John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
We at Guirguis Law genuinely care for our clients and community. As such, we have received many of the below referenced questions from our clients and their respective families. Accordingly, knowing the importance of community and making sure we share our knowledge with those in our community we wanted to share with you these common questions and their answers. We are in this together and if you need anything, or have other questions please feel free to call us at 919-832-0500. We are opened 24 hours a day still to ensure that we are there for our beautiful community members.
Q: Can I leave my house?
Under Executive Order No. 121, everyone in North Carolina is ordered to stay home, with exceptions for essential activities and shared or outdoor spaces. Everyone must maintain six (6) feet away from other people as much as reasonably possible while outside the home.
Q: Not sure if your activity or business is essential?
Leaving the home for health and safety reasons, necessary supplies and services, some outdoor activities, certain types of essential work, to take care of others, to volunteer for charitable or social services, and some other specified activities are still permitted. You can check the list of essential classifications in Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 121 here. If your business is not included on the list and you would like to request to be considered as an essential business, you can submit the request online at the NCDOR.
Q: Is violating the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order illegal?
A violation of the Governor’s order is punishable as a class 2 misdemeanor because the Governor has broadened powers during a state of emergency. The maximum penalty for a class 2 misdemeanor could be 60 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 for individuals with prior criminal history. The order is now in effect until rescinded or superseded by another applicable executive order.
Q: Can I apply for Unemployment?
Bar and restaurant operations weren’t the only major changes in Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 118. Unemployment Insurance was altered to be more flexible and available during the pandemic. One-week waiting periods for benefits; able to work and available to work requirements; work search requirements; actively seeking work requirements; and lack of work requirements may be waived, as appropriate, under the new guidance. You can file your unemployment application at the NC Department of Commerce website, and you can find detailed video instructions by clicking here.
Q: Can I apply if I am not a citizen of the United States?
Non-US citizens who have work authorization in the United States may apply if they are otherwise eligible. The NC Department of Commerce online application will require the individual’s ‘Alien Registration Number’ and information about their current Employment Authorization Document from the US Government.
Q: How will the pandemic affect my immigration case?
At this time, Immigration Courts and Field Offices are closed for non-detained cases and check-ins, so your hearing or check-in would likely be rescheduled. You can check to see whether your specific immigration court is operating at the EOIR website by clicking here. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is still processing applications but has temporarily suspended in-person services to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney to learn how closings may affect your case.
Please call (919) 832-0500 to schedule a Guirguis Law consultation. We are open to serve you and are offering any-time phone and virtual consults to best serve you during this unique time.