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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Q & A: I-130 upgrade after sponsor becomes a US Citizen

Question: I filed an I-130 for my spouse when I had my green card. Two months ago we received a receipt notice with a file number. My spouse is in the US on an H1B and needs to adjust status. I just became a US citizen and want to apply I-485 for my spouse. How can I upgrade my I-130? What location should I file the I-485? For concurrent filing or location for just I-485 filing? Should I attach a copy of my citizenship certificate and a copy of I-130 and receipt notice with my I-485? Is that enough or I should call some number to update my I-130 status before I file I-485?


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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Q & A: I-140 Portability under AC-21: Same or Similar Job?

Question: I am a July 2007 filer with a Oct 2006 PD. My labor was filed as a Software Developer. Recently I got a job offer in a fortune 500 firm as a technical lead architect. My labor certification (PERM) application was filed for the position of Electrical Engineer (SOC 17-2071.00). My new position falls under the Computer Software Engineer (SOC 15-1031). My new employer said that he will not file under AC-21 and they will take appropriate action if I get an RFE. I want to know how strict the same similar job requirement is? Do you feel that taking a Lead Architect job with an Electrical Engineer labor cert would jeopardize my green card ?


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Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to Fix the Flawed Startup Visa Act

by Vivek Wadhwa

Many foreign-born techies in the U.S. and abroad are pinning their entrepreneurial hopes on the passage of a bill, sponsored by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), to create a startup visa. Tech-industry notables such as Paul Graham, Eric Ries, Brad Feld, Fred Wilson, and David McClure have lobbied for this. I, too, lent this my support. In fact, I have been advocating such a visa since 2007—when my team’s research revealed that 52% of Silicon Valley’s startups from 1995 to 2005 were founded by immigrants. We also learned that a million skilled workers and their families were stuck in “immigration limbo” and that many were beginning to return home—causing America’s first brain drain.

Link to article which appears on TechCrunch.com.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Deeper into the Shadows: The Unintended Consequences of Immigration Worksite Enforcement

by Jeffrey Kaye via Immigration Policy Center

When President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech last month, he repeated a theme that’s been a constant in his references to immigration reform: “I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws, and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows,” he said, pausing for applause. The phrase I’ve emphasized is one that has resonated for Obama in the past. Bringing workers “out of the shadows” and showing concern for immigrants living “in the shadows” has been a regular refrain in Obama’s immigration lexicon. But intentions and rhetoric don’t appear to match policy. Current immigration-enforcement strategies are backfiring and, contrary to the President’s stated goals, are forcing more people into the shadows. As a result, underground economies and communities are growing, not only harming workers (many of whom have been here for many years and are settled members of our society and labor force), but also their families and the public at large.

Link: http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/deeper-shadows


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Students who came out to support failed DREAM Act now fear deportation

After a False Dawn, Anxiety for Illegal Immigrant Students

By JULIA PRESTON

New York Times

Published: February 8, 2011 The president says he supports their cause, and immigration officials say illegal immigrant students with no criminal record are not among their priorities for deportation. But federal immigration authorities removed a record number of immigrants from the country last year, nearly 393,000, while the local police are rapidly expanding their role in immigration enforcement. Students often get caught.

Illegal immigrants also face new restrictions many states are imposing on their access to public education, driver’s licenses and jobs. And for those like Ms. Aguilar who came out last year to proclaim their illegal status, there is no going back to the shadows.

 


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

AILA: E-Verify Not the Right Solution for American Economy

WASHINGTON, DC  - As the House Immigration Subcommittee prepares for its hearing, "E-Verify- Preserving Jobs for American Workers," the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) calls upon Congress to tell Americans the full story of the flawed electronic employment verification system. Any expansion of this system will burden U.S. employers, waste time and taxpayer resources, and slow the nation's economic recovery. The Congressional Budget Office reported that implementing mandatory E-Verify would cost American taxpayers as much as $3 billion over five years.

