IIIC partners with the ICC for Executive Action Information Session – February 1

IIIC, in collaboration with the Irish Cultural Centre of New England (ICC), will present an information session to inform clients about President Obama’s Executive Action plan for immigration relief. The information session will be presented on Sunday, February 1 at 1:00pm at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, MA. The session will be led by immigration attorney Becky Minahan and will take place immediately after the monthly mass and breakfast. Those who are unable to attend the session and watch a video presentation of a recently held information session on our website: (www.iiicenter.org) Executive Action page.

Up on the Hill

A Happier New Year for Many Irish and other immigrants

An estimated 280,000 Massachusetts workers, including many immigrants have rung in the New Year with a welcome addition to their paychecks. That’s the number of minimum-wage earners expected to get a $1.00-per-hour boost in their pay starting January 1, when the first of three state Legislature-approved minimum-wage hikes took effect, bringing the rate to $9.00-an-hour for 2015. The increase in the minimum wage will be the first increase since 2006 and will be followed by $1.00 increases in 2016 and 2017.

Farewell to Governor Patrick and Welcome Governor Charlie Baker

The IIIC paused this past week to say goodbye Governor Deval Patrick, on his last day in office. For eight years, Governor Patrick has shown strong leadership and compassion for the immigrant community of Massachusetts. Much remains to be done, yet Governor Patrick can be proud of the accomplishments of his administration. We are pleased to welcome Charlie Baker as the 72nd governor of Massachusetts and look forward to working with him on issues related to the immigrant community.

Free Computer Workshops at the IIIC

This winter, the IIIC is offering drop-in computer skills workshops for people ranging from those who have never turned on a computer to those who may know more but want to gain confidence and additional knowledge to improve their computer or internet skills. Get individual assistance with everything from sending emails to preparing a résumé and using social media on the web. Bring your questions and curiosity! Beginning on January 15 there will be weekly drop-in hours on Thursdays from 6 to 8pm at the IIIC Downtown office. Come as often as you wish and it’s free! Pre-registration is preferred; please contact Sarah at (617) 542-7654 x36 with questions or to register.

Immigration Questions


Q: I’m a US citizen who is engaged to be married to a man from Ireland. He is there now and we want to live in the US after we’re married. Can he just come here as a visitor on the 90-day visa waiver, get married, and apply for a green card? Or can we get married in Ireland, after which he comes to the US on the visa waiver and then files his application?

A: Emphatically no in both cases. This is a fundamental mistake that is not at all obvious to people who don’t know the ins and outs of the relevant immigration law, and it happens quite frequently. The problem is that the visa waiver (as well as travel on most temporary visas) is granted on the basis of what the law calls “non-immigrant intent,” that is, the person traveling honestly intends to stay in the US for no longer than the period allowed by US Customs and Border Protection at the port of entry. On the other hand, someone entering with temporary permission but who actually intends to stay in the US – to apply for a green card or for some other reason – has “immigrant intent.” So the immigration authorities would conclude that the person had committed “visa fraud,” which generally speaking renders him ineligible for benefits such as permanent residence and indeed subjects him to removal from the US and a bar to entering this country from abroad in the future.

There, are however, two basic ways to get legal permanent residence for your future husband without legal problems. In general terms, they are:

(1) The fiancé visa. You, the US citizen, file a petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for your future husband. This process includes providing proof that the two of you have met personally during the last 2 years and intend to marry in the US. Once USCIS grants the petition, the US State Department takes over the case. Ultimately your fiancé has an interview at the US Consulate in Dublin. He receives the visa and travels to the US, after which he has 90 days to marry you. As soon as the marriage has taken place, he can immediately file for permanent residence with USCIS and remain here while the application is being processed.

(2) Consular processing for an immigrant (permanent resident) visa. With this option, you get married abroad. Then you file a petition with USCIS and, again, once it is granted the case is transferred to the US State Department. Your future husband then files an application for an immigrant visa, has an interview at the US Consulate, receives the visa, and travels to the US – only this time he enters with permanent residence already granted and no further applications need to be filed in the US.

Which option is preferable for a particular couple depends on the details of individual cases. You can visit one of our weekly legal clinics for a free, confidential discussion of the options.

Disclaimer: These articles are published to inform generally, not to advise in individual cases. Immigration law is always subject to change. US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the US Department of State frequently amend regulations and alter processing and filing procedures. For legal advice seek the assistance of IIIC immigration legal staff.

Daragh McCafferty lands amazing role thanks to J-1 IWT internship

Ever since I visited America in 2005 on holiday, I had wanted to live there to experience the culture and get a taste of the different lifestyle. Following my graduation from studying Planning at Queens University Belfast I had my chance. My friends and I heard about the graduate J-1 IWT visa through the IIIC website. We decided to go for it! With the job market in Ireland and elsewhere ruthlessly competitive without experience, a year of work in America would definitely give us an edge.

The IIIC were extremely helpful in helping me obtain the working visa, offering support every step of the way, and making it really straightforward. They provided everything from support getting an internship to advice on the area and things to experience in the cities. The centre provided the perfect base to start from.

I got an internship with Gentle Giant Logistics as a Coordinator, applying what I learned at University to the job, such as infrastructure planning, determining the most efficient transport routes across the entire United States. The experience I gained was immense, especially working in such a huge market as the U.S. Having this professional experience in such a market would definitely draw attention on my CV.

Having completed the J1WT program, I have grown professionally and personally. Once home, I applied for a few jobs opportunities and within a week had an interview at Red Bull one of biggest sports drink brands in the world. Because of my experience at Gentle Giant, I was offered the position of Logistics Coordinator ahead of over 20 other ‘final stage’ candidates. I’m now in an amazing role at Red Bull which I really enjoy, a role that I would have unlikely been offered had I not had Logistics experience in such an influential market as the US – all thanks to the J-1IWT program and to IIIC!

Quote of the Week

"To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June." - Jean-Paul Sartre