By Phil O’Sullivan; Senior Program Coordinator
Call: 617-265-5300 Ext. 13
Unfortunately it has been another quiet week at the IPC, with the snow once again testing the patience of all Bostonians. With a reported 6 feet of snow in just 17 days the city of Boston and its surrounding areas have been severely punished by Mother Nature. To put it into context, the City of Boston has stated they have plowed over 210,000 miles of snow and used over 57,000 tons of salt on the roads in the past few weeks, all this with more snow forecast early next week.
It is imperative to keep safe during such harsh times with priority being put on health and safety. A lot of the footpaths are still covered by snow, forcing people to walk on the roads which can be very dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike. Please wear suitable clothing that will stand out against the snow and limit any chance of an accident occurring.
It is also important to clear off flat roofs as this could cause serious damage if unattended to. The sheer amount of snow left to build up on a flat roof could cause the structure to become unsafe and extremely hazardous. Please remember to check your roof and if needed call in a professional to remove the snow. Once again please stay safe and warm over the next few days.
By Kieran C. O’ Sullivan; Immigration Counselor
Call: 617-265-5300 Ext. 16
The H1-B visas coming on stream on Oct. 1, 2015 will be filed for on April 1, 2015, and will go quickly. The H1-B visa cap is not an issue for cap exempt organizations. See www.uscis.gov for more information on the H1-B cap, exemptions for advanced degree holders, and cap exempt organizations. The H1-B visas come on stream on Oct. 1 each year, but people are allowed file for them up to six months ahead of the start date of Oct. 1. For example last year, thousands of H1-B petitions were filed during the first week of April and the cap was reached quickly.
The H-1B visa is a temporary employment visa issued for an initial period of one to three years with the option to renew it for a total of six years. It is a popular way for U.S. employers to hire qualified foreign workers in certain specialty occupations.
I’ve met some people who tried to file the H1-B petitions on their own without using an attorney. It is a complicated process and we advise people against doing so. We counsel people to consult an attorney before filing for a H1-B visa.
I’m often contacted by people in Ireland about various visa options. I always remind people that the F1 student visa is a good option for people seeking to study in the U.S. whether at bachelor’s degree level or advanced level like a graduate degree.
One of the basic requirements for obtaining the visas is enrollment in an “academic” education program, not a vocational-type program. Enrollment in an elementary school, academic high school, college, university, seminary, conservatory, or language training program qualifies as academic study. An academic student can be seeking a bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D. or other graduate-level degree, or be engaged in post-doctoral studies. Other programs, including those offered by technical and business schools, and vocational high schools, are considered vocational, requiring the issuance of an M visa. The school issuing the student the documentation required for a student visa, Form I-20, A-B, should know whether the student’s program is considered academic and issue the proper documentation.
People are allowed to apply for optional practical training while here on the F1. In fact many students here on OPT meet employers who later sponsor them for H1-B visas.
For most U.S. tax payers, April 15th is the tax filing deadline. This is meant as a reminder to people not to leave things go to the last minute. Tax returns play a key role when filing immigrant petitions. If using an accountant, you need to make an appointment soon as their schedules book up quickly.
Our next clinic will be on March 3 at The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Ave. beginning at 6:30 PM. We will have handouts with information on deferred action and attorneys will see people one to one for private confidential consultations.
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.
By Sr. Marguerite Kelly; Pastoral Associate
617-265-5300 Ext. 10
Something to think and pray about this week
God’s love is an effective love. It changes us –our way of seeing and our way of responding. Although we cannot see God, we can see the effect of his love in the circumstances of our lives. His love becomes visible in the awareness of his caring for us through all the people who have loved us. It becomes visible in the realization of the many times we have been spared the consequences of our sin and foolishness.
Most of all, God’s love becomes visible when we feel our fears dissipating and our hearts expanding with love and concern for others. Even if our personal experiences of being loved have sometimes been disappointing, there is within the core of us, always alive, always yearning, the Spirit of God, which continues to create us and to hold us in being.
God is love; he has first loved us.
Love: A Guide to Prayer Jacqueline Bergan and Sr. Marie Schwan, CSJ
The Irish Pastoral Centre staff would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Martin Ward of Weymouth, born in Dublin, Ireland who sadly passed away recently. We would like to extend our condolences to his parents Martin and Joan, his sisters Elaine and Lisa and his brother David as well as his extended family. You will be remembered in our prayers at this sad time.
Ar dheis de go raibh a anam dheilis.