Giving It Away

By John Rattigan, IIIC Citizenship Outreach

The famous Spanish painter and sculptor, Pablo Picasso, once said “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Hopefully, by now we all have at least an inkling of whatever gifts we have been endowed with and are now faced with the question of how to give it away. Of course, we don’t think about such things all of the time. Yet in the back of our minds, from time to time, we do ponder the question. I have no easy answers but I do have one suggestion. The Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) is seeking members of the Irish community to volunteer time for some of the wonderful programs we provide to newly arrived immigrants who now call Boston their home.

Some of these opportunities include:

  • Reception
  • Welcoming and assisting guests at our legal clinics
  • Teaching and tutoring English to newcomers
  • Helping immigrants prepare for citizenship
  • Program assistance (legal, wellness, education, learning exchanges) and other engaging and meaningful opportunities.

The time that you are able to offer can be as little or as much as you choose. The important thing is that you have already taken that first step to “giving it away”. Who knows – it might be the best and most satisfying thing you’ve done in a long time!

For more information, visit our website ( and link to “Get Involved” or email the IIIC at


Q: I have an application pending with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjust my status to that of legal permanent resident. I received a work card based on a form I filed back when I applied for permanent residence. It’s now looking like my work card will expire before I get my green card. What should I do?

A: Your work card (what USCIS refers to as an “Employment Authorization Document” or EAD) allows you to obtain a Social Security number and work legally in the United States pending the processing of your application to adjust status. You need a current EAD to continue to work legally here, so if it looks like yours will expire before you get your green card, you need to apply to renew it.

You should file your renewal application as soon as possible within the time frame allowed by USCIS. The agency currently accepts renewal applications no more than 120 days before the expiration date on the card.

The form for the renewal filing is I-765 (the same form you used for the initial work card). You check the box marked “Renewal.” You should use the most recent version of the form (currently the one dated 4/1/2013). You can download the form and instructions without charge from the USCIS web site,; follow the link to the list of forms. Never pay anyone for immigration-related forms; they all are free from government web sites.

The same form I-765 is used for filing for a replacement card when the original has been lost or stolen or contained mistakes when issued. The 120-day limit does not apply to replacement applications; they may and should be filed as soon as it is known that a replacement is needed.

Note that not just adjustment of status applicants, but other people, including asylees and asylum seekers, fiancées of US citizens, and those in or applying for temporary protected status, are generally eligible to apply to USCIS for work authorization. Eligibility, where to file, and whether an application fee is required vary according to a person’s immigration status. Likewise, some non-US citizens are able to work in the US without applying for an EAD, for example, legal permanent residents, conditional permanent residents, and those with visas authorizing them to work for a specific US employer (such as holders of H-1 B temporary employment visas).

Note further that an EAD does not confer any immigration benefits beyond the permission to work in the United States. For example, it does not allow reentry into the US by someone who is otherwise ineligible to do so. Likewise, it does not authorize the holder to remain in the US if not eligible to do so. For example, if a person’s application for legal permanent resident status is denied, then, in the absence of some other basis for lawful presence in the US, the person would generally speaking be subject to removal from this country – even if in possession of a current EAD at the time of denial.

If you have questions about any aspect of immigration law, you can have a free, confidential consultation at one of our legal clinics advertised weekly in the Irish Emigrant.

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.

Have You Had a Check-Up Lately?

If you are a Permanent Resident and eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship when was the last time you thought about starting the process?

You probably have a lot of questions about U.S. naturalization including the processing time, the application fee and perhaps some other issues that have been bothering you.

Well, it’s time to come in for a check-up. The Irish International Immigrant Center has walk-in clinics specifically for those interested in becoming U.S. citizens. The clinics are held each Monday from 11:00am to 1:00pm and on Thursday afternoons from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at the IIIC’s Downtown Crossing office at 100 Franklin Street in Boston. You may enter through the side doors at either Arch or Devonshire Streets.

Boston's Irish International Immigrant Center Shares Learnings in Canada

The Irish International Immigrant Center was truly “international” over the weekend of July 12th when IIIC’s Wellness Director, Danielle Owen, visited with our Canadian neighbors to discuss common issues relating to the Irish immigrant communities of Boston and Toronto.

The Irish Canadian Immigration Centre (known as ICAN) is currently assessing the wellness needs of new Irish immigrant arrivals to the province of Ontario and asked the IIIC, which conducted a similar assessment 10 years ago in Boston, to facilitate a focus group with key members of the Irish Immigrant community of Toronto. Danielle reports that “We had a fascinating conversation, discovering that substance use problems resulting in isolation, depression and anxiety were being experienced by the newly arriving Irish to the city. It's one of a number of tools (including questionnaires, online surveys etc.) being used to allow ICAN to respond to these needs effectively”.

If you have family member or a friend who is considering a move to Toronto or anywhere in Ontario, make them aware of this valuable resource. You may visit the ICAN website at: or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Quote of the Week

“We need to help younger people recognize their own capacity to do good, and help them discover the rewards of generosity.” - President Bill Clinton