IIIC Condolences- Caolan Winterson
Everyone at the Irish International Immigrant Center is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Caolan Winterson. Caolan was from Derrylin Co. Fermanagh, and drowned in a swimming pool accident on July 5th. Caolan's enthusiasm, intelligence, warmth and personality will be missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Q: I recently became a US citizen but have not yet obtained a US passport (and my foreign passport is no longer valid). I have a family situation that will require me to travel abroad as soon as possible. What do I do?
A: Normal processing time for a US passport application is currently around 4-6 weeks, according to the State Department. There is an expedited processing option available, which is estimated to take 2-3 weeks. This option can be used for new passports, renewals, name changes, and the addition of extra visa pages.
In addition to the usual fees totaling $165 for a new adult passport, expedited processing requires a fee of $60 plus the costs of an overnight delivery service.
The forms, required evidence, and all other details concerning passport applications are found on the US State Department web site at www.travel.state.gov. Click the Passports link and navigate the topics on the left side of the page to find precisely what is needed for adults, minors, and changes to existing passports.
Instead of mailing their applications, those who need a passport for foreign travel taking place in less than 14 days can make an appointment to handle the process in person at a Regional Passport Agency. The mechanics for scheduling an appointment are covered on the State Department web site as well.
Foreign citizens without currently valid passports who urgently need to travel to the US or to leave this country and return should consult the web site of their country’s department of foreign affairs or its embassy or consulates in the US. There they will find the information they need on emergency passport issuance. For Irish citizens, the local Irish Consulate can be contacted at 617-267-9330 or www.consulategeneralofirelandboston.org.
Note that, no matter what your country of citizenship, you can save money and aggravation in an emergency by keeping your passport current with at least six months of validity remaining.
For a free, confidential consultation on any aspect of immigration law, visit one of our legal clinics advertised weekly in The Irish Emigrant.
Disclaimer: These articles are published to inform generally, not to advise in specific cases. Immigration law is always subject to change, and US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the US Department of State regularly frequently amend regulations and alter processing and filing procedures. For legal advice seek the assistance of IIIC immigration legal staff.
Up on the Hill and Around City Hall
Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights (the “Nanny Bill) Becomes Law
On July 2nd, Massachusetts joined three other states (New York, California and Hawaii) which have enacted legislation (termed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights) to protect nannies, housekeepers, care givers and other home workers. The Office of the Attorney General and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination are charged with the responsibility of enforcement and the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards will develop a multilingual outreach program to inform and educate the Commonwealth’s domestic workers and their employers about the various rights and obligations under the new law which becomes fully effective on April 1, 2015.
Local Trust Act Advances
Boston City Councilor, Josh Zakim, introduced his Trust Act ordinance at last Wednesday’s weekly council session. The proposed legislation would limit the city’s involvement in the Secure Communities federal program which allows local police departments to detain a person for 48 hours after an arrest if it is suspected that the individual is in the country illegally. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would then determine if further immigration detention or removal proceedings were warranted.
"All Bostonians should feel safe in their communities and going to the police when they need them and responding and participating fully in their communities. They should not hold back due to fear of possible deportation because local authorities are cooperating with federal immigration agents on non-criminal matters," said Zakim.
Similar Trust Act legislation on the state level has been pending in the House and Senate for the past eighteen months.
The proposed city ordinance has been referred to the Government Operations committee for review. Mayor Martin J. Walsh has indicated that if the legislation is enacted, he would sign it.