Archive for April, 2011

USCIS and VIBE

April 30, 2011

Mainly for the I-140 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service  (USCIS) is now doing a new internet based check. It’s called Validation Instruments for Business Enterprise or VIBE. Through an Independent Service Provider, the USCIS can check the following information :

  • Business activities, such as type of business (North American Industry Classification System code), trade payment information and status (active or inactive)
  • Financial standing, including sales volume and credit standing
  • Number of employees, including onsite and globally
  • Relationships with other entities, including foreign affiliates
  • Status, for example whether it is a single entity, branch, subsidiary or headquarters
  • Ownership and legal status, such as LLC, partnership or corporation
  • Company executives
  • Date of establishment as a business entity
  • Current physical address

The USCIS is using Dun and Bradstreet to check this information.   It is resulting in irritating Request for Information (RFE) about the location of the Company. D & B uses data from incorporation etc to maintain its database about companies. And they don’t update this information. Thus even though we submit tax documents etc which