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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NYT: My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant

By JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS

Published: June 22, 2011 But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really am. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.

Jose Antonio Vargas (Jose@DefineAmerican.com) is a former reporter for The Washington Post and shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. He founded Define American, which seeks to change the conversation on immigration reform.

 


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NAFTA TN Management Consultant application approved after prior refusals!

We are pleased to relate that US CBP [Customs and Border Protection] just approved a complex TN management consultant application for a client at the Peace Bridge port-of-entry!

This was a complicated case which came to us after CBP had previously refused the applicant entry as a business visitor [no legal representation] and then refused him again a week later as a TN mangement consultant [application prepared by another attorney].

We worked closely with corporate counsel and the applicant to understand and document the business need for the consulting services [which actually went back several years] and the applicant's unique qualifications for the job.

We presented a thorough application which addressed the prior refusals head-on, explained company operations and management structure, and carefully outlined the applicant's previous and proposed consulting services, breaking it down into phases.

We also called on our one of our local colleagues with over 25 years of border expertise to co-counsel and accompany the applicant to the port-of-entry. Truly a great result for us and the clients based on preparation and teamwork!

 


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

H-1B visa usage statistics confirm U.S. employers are not hiring as much as some reports would like us to believe

H-1B season opened several weeks ago on April 1st and we are off to a SLOW start. This comes as great news for employers and foreign nationals who would like to secure Hs this year [for a start date of October 1, 2011] but is also a clear indicator that U.S. employers are simply not hiring as much as some reports would like us to believe.

Below you will find an update on how many H-1Bs have been used this year and a look back at H-1B usage since 2007. Clearly, H-1B usage is WAY down from ‘07 and ’08, when the 65,000 H-1B cap was met in the very first days of April!

In comparison, since 2009, the H-1B Cap of 65,000 has not been met for at least nine months or more, and based on usage in the first two weeks of this year, we estimate this year's Cap will be open through to March 2012.

2011 H-1B Season [FY2012]

Cap Subject H-1Bs filed as of April 15: 7,100
Cap Hit: To Be Determined [estimated March 2012 based on first two weeks usage]

2010 H-1B Season [FY2011]

Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 13,500
Cap Hit: January 27, 2011 [ten months later]

2009 H-1B Season [FY2010]

Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 42,000
Cap Hit: December 21, 2009 [nine months later]

2008 H-1B Season [FY2009]

Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 140,000
Cap Hit: Immediately! First days of April 2008

2007 H-1B Season [FY2008]

Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 123,000
Cap Hit: Immediately! First days of April 2007

 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

TN Scientific Technician case approved for three years in Toronto for Canadian software engineering technician with no post secondary education!

We recently were successful in helping a Florida based platform development company secure the services of a software engineering technician with no post-secondary (high school) education, through the NAFTA TN Scientific Technician/Technologist temporary worker classification.

This is significant because while a scientific technician/technologist is theoretically not required to have post secondary education, in practice, it is not unusual for applicants without a two-year associates degree to be refused by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP).


Read more . . .


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?


Read more . . .


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 ?


Read more . . .


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.

 


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).


Read more . . .


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.


Read more . . .


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Practice Areas | Immigration for Corporations | Immigration for Individuals | I-9 Compliance | EB-5 Investor Visas | E-1 and E-2 Visas | H-1B Specialty Workers Visa | L-1 Company Transfer Visas | Permanent Residence | U.S. Citizenship | | About Us

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