TULSA, Okla. — COVID-19 has affected everyone in different ways, even those we may not think about on a day-to-day basis.
Immigration lawyers have seen a huge change in business, and are cautioning companies to be careful when having to lay off foreign workers due to long term negative impacts.
One Tulsa immigration attorney told 2 Works for You about filing for unemployment, and why now is the most important time to be sure companies and immigrants follow government guidelines.
"The bigger worry is are people going to be losing status as a result," Nina Mawby said.
Mawby is one of the only immigration attorneys that handles employment based immigration in northeastern Oklahoma.
When we asked her if immigrants with green cards or work visas were allowed to apply for unemployment after being laid off, she said it's possible.
"Give us a statement that you're not working as a result of COVID-19, for those people who are applying for green cards in a circumstance where you are considering through marriage," Mawby said.
She says if you aren't careful, an active visa could be canceled out if certain rules are broken, and it's best to speak with an immigration lawyer about the legal details before making any moves.
"It's not the unemployment insurance benefit that is going to hurt you," Mawby said. "It's if you try to get other benefits. So, you need to really review with someone, am I eligible for these benefits, or are these benefits going to make me inadmissible, and not able to get my status."
She says her biggest concern right now is for large corporations who've laid off foreign workers because of the pandemic.
"Companies need to be aware do not change your staff levels when it comes to foreigners, or non immigrant visas until you've spoken to an attorney because you may actually hurt yourself in the long run," Mawby said.
Mawby stressed how complicated immigration proceedings can be. Each situation is different than another, and if you need legal help or if you're interested in getting more information, visit this link here.
To contact an immigration lawyer that specializes in this topic, go to this link here.
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