AILA President David Leopold said, "The new Congress should be focused on America's economic recovery. Expanding mandatory E-Verify would threaten the jobs of thousands of U.S. citizens and saddle U.S. businesses with additional costs-all at a time when we need to stimulate our economy. Expanding E-Verify now would be in direct contradiction to the goal of creating jobs." AILA supports American workers and the integrity of our workforce. Executive Director Crystal Williams asserted, "But E-Verify alone does not make workers legal. Only a viable immigration system does that."

"Once again, Congress is missing the point. We can't enforce our way out of a broken immigration system. What we need are solutions. Congress should consider a broad approach to immigration. Smart immigration policies that include a pathway to compliance for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the U.S. would add billions of dollars to the economy and raise the wages of all American workers," said Leopold.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Q & A: Resuming H-1B status after departing the US for more than a year

Questions: I had H-1B status from June 2006 to August 2008, and then departed the United States for two years. I returned as an F-1 student and am now working on OPT. My employer wants to sponsor me for an H-1B, and I was wondering if my new H-1B petition would be cap subject? Do I have a fresh six years? If not, how much time do I have left?

Answers: Leaving employment and departing from the United States for one year or more does not require the foreign national to obtain a new visa number, if the full six years have not been used up. However, you must elect to use the old H-1B number, or file for a new one. In other words, you have a choice. You can file a cap exempt H-1B now, with approximately four years of H-1B time left (since you have already used approximately two years); or altneratively, if you want a full six years, you would have to wait until April 1 to file a cap subject H-1B under next year's cap (with a October 1, 2011 start date).


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Friday, February 4, 2011

THE PRACTICES AND OPINIONS OF EMPLOYERS WHO DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN E-VERIFY

Executive Summary

E-Verify, formerly titled the Basic Pilot Program, is an Internet-based program that allows participating employers to electronically verify the work-authorization status of new hires. After employers enter data from the Form I-9 into E-Verify, the data are compared electronically with data in Social Security Administration records and in Department of Homeland Security immigration records. Typically (96.9 percent of queries in July through September 2008) employees are automatically confirmed as work authorized either immediately or within 24 hours, requiring no employee or employer action.1 If problems are found, then employers are required to notify workers and give them an opportunity to contest the initial finding.


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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Q & A: H-1B portability after the 6th year; priority date recapture

Question: Hello, can you please provide me some guidance on my H-1B scenario? I am working on H-1B since October 2004. My current company filed for my green card and my I-140 petition is approved, with a priority date in January 2009. I have recently been approved for H-1B status beyond my 6th year, valid to July 2012. Now I want to know what are my options if I want to move from this job/company?


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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions about the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

Q: What is the Visa Waiver Program?

A: The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is administered by DHS and enables eligible citizens or nationals of designated countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa.

Q: What is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization?

A: The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated system that assists in determining eligibility to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and whether such travel poses any law enforcement or security risk. Upon completion of an ESTA application, a traveler is notified of his or her eligibility to travel to the United States under the VWP.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tri Valley University blames Indian-origin staffer for immigration fraud

Via The Economic Times in India

As radio-tagging of scores of Indian students duped by a "sham" US university continues to cause anger back home, the controversial institute has claimed that one of its Indian-origin staff was responsible for the immigration fraud and it was not directly involved in it.

Breaking its silence, the California-based Tri Valley University (TVU), which was shut down last month, termed as "baseless" the allegations of immigration fraud against the institute and claimed that it had not duped any student.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) brought "this baseless allegation and put a red-tape in the school operation for a federal investigation, causing hundreds of students to withdraw from classes (and) many instructors requested to quit teaching for the current term.

"Also, it caused a profitable university operation to quickly sink into negative in financial debt," Susan Su , President and founder of the TVU, said in an e-mail to PTI.

"Starting in April, one of student assistants Anji Reddy, who worked in TVU administrative office, teamed with another student Ram Krista Karra , who also has a consultant company, conducting a large cheating scheme by asking students to make tuition payment into Ram Krista Karra's personal account in exchange for student I-20 and CPT approval. TVU has fired these two individuals," the e-mail said.

 


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