By Kieran C. O’Sullivan, Immigration Counselor
Marriage related cases
We continue to field questions from people on green card applications based on marriage to US citizens. We review the paperwork in these cases at our monthly clinics; our next clinic is October 2nd at 2012.
Couples in the greater Boston area thinking of getting married are reminded that they can contact the IPC with regard to pre-cana courses.
Returning from Ireland
We’re getting calls from people who now seek to return to live in the US after earlier returning to Ireland when the economy was in a stronger position. Many of whom neglected to obtain US citizenship prior to their returning to Ireland and now face having to resume the visa process all over again – for some, there are no options available. This should serve as a reminder to all eligible permanent residents to strongly consider obtaining US citizenship when eligible. US citizens are free to travel in and out of the US as often as they wish and can remain outside the USA for as long as they like.
As we approach the election, we want to highlight related issues for readers this week. We remind immigrants that only US citizens are eligible for vote in the upcoming election.
Voting by absentee ballot
You may vote by absentee ballot if you are out of the US during the election. Indeed the following circumstances allow you to vote by absentee ballot:
If you will be absent from your city or town on election day and/or Have a physical disability that prevents your voting a the polling place, and/or Cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs.
You must apply for an absentee ballot in writing, from your city or town clerk or the election commission no later than noon of the day before the election. Applications may be mailed or hand delivered. You may use any form of written communication for example letter or postcard or the official application form. A family member of a person qualified to vote by absentee ballot may apply in the same manner for you.
To be counted, a completed ballot must be received by the polls close on election day; if you are not able to write, the person helping you must sign your name as well as their own name, address and telephone number. Follow the directions provided to you by election officials very carefully.
Requesting to vote by mail
A ballot will be sent to any address you specify including your own home. Be sure to apply early and to include the following details on the application:
· You name and address as registered
· Ward and precinct
· The precise address where the ballot should be sent
· The party ballot you wish in a primary, and
· Your own signature
If you do not know your ward and precinct, you can contact your local town/city halls election office.
October legal clinic
Dan Harrington and Chris Lavery are immigration attorneys in Boston. Immigrants can have free one to one consultations with them at our legal clinics. Our next legal clinic at the Banshee, 934 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, will be on Oct. 2nd. It begins at 630 pm.
Email me your immigration query or a topic you would like us to cover today: Kieran@ipcboston.org
Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.