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Visa applicants told to return work permits

Those who have immigrated to South Carolina and other states may find that they are being asked to turn in their work visas if they were issued after February 16, 2015, due to a federal injunction placed by a judge in Texas, according to recent reports. The court order places on hold the issuance of any visas based on the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and will affect at least 2,100 applicants who were erroneously mailed work permits after that date.

Those who were issued three-year Employment Authorization Documents after the date in question have received notification that their work permits must be returned immediately. Failure to do so may result in termination of DACA authorizations and may make it more difficult for these employees to receive a deferral in the future. About 108,000 work visas mailed before February 2015 are still considered valid; however, their continued legitimacy may also be called into question, depending on the outcome of this case.

While the Texas court order temporarily suspends the three-year expansion of the DACA program, applicants can still come forward to apply under the old two-year plan as of now. Until the case is heard and a judgment is issued, the question of the status of work visas for thousands of immigrants will remain unanswered. These workers remain in limbo as the federal government continues to clash with the states over the issue of legitimizing undocumented workers.

For those who need an employment visa or have other questions related to living or working in the United States, it may be wise to consult an immigration attorney. Immigration law can be complicated, and having assistance from a lawyer with experience in this area can be extremely helpful in navigating today's complex legal waters in relation to work visas and other questions.

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