If you are an immigrant in Massachusetts, you are in good company. Immigrant Asians and Latinos make up more than 15% of the population of the state. The businesses they have founded contribute more than $9 billion to the state’s economy and employ over 65,000 people. More than half of the immigrant population of the state have become naturalized citizens and are therefore able to vote.

Despite these success stories, the immigration process can be anxiety-provoking and stressful. Here are a few things you should know about immigration in Massachusetts:

Employment eligibility: under Federal law, employers are required to complete I-9 forms within three days after hiring an employee. The employee supplies his or her name, date of birth, address and Social Security number. The employer then certifies that the employee has presented documentation confirming his or her right to work in the U.S. In Massachusetts, state agencies must use E-Verify to check the employment authorization status of new hires.

Identification: Immigrants must show proof of either U.S. citizenship or legal residency and date of birth. One may present a utility bill or similar correspondence to prove residence in Massachusetts. You must also have a valid Social Security card.

Education checks: There are no education checks in the state of Massachusetts for immigrants.

Public benefits: Lawful permanent residents are eligible for public benefits. However, under federal law, immigrants who have entered the country illegally cannot receive most public benefits. In certain cases, individuals without lawful status can be eligible for programs considered “necessary to protect life and safety.” These include emergency services and health care.

Experienced immigration lawyers can assist you with a wide range of citizenship, permanent residence (“green card”), DAPA, and related issues. If you have questions about an immigration issue, please contact our law office and speak with an experienced immigration attorney.