I’ve been laid off from my job due to the coronavirus, will it affect my permanent residency if I apply for unemployment benefits?
Unemployment benefits and permanent residency
Due to the COVID-19 situation, not only the general self-employed, but also professional offices and medium-sized enterprises are in emergency. This is because US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and several states, including New York, New Jersey, and California, have ordered temporary closures of most businesses except essential businesses. As economic activity slows and many employers face financial difficulties, short-term unpaid leave and layoffs have increased significantly. In New York City, on March 19, unemployment claims rose 33% from the previous week to more than 280,000. Goldman Sachs also predicted that the number of unemployed people across the United States could reach 2.25 million in a week.
Many people who have received notice of dismissal due to this situation are asking if there is any problem in applying for permanent residence or work visa in the future even if they receive unemployment benefits. The answer is, “Even if you receive unemployment benefits, it will not affect your permanent residency or visa status change.”
Regulations in this regard can be found in the Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 157 (8/24/2019). According to the rule, “Federal or state retirement pensions, social security retirement pensions, social security disability insurance, unemployment benefits, etc. excluded from the benefit review.” In other words, those who are considering changing their permanent resident status or visa status in the future, and those who have received a sudden dismissal notice due to the corona crisis and are having a hard time making a living for themselves and their families, please apply for unemployment benefits with the appropriate state labor office.
In addition, we recommend that employers who are forced to give notice of dismissal with tears in their eyes due to financial difficulties should prepare clear dismissal instructions or an employment termination letter to avoid legal consequences in the future.
Additionally, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” recently passed urgently by Congress, makes it illegal to fire without just cause if you or your family member has unavoidable sick leave as a result of infection or treatment. If there are people around you who have suffered such disadvantages, please let them know that there is a sufficient legal remedy.
We hope that this corona virus situation will end early, and our Song Dong-ho General Law Firm would like to continuously identify and guide the federal and state governments’ Corona response trends and new policies. If you have any legal issues related to the corona crisis or have further questions, please send an email to email@example.com.