TAXPAYERS EXPERIENCING DELAYS IN RECEIVING TAX REFUNDS April 2013
The IRS and State tax agencies are delayed in issuing tax refunds to millions of Taxpayers for tax season 2012. According to the IRS, the major cause of delays are the changes in tax regulations that are still being reflected in the tax return processing for this year. Please check the "Where's my refund?" tab at the IRS website (www.irs.gov) for more information on when you can expect your tax refunds.
DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS ("DACA") March 2013
The DACA program rolled out as scheduled in August 2012. Currently, USCIS has issued several hundred Employment Authorization Documents ("EAD" or work permits) to DACA applicants, beginning in September 2012. Thousands of other applications are being processed at this time.
THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN AND ITS EFFECTS ON SPONSORED WORKERS AND H1B VISA HOLDERS - Updated February 2010
It has been a year since I wrote the original article about the economic downturn, and unfortunately, as of the end of February 2010, the situation has gotten worse. In 2010, unemployment rate has increased to about 10%, about 12% in California. Millions of people are out of work. Thousands of businesses are closing down every month. Every aspect of our communities has been affected by the global economic downturn. To address this problem, President, Barack Obama, signed the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” (the “Stimulus bill”). This bill provides a large number of tax credits and billions in U.S. dollars to programs that support American businesses and families, including extending the Unemployment Insurance benefits for thousands of laid-off workers. However, one year after the stimulus bill was signed into law, communities and families are still unable to get the much awaited relief as promised by the bill. Although the stimulus bill allegedly infused billions of dollars into our banks, certain new bank regulations make it very difficult for businesses and individuals to obtain credit and loan. Thus, the cycle of business closings and unemployment continue.
Many Sponsored workers and H1B visa holders have been displaced by being laid off of work. As if losing one’s employment and source of income is not devastating enough, it is worse because one’s immigration status is threatened to be lost too. Most of the time, family members are also involved.
AVAILABLE REMEDIES FOR LAID-OFF SPONSORED WORKERS AND H1B VISA HOLDERS
If you were a Sponsored worker or H1B visa holder and you were recently laid off, please do not lose hope. There are available remedies for you. Please call our office to discuss options available to preserve your status. We would be happy to assist you in finding other Employers/Sponsors for you.
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR LAID-OFF SPONSORED WORKERS AND H1B VISA HOLDERS
Many laid-off Sponsored workers may be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. What are “unemployment benefits?” Briefly, these are benefits paid from unemployment insurance programs governed by State laws following federal guidelines. Such insurance programs are paid for by each State’s employers. For unemployment benefits to be provided, the programs require that employment be lost through no fault of the employee. This means that if the employee voluntarily resigns or is terminated for cause, he or she is ineligible for unemployment benefits.
However, some of these laid-off Sponsored workers do not apply for unemployment benefits, even if they are eligible to do so, for fear that such benefits may cause problems due to the public charge removability provisions under Immigration laws. Under the current Immigration laws, persons may be removed (deported) if they become subject to “public charge” within five years of their entry to the United States.
It is important to understand that unemployment benefits are not public charges per se because first, they are from insurance programs paid for by the employers; second, there is no government fee for this service; and third, there is no requirement for the employee to pay it back to the State. In fact, unemployment benefits are considered “taxable income” by the IRS. Thus, eligible laid-off Sponsored workers should apply for these benefits while they are unemployed.
To find out if one is eligible for unemployment benefits, any interested laid off worker must first check with his/her employer and/or State Unemployment agency to find out if the employer participated in the State Unemployment Insurance program.
This article is not intended to provide the reader any legal or tax advice. For more information on applicable legal remedies or tax benefits for you, please call our office at (714) 530-0042.
VISA OPTIONS AND EMPLOYMENT SPONSORSHIP FOR RNs [2009-09-01] :
We had a very successful turnout for our First Summer Seminar Series for Registered Nurses
The Effects of the Economic Downturn on H-1B Visa Holders and Sponsored Workers [2009-02-27] :
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!
May you all be blessed with
HEALTH, WEALTH, AND LOVE FOR 2015!
END OF YEAR REMINDERS FOR TAX YEAR 2014
The Holiday season is upon us, and it is the perfect time to think of your
charitable donations. Please always request for and keep your receipts for your donations
so you can use them for your tax returns! Happy giving!
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S IMMIGRATION EXECUTIVE ORDER UPDATES
As we close the year, more information is becoming available regarding the President's Executive Order
on Immigration and what it covers, who can apply, procedures for its implementation,
and the effective dates for the provisions.
Please visit the USCIS website for more information at:
November 20, 2014
NEWS ALERT: PRESIDENT OBAMA ANNOUNCED A NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER
ADDRESSING THE BROKEN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM ON NOVEMBER 20, 2014
The Executive Order involves several parts, including
1) More personnel for Border Security,
2) More Visas for Highly Skilled Immigrants, and
3) Work Permits for qualified Parents of US Citizens and
Lawful Permanent Residents.
Specific regulations and application procedures are still being set up by the
Department of Homeland Security USCIS, and NO applications are accepted as of this time.
We will provide important updates to you as they become available.
For more information regarding the President's Executive Order:
Please call our office at 714-530-0042, or go to the USCIS website and follow this link:
NEWS ALERT: IMMIGRATION AMNESTY IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Recent reports say that the USCIS submitted a bid for new contractors that will need to produce as many as
34 million new Employment Authorization Documents ("EAD" or Work Permits), and Permanent Resident Cards.
