Missing Tara O’Connor, a Great Immigration Lawyer

by W. John Vandenberg

I miss Tara O’Connor.

We lost a great Immigration Lawyer this year. Tara was one of my first role models as an attorney. I met her when I was a law student, clerking at the Law Office of David E. Piver. Tara was an incredible Immigration Lawyer. Diligent, knowledgeable, and creative, she never hesitated to answer my questions about business immigration. She had an incredible sense of humor, and was an amazing writer. You were a lion in your fight against cancer, Tara, and you are dearly missed.

If you are a friend of Tara’s, or would like to say “thank you” for her help in obtaining immigration status, you can do so by making a donation for the care and education of her two sons. Send a check, payable to the Tara S. O’Connor Donation Account, to:
National Bank By Mail
PO Box 36520
Louisville, KY 40233-6520

Post-script, February 10, 2015

Updates from the Family

An update on the Pennsylvania Service–

DETAILS: Tara’s Memorial & Gathering April 25

10:30am–Memorial Mass at St. Patrick’s in Malvern.
Immediately following, the family will be traveling for a private interment of Tara’s ashes. We will meet everyone at the gathering between 1 and 1:30.

The gathering will be at The Lamb Tavern (AKA The Porch Restaurant at the Lamb) in Springfield. They are prepared to receive our guests immediately following the memorial service, even though the family will be arriving later.

We are so looking forward to our family and friends, and feeling Tara with us on her 43rd birthday.

An update on the “Tara S. O’Connor Donation Account”–
Thank you to all who have contributed to this fund. The financial support is truly making a difference, as Morgan looks to continue to raise his boys in their home in Flagstaff. I had indicated previously that we hoped to get an electronic transfer up-and-running for this account, but unfortunately, the bank is not making it easy–or reasonable!–to do so. So, please use the address below to mail your donations.
Tara S. O’Connor Donation Account
Mail these checks to:
National Bank By Mail
PO Box 36520
Louisville, KY 40233-6520


The benefits of marriage for E’s and J’s

By W. John Vandenberg

We are all familiar with the benefits of marriage, right?  Love, companionship, joint mortgages.  A greencard.  But for immigrants already married to a non-U.S. citizen spouse, being married can mean something just as important – the ability to work.

We process a fair amount of E-1 and E-2 Treaty Traders and Investors, and choosing the lead applicant deserves careful attention. Especially in the husband and wife context.  But we have to always remember that the main applicant can only work for and at the corporate entity that petitioned for them.  That can be a good thing — especially when the company is doing well.  But it is always important to remember that the spouse receives a wide-open Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”).  They get their own social security card, and they can work for whomever — and for whatever — they want.  So it’s important to plan out which spouse undertakes which duties.

The J-1 intern/trainee also allows spouses (J-2’s) to have EAD’s.  So one can imagine that if one spouse is an intern, their spouse can do as much work as they like on their EAD card.  And again — for as much as they can negotiate. This can be very important for start-ups.  They often train persons from overseas because, well, because the United States is really good at IT 🙂  But this may also present an excellent opportunities for a “two-fer” for American companies.  Because if they provide training or an internship to one foreign national, the spouse can be a regular employee on the J-2 visa for the same amount of time.

So immigrants, and the companies who love them, should always remember that with the right immigration strategy, training and expertise can go together like, well, love and marriage.


February 2013 Visa Bulletin is out!

The Visa Bulletin for February 2013 is out. It’s a slog.

Family Categories (F-1 to F-4) moved a month or less. Tough news for families, especially the spouses and children of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents.

For Employment-based categories, EB-1 remains current across the board. For other non-Indian or Chinese workers, the EB-2 category (advanced degrees) remains current, and the 3rd preference (skiilled workers) moved up a month, to 15March07. For Indian EB-2 workers, there is no movement; EB-3 workers saw it progress a week. For Chinese EB-2 workers, the new priority date is 15Jan08, showing a month progress; Chinese EB-3 workers got a month and a half of progress, to 15NOV06.

Congress, I think we can do better than keeping all these folks in line for years, working hard for the United States and our people and economy. They are playing by the rules, and give us their best skills and years. Give’em the greencard, let’em pay taxes, buy houses and goods, and raise their children here. That’s the story of American success, always has been.