Month: January 2015

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin 4 Comments

Can You Pass the Citizenship Exam?

When a foreign national seeks to become a United States citizen they must apply for naturalization (the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred to a noncitizen), attend an interview before Citizenship and Immigration Services, and pass the citizenship exam.  This citizenship exam consists of 100 possible questions of our country’s history, government, and civics.  To pass, a person much answer six out of ten questions correctly, or earn a 60%.

Earlier this month, Arizona became the first state in the nation to pass legislation requiring its high school students to pass the citizenship exam before they are allowed to graduate.  Several other states are following Arizona’s lead:  “North Dakota’s House of Representatives has passed a comparable bill, and its Senate approved it Tuesday; legislators in Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and seven other states have recently introduced similar initiatives.”  See how well you can do on the test by taking a mock test here.

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin 10 Comments

Colorado Lawmakers Vote Against Noncitizen Drivers’ License Program

The Joint Budget Committee voted Wednesday against granting extended funding for DMV offices to issue driver’s licenses to noncitizens.  Prior to the vote, five out of the state’s fifty-six DMV offices were able to issue noncitizens driver’s licenses.  Now, after the Joint Budget Committee’s refusal to continue funding, only one office in the State of Colorado will maintain the ability to do so.  The Department of Revenue, which administers the DMV, will provide additional information about which office will administer noncitizen driver’s licenses and how noncitizens should go about applying for a license in the near future.

“The Denver Post estimated that the dearth of offices and the state’s decision to offer appointment-only slots to apply for the licenses meant some of the 150,000 in Colorado seeking the licenses would have to wait more than four years. With only one office offering the service, that wait could jump to more than 16 years.”

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin 6 Comments

Bipartisan Senate Bill Seeks Immigration Reform for the Technology Sector

A bipartisan team of Senators introduced a bill that addresses the continually growing need for skilled and highly-educated workers in the United States’ technological industry.  Specifically, this legislation highlights the increasing demand for workers in the tech field and put forth complaints from employers in Silicon Valley stating that our current immigration law “prevents them from bringing into the U.S. enough skilled programmers to keep up with the demand.”  This bill, known as the “Immigration Innovation Act,” aims to ensure that the best and brightest come to the United States to work and study are allowed to stay in the United States so that they can contribute in a meaningful way to our economy.

While a similar bill was introduced but failed to move through Congress in 2013, this bipartisan group of Senators and tech employers are hopeful that this legislation will initiate the process of bringing immigration law into the twenty-first century.

At present, H-1B visas are capped at 65,000 each year.  Under the Immigration Innovation Act, the annual cap for high-skilled H-1B workers would jump to 195,000 (dependent upon demand) and spouses of H-1B workers would be able to apply for work authorization.

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Temporary Protected Status Extended for El Salvador Until September 9, 2016

TPS may be granted to foreign nationals who are present in the United States when disaster hits their home country or when conditions in their home country prevent safe return.  TPS is granted for temporary conditions such as civil war and/or armed conflict and environmental disasters.

While a foreign national holds TPS, he or she:

  • may not be removed from the United States;
  • may apply for employment authorization; and
  • may be granted travel authorization.

TPS is a temporary grant of lawful immigration status in the United States that does not lead to citizenship, permanent residence, or any other immigration status.

If you are in the United States pursuant to TPS for El Salvador you are required to re-register during a 60 day period from January 7, 2015 until March 9, 2015.  Contact our office today if you need assistance with re-registering your TPS.  Also, if you believe you may qualify for TPS but have never applied, you may be eligible to file a late application.  Call to schedule a consultation with a Stern & Curray attorney.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ken Stern & Emily White Named Top Lawyers by 5280 Magazine

We are proud to share that partners Ken Stern and Emily Assunta White were named in the “Top Lawyers 2015” list in the field of Immigration Law by 5280 Magazine.

For those unfamiliar with how the list is generated, votes are collected from thousands of fellow attorneys before 5280 conducts further research and interviews to determine who makes the final cut.

Congratulations, Ken and Emily, for this well-deserved honor!

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin 22 Comments

Emily Assunta White Becomes Partner

IMG_3917Stern & Curray is delighted to announce that Emily Assunta White has become a Partner. Emily joined the firm in 2010 and has managed the removal defense and family immigration practices since that time. She leads an experienced team in representing clients before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Administrative Appeals Office, and at consulates abroad. Emily frequently presents cases for Cancellation of Removal, Adjustment of Status, Immigrant Visa Processing, waivers, Asylum, Temporary Protected Status, VAWA, and U visas. Emily also advises noncitizens and their counsel on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

In addition to managing the removal defense and family immigration practices, she maintains an active business immigration practice where she helps employers and their employees obtain the most appropriate temporary visa status and permanent residence. Emily also represents a wide range of large and small businesses in both defensive ICE-initiated audits of form I-9 and affirmative audits undertaken by human resources departments to ensure full compliance.

Congratulations, Emily, on this important achievement!

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