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How to Apply for a Work Permit under New Immigration Law

The Obama Administration’s latest new immigration law could benefit many immigrants.

Effective June 15th, 2012, President Obama’s new immigration law will do two things for young immigrants: prevent deportation and grant work permits.

The Obama Administration decided it was time to address the needs of thousands of struggling, young immigrants. Many of these immigrants were brought the United States at a young age and have significant ties to this country – some have lived here since they were children and only speak English. The new law is meant to provide these immigrants with a solution that would prevent them from being deported and would also allow them to work legally in the U.S.

The law is tailored for immigrants who are currently under the age of 30. The immigrant must prove that he is not a threat to the country. Good moral character will also be taken into account. This means that if the immigrant has a history of crime or criminal offenses, he may be denied under this new law.

The new law is meant for young immigrants who came to the U.S. under the age of 16. As minors, these immigrants had no choice in coming to this country. Now that they are here, they should be allowed to stay and get work legally.

Finally, the last requirements under this law are that the immigrant is currently in school or has graduated from high school. If you have received some form of a G.E.D., then that would be acceptable as well. You must also have been living in the U.S. since 2007. If you left at any time within the past 5 years or are currently NOT in the U.S., then you might not be eligible to apply under this law.

Even though you meet these minimum requirements, you may not be eligible for the benefits of this new law. For example, documents must be submitted as proof or evidence that you meet the requirements. If you fail to provide the government with proper documents, your case may be denied.

Furthermore, there may be more requirements for specific cases. A certain criminal offense might still mean that you are eligible for some protection under this law, while other offenses will bar you from benefits altogether.

For these reasons, it is important to discuss your options with a specialized immigration lawyer. Contact Attorney Phillip Kim for more information about Obama’s new law and how it will affect you.

Phillip Kim, esq.
Phillip Kim Law Center

San Diego Office
(619) 752-5379


Undocumented Workers: How This California Bill Will Get You Work Authorization

California Immigration Bill
AB 1544: The California Agricultural Jobs and Industry Stabilization Act of 2012

Assemblyman Manuel Perez (D-Coachella) introduced a bill that would give certain undocumented workers the right to live and work in the U.S. legally.

Based on the bill, if an immigrant has been working in California for at least 150 days and is trying to learn English, then he or she may be eligible to pay a fee and obtain work authorization. In addition, an immigrant’s family (spouse and children) can also obtain permits to live in California with legal status. As a requirement, all applicants would be asked to submit a fingerprint background check to ensure that the applicant has a clean criminal record.

The basis of the law is that California’s $37.5 billion agricultural economy depends on immigrants to work long hours in crop fields. This labor is highly demanding and many argue that legal California residents would not take these agricultural jobs even if they were open and available to them.

AB 1544 will not only affect undocumented workers who contribute to our agricultural economy, but also to other undocumented immigrants who work in the fields of food services (fast food restaurants) and domestic services (janitors, housekeeping).

The bill has already passed through the Assembly of Labor and Employment Committee (4-1 vote) and must now be approved by an appropriations committee before it reaches the Assembly floor.

Two key factors might keep the bill from being passed. For one, the federal government must approve the work-permit program if it becomes a law in California. This means that the bill requires federal support and enforcement because immigration is under federal jurisdiction, preventing states from creating laws without federal consent. Secondly, it must be proven that legal residents would not take the jobs that the illegal immigrants currently have. The unemployment rate in California is 11% (the national average is 8%). Studies must be conducted in order to prove that the 11% of unemployed California legal residents are ineligible or unwilling to take the jobs that undocumented workers currently hold.

Even if the federal government does not approve the law, this bill could be a strong catalyst for future immigration changes. The bill will spread awareness of the positive impact that immigrants have on our economy and push other states to pass similar laws.


Related to a Green Card Holder? How You Can Apply for a Green Card

If you are the unmarried child or spouse of a permanent resident, you too can apply for a green card. A child is anyone under 21 years of age who is not married. Because of this, turning 21 before or during the green card process can delay your visa.

The number of visas available to eligible family members of residents is limited, so there may be some waiting after filing for permanent residence before getting a visa.

If you are living in the U.S., there are two steps to gaining residence. First, your resident relative has to petition for residence on your behalf. Once you have petitioned for residence, wait for your visa to be current and accepted. After waiting for your visa to be updated, you can file for a change of status to permanent resident.

If you are not yet living in the U.S., file for permanent residence then wait for your visa to be approved through the U.S. State Department. After your visa is approved, you can travel to the U.S. and will get your green card upon entering the U.S.

For more information and help with getting a green card, contact attorney Phillip Kim.

(619) 752-5379