Employment

How does your immigration status affect your eligibility for health insurance?

March 14, 2014 Read the information provided by USCIS on the Affordable Care Act to find out if you are eligible for health insurance and what documents you would need to provide.

From: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  3/13/2014
Did you know that your immigration status may affect your eligibility for health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014. USCIS encourages you to visit to learn more. The website includes helpful resources on:
• The most common immigration documents that you may submit when applying for health insurance;
• Health insurance options for your family;
• How your immigration status affects your eligibility for insurance; and
• How you can verify your citizenship and immigration status.
Go online today to find the information you need to apply for health insurance.

Free Immigration Consultations

March 10, 2014: We wanted to let you know about an upcoming opportunity for a free immigration consultation in Syracuse. If you, a family member, or a friend are struggling with an immigration matter, this events is  a great opportunity to discuss the matter with an immigration lawyer at no charge.

*Saturday, March 22, 2014
Volunteer Lawyers Project – Immigration Clinic
Catholic Charities, 529 N. Salina Street, Syracuse, NY
For more information, contact Sally Curran (315-579-2576; or Felicia Castricone (315-474-7428).

Immigration Benefits for Vets and Members of the Military


February 13, 2014 If you are serving in the US military, or have previously served, your undocumented spouse, child, or parent may be helped by a policy recently announced by the Immigration Service. Your relatives may be able to receive permission to stay temporarily in the US. In some cases relatives may be able to apply for a green card. Click on this link for more information and contact our office if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss this change in the law.