IIIC’s Danielle Owen Honored by Maria Droste in Quincy

Longtime Director of Wellness at the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC), Danielle Owen, will receive the Sister Lorraine Bernier Award from the Maria Droste Counseling Services agency located in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Maria Droste Counseling Services is a nonprofit counseling and holistic therapy agency in Quincy Center. It assists people experiencing anxiety, chronic pain, depression, fear, stress, and other difficulties. The agency is named for Blessed Maria Droste, a member of the Sisters of the Good Shepard, an international Congregation that established a home for women in Boston in 1867.

The award to Danielle is given in memory of Lorraine Bernier, a sister of the Good Shepard for 45 years and Director of Maria Droste Services who passed away suddenly last year.

Executive Director of the IIIC, Ronnie Millar, said, “Danielle has been an active partner with Maria Droste Counseling Services since 2008 and we at the IIIC are particularly proud that this honor is being bestowed upon her as it is an affirmation of her dedication to compassion and caregiving.”

The award ceremony will be held from 6 to 9 pm on Thursday, November 20 at the River Bay Club, 99 Brackett Street, in Quincy. To make reservations to attend the ceremony or to receive more information about the event, contact Stacey Campbell at 617-471-5686 or email stacey@mariadrostecounseling.com.

Experiencing Boston on the J-1 Work and Travel Program

By Cara Henderson

The vibrant Irish immigrant community in Boston was a major factor that influenced Peter Murray to choose this city for his twelve months on the J-1 Irish Work and Travel visa.

Peter, originally from County Limerick, has a degree in Business Studies with a concentration in Accounting and Finance from the University of Limerick. After graduation, he knew he wanted to take the opportunity to work in the United States for a year. “I wanted to gain valuable work experience and to be able to get to know a new culture. The staff at the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) was extremely helpful to me in securing the right position,” Peter said.

Peter found work in Boston just a short time after arriving. His position is with Synergy Investments, a real estate investment and portfolio company right in the heart of downtown Boston. Peter works with the accounting management of two restaurant properties that the company oversees. “I am learning a lot, especially about how to work in a team, and I know that my experience will help me with future career possibilities when I return to Ireland,” said Peter.

Besides work, Peter is involved with a rugby team in Malden. He played rugby in Ireland for some time and knew that he wanted to stay active in the game when he came to Boston. “This city’s love of sports is one thing that definitely drew me to Boston when I was choosing where to go in the U.S. On my first day here, I went to a Red Sox vs. Yankees game.” Peter has also enjoyed the history, the people, and the overall environment of the city. “Boston has a much more rich culture and history than other cities in the United States. The people here have also been incredibly friendly and welcoming.”

Although he enjoys living in Boston, Peter knows there is much more of the country to see and explore. “When the weather gets nicer, I hope to visit other areas of the country, like Chicago or the West Coast.”

Peter has an exciting year ahead of him, and we wish him all the best!

Immigration News

Executive Action on Immigration a Possibility

Elections are over and the votes counted. As the dust begins to settle, many are wondering whether President Obama will try to fulfill his campaign promises about immigration reform and how much he can actually do. While Congress has primary responsibility for the creation, passage, and promulgation of laws and the raising of revenue, there are certain executive actions that the President could take which may have some effect upon immigration laws including deportations, but the extent of those actions, and their constitutional validity, are open to debate.

Many feel that President Obama will announce executive administrative actions for immigration by mid-December. Comprehensive reform was a fundamental element of the President’s campaign. The IIIC joins others in the immigrant community who are hopeful that the President will seek to preserve his legacy by continuing to pursue it.

Irish Government Supports Irish Immigrants

The Irish International Immigrant Center in Boston is extremely grateful to the Irish Government for its commitment to Irish citizens living in the United States, and its support of IIIC’s legal, wellness and education services. This year the IIIC is one of thirty- four organizations within the US supported by grant funding. Thanks to this support, we will assist over 1100 Irish immigrants in the New England region, by providing critical immigration legal services, counseling and education programs. We also assist and support Irish university students and recent graduates find one-year internships in their field of study through the J-1 Irish Work and Travel Visa program.

The funding is part of the Emigrant Support Program managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Newly appointed Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, made the announcement earlier this month. IIIC’s executive director, Ronnie Millar, said “We are very grateful to the Irish Government for their genuine care for Irish immigrants in the United States, and for the support of the Irish Consul General, and his staff in Boston.”


Q: I came to the US for a visit under the Visa Waiver Program and was given permission to stay for 90 days. I was thinking of staying on for a while longer and maybe getting a job to support myself here. I heard that staying past the 90-day limit could result in a bar on my reentry to the US in the future. Is this true?

A: If you entered the US on the Visa Waiver Program, as most visitors from the 38 eligible countries (including Ireland) do today, you normally are given up to 90 days to remain in this country -- but you are not allowed to work here during that time. If you overstay this 90-day period by 180 days to one year, you face a three-year bar from reentering the US. Overstaying the 90-day period by more than one year subjects you to a ten-year reentry bar. This is the case irrespective of whether you work in the US without authorization.

Do not misinterpret the 180 days as any kind of “grace” period that allows you to remain in the US beyond the 90 days granted under the Visa Waiver Program. ANY PERIOD OF OVERSTAY AT All MAY AFFECT YOUR ABILITY TO REENTER THE US AT A LATER DATE.

Aside from the problem of the three- and ten-year reentry bars, if you overstay a visit under the Visa Waiver Program even by a few days you no longer would be allowed to reenter under that program in the future. Instead, you would have to make a formal application for the B-2 visitor’s visa at the nearest US Embassy, which requires a fee and can take considerable time. You can expect close scrutiny of your application, and if you have a compelling reason for a prior brief overstay, you should include evidence of it with your application. Holders of visitor’s visas usually are admitted for up to six months and may, before the expiration of the visa, apply for an extension if they have a good reason for wanting to stay longer in the US.

Employment in the US, either while in status under the Visa Waiver Program while here on a visitor’s visa, or during an overstay, is another issue. People temporarily in the US are not allowed to have employment without specific authorization from the US government, either with a work visa (such as H-1B), or with an Employment Authorization Document issued, for example, while an application for adjustment of status to permanent residence is pending. If you do work here without authorization, that is considered visa fraud by the US immigration authorities, and you render yourself inadmissible to the US in the future in almost all circumstances.

Note, finally, that the 90-day Visa Waiver period of admission to the US cannot normally be extended. Only in extreme situations where you could document the reason with compelling evidence, would you be granted an extension. An example of such a situation would be hospitalization in the US following an accident or serious illness.

If you have questions about this or any other aspect of immigration law, you can have a free, confidential consultation at one of our weekly legal clinics. Remember: It is far better to get legal advice before taking a step that might have lifelong consequences for you, rather than acting first and then trying to fix a situation that may well have no solution.

Disclaimer: These articles are published to inform generally, not to advise in individual cases. 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.