This government request for bid clearly indicates that the Obama Administration is
seriously considering Immigration Amnesty in the near future.
For more information, please use the following link:
EXTENDED PERSONAL TAX RETURNS DUE: OCTOBER 15, 2014
TRAVEL WARNINGS FOR COUNTRIES IN WEST AFRICA DUE TO THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
EXTENDED CORPORATE TAX RETURNS DUE: SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
IRS WARNING OF NEW TAX SCAMS. PHISHING EMAILS, IDENTITY THEFT ALERTS
Please refer to the IRS Consumer Alerts page to report these activities.
For more information, please go to
EMPLOYMENT VISAS FOR EB-3 PHILIPPINES - CURRENT FOR PRIORITY DATES UNTIL JUNE 1, 2010
For those of you who have Approved Employment Petitions with current priority dates,
please contact our office ASAP. Your visas are now available.
We must process your Visa Applications while the visas are current.
June and July 2014
GREAT NEWS: EMPLOYMENT VISAS FOR THIRD CATEGORY IN THE PHILIPPINES (EB-3)
ARE CURRENT FOR PRIORITY DATES ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 2009
For those of you who have Employment Petitions
with Priority dates until January 2009, please contact our Office ASAP!
WE ARE NOW ABLE TO FILE YOUR IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICATIONS AT THIS TIME!
April and May 2014
REGISTERED NURSES WITH PRIOR APPROVED PETITIONS FROM 2007
PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE ASAP!
The State Department released the May 2014 and June 2014 Visa Bulletins showing the
Employment-Based 3rd category for the Philippines is current
for cases with priority dates until January 2008.
March 2014 Tax Season 2014 and Identity Fraud
Tax season is in full swing at this time. Many taxpayers have already received their tax refunds.
However, more taxpayers are still waiting to file.
Please gather up your tax documents and come on in so we can file your taxes!
As a reminder, please note that this is also the time when most Identity Fraud crimes occur,
with victims finding out that someone else has filed their tax returns using the victims' names and SSNs.
Tax refunds are then either directly deposited into bank accounts or placed into debit cards set up by the thieves.
Please call us for more information on Identity Fraud crimes.
February 1, 2014 Beware of Tax Scams as Tax Season Starts
The IRS is warning that there is a proliferation of tax scams during the start of Tax Season.
For more information, please visit the following link:
January 2014: Tax Season almost here!
Please gather all your tax documents now to prepare your 2013 tax returns.
Tax Season officially starts on January 31, 2014. See you soon!
January 2014: New Caregiver Laws in California take effect January 1, 2014
There are thousands of Caregivers who live and work in California. The new Caregiver laws
("AB 241" and "California Labor Laws Code sections 1450-1454"), recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown,
have many changes in terms of work-shift and pay requirements,
and legal consequences for Caregivers and their Employers.
Please call us for guidelines to comply with these new laws.
December 2013: Merry Christmas! We wish you all a happy, healthy and wealthy new year for 2014!
November 2013: USCIS Provides Certain Emergency Relief Measures for Filipinos Affected by Super-Typhoon
The USCIS has listed certain emergency relief measures for those affected by the super-typhoon.
Such measures include changes or extensions of nonimmigrant visas for those who are in the U.S. currently, extensions of paroles, expedited processing of petitions, work authorizations, travel documents and student visas.
PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF ANY USCIS EMERGENCY RELIEF.
Please visit the USCIS website for more information at www.USCIS.org.
November 2013: Super-Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda
A massive super-typhoon with sustained winds of 200 mph swept through the Visayan Islands
in the central part of the Philippines killing thousands in its way in early November 2013.
We send our prayers for all those affected by this tragedy.
If you are interested in donating money to help the typhoon victims,
please go to the Red Cross:
www.redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS
November 2013: Continuing Delays with Labor Department Filings
We are experiencing additional delays in obtaining decisions for Labor Department filings
(PERM Labor Certification applications, Prevailing Wage Determinations, and Labor Condition Applications).
These additional delays were caused mainly by the federal government shutdown in October 2013.
October 2013: Government Shutdown and Re-Opening
The federal government had a temporary shutdown beginning October 1, 2013-its new fiscal year-
because Congress and the President were unable to agree on a federal budget.
Because of the shutdown, certain non-essential employees had to be on furlough,
and many Labor Department filings (Labor Certification Applications, PERM, etc.) were delayed.
On October 17, Congress was able to finally put together a deal, and President Obama signed it,
funding the government until mid-January 2014 and extending the debt ceiling until February 2014.
September 2013: SCAM ALERT: Caller ID Spoofing
The Beacon (official Blog at the USCIS) reports a new scam targeting people with USCIS applications. A caller with a fake caller ID calls targeted people and requests for personal information such as social security number, A-number, etc. The caller identifies "issues" in the application and requests for payments for the correction of the issues.
Applicants/Petitioners should be aware that the USCIS only communicates in writing and the fees are due upon filing the application.
For more information, please go to http://blog.uscis.gov/2013/08/scam-alert-caller-id-spoofing.html
August 2013: White House releases "State-by-State Reports: The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System." For more information, please click on this link for the full article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/08/01/state-state-reports-economic-benefits-fixing-our-broken-immigration-system