Legal Updates for Immigrants

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Q. I am currently out of status and reside in California. I obtained a driver’s license from the DMV under AB 60. I wanted to know if I can use AB 60 to board an airplane?

A. AB 60 became effective in January 2015 and directs the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue a driver’s license to any California resident who is eligible (possessing proof of insurance and passing written, actual, and vision tests).

According to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s Report, it is not recommended to use AB 60 license to board an airplane because:

a) The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) might not accept it as the TSA has been inconsistent in their approach, and

b) TSA officials could use the license as a basis to stop and question someone and refer them to federal agency,  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Thus, you should use other identity documents, such as your unexpired passport. Be aware that TSA is also engaged in immigration enforcement.

Q. I note that effective May 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependents will be able to apply for Employment Authorization Document (EAD), provided the principal spouse (H-1B spouse) has an approved I-140, Immigrant Petition, or the H-1B spouse is currently working in the U.S. beyond a six-year limit on the H-1B status. I wanted to know:

a) Do I need to go through my employer to file the application for EAD for my H-4 spouse?

b) If this EAD allows my spouse to work in any job at any location?

A. You do not need your employer to file the application for EAD for your spouse. The EAD allows your spouse to work for anyone, anywhere.

Q. I work for a consulting company on an H-1B status. Recently my employer transferred me from a client site in San Jose, CA to New York. I understand that my employer need not file an H-1B amendment on my behalf.

A.  A recent decision from the Administration Appeals Office (AAO) has established that if there is a change in the worksite location (i.e. a worksite that is neither within normal commuting distance nor within the same metropolitan statistical area indicated on the existing Labor Condition Application (LCA), an H-1B amendment must be filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Therefore, H-1B employers need to take careful note of this decision by the AAO. Consulting companies who move their H-1B workers from one job location to the next will need to review their current practices and ensure that they adopt measures that will help them to remain in compliance.

Immigration and business attorney Indu Liladhar-Hathi has an office in San Jose.(408) 453-5335

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