E3 and E2 Visas for the Irish and Israelis

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Top government officials are of the opinion that there will be early progress on securing the Irish E3 visa bill. If this new bill is passed, 10,500 highly skilled Irish professional level workers will be able to apply for the US E-3 visa program each year.

At present, the E-3 visa is made available only for Australians. If the new bill is passed, the Republic of Ireland will be included in the E-3 visa program. If approved, Irish individuals with a professional level job offer will be able to live and work in the US for two years. They can renew the visa an unlimited number of times. E-3 visa holders’ spouses are permitted to work in the US. They can apply for an Employment Authorization Document by filing Form I-765 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

This bill is also sponsored by US Senator Mark Kirk. It is also seen as an alternative to the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, a bill that was sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer. Schumer’s bill, includes an Irish immigration provision and it has been referred to the US Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Per Brown, the INA put in place bureaucratic hurdles for Irish immigrants and caused Irish immigration numbers to come down to all-time lows. Though there was some legislative relief in the l990s, the Irish still face quotas that don’t reflect the level of demand.

The E-3 visa requirements are similar to the H-1B visa where it is used for staff in specialty occupations that require a high degree of specialized knowledge. In addition, at least the equivalent of a US Bachelor’s degree or at least twelve years of relevant professional level experience is mandatory. required.

At present, Australian nationals seeking to get an E-3 visa have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • be a national of Australia
  • have an US employer who is willing to sponsor you
  • have the required academic or other qualifying credentials
  • fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation
  • coming to the US sonly to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in a professional field, and at least a bachelor’s degree or at least twelve years of relevant experience.

In addition to the above mentioned bill, a member of the US House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would permit eligible Israelis to receive non-immigrant E-2 Treaty investor visas in the US. At present, Israelis do not qualify for the E-2 treaty visa. Through the E-2 Treaty Investor visa, foreign investors can temporarily live and work in the US in their US based business.

If this bill is passed, Israelis who invest in a new or existing business in the US will be able to stay and work in the US with their families. The US E-2 Treaty Investor visa is valid for two years and can be extended indefinitely as long as the visa holder still meets the requirements.



February 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

The USCIS recently announced that through a free online service of E-verify, Self Check worker can check their own employment eligibility status. It is now available in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

Since the launch in March, around 67,000 people have used Self Check and it is expected the participation will significantly increase with service now available to individuals across the country.

This online service, Self Check was developed through a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). It was developed to provide individuals a tool to check their own employment eligibility status. In addition it acts as guidance on how to correct their DHS and SSA records. This is the first online E-Verify service offered directly to workers. It is available in English and Spanish.

Since the launch, thousands of individuals have used Self Check to access their federal employment eligibility records. It is also an guide to know how to correct potential record discrepancies before the hiring process.

USCIS also celebrated the official opening of its immigration field office in Queens, N.Y. The new office is located at 27-35 Jackson Ave. It has waiting rooms, an Application Supprt Center (where fingerprinting and photographic services are offered), a naturalization ceremony room, and interview and file rooms. The building, previously a warehouse was renovated to create a modern and efficient office space. The Queens office can serve about 500 people each business day. The office hours are between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Around 100 employees transferred to the Queens office from the now-closed Garden City, Long Island, office. In addition, the USCIS recently opened an office in Holtsville, Long Island.

Posthumous Citizenship

February 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

Per Public Law 101-249, foreign national or non citizen national whose death was due to an injury or disease that happened on active duty with the US armed services during specified periods of military hostilities are granted American citizenship. Posthumous citizenship is a status given to honor the bravery and sacrifices of such persons. Remember that it does not convey any benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to any relative of the deceased person.

Once the USCIS approves your application, you will be issued a Certificate of Citizenship (N-645) in the name of the deceased person. Note that the certificate only establishes that the person is considered to be a US citizen as of the date of his/her death. It is not valid for other purposes. There were a few changes effected in the Form N-644 instructions. The current Form N-644 edition has updated instructions regarding the eligibility requirements while applying for a Certificate of Posthumous Citizenship. One significant change is that persons who die as a result of active-duty service in the US armed services on or after September 11, 2001, now qualify for US citizenship. Mail your completed N-644 application along with the supporting documents (if any) to the California Service Center. Note that there is no filing fee for this application.

Remember that if you intentionally give false information or hide a material fact or submit a false document while you submitting your application package, USCIS will reject your application and also deny other immigration benefits. Apart from these, you will be subject to harsh penalties provided by law and might also lead to criminal prosecution. So always make sure you are true and transparent in all the disclosures.

Once the form is accepted, the USCIS will review it to check for completeness, and verify if the required documents are submitted. If the form is incomplete, or lacks the required evidence, the USCIS may deny your application. If you are not required to submit original documents along with the application, you can submit legible photocopies. Documents that are in a foreign language should be accompanied by a English translation. The translator has to certify the translation as complete and accurate. In addition, the translator should certify that he is competent to translate from a foreign language to English. There is no need to attend an interview. However, note that if the form is approved and you are outside the US at present, you have to appear at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate to sign for the certificate.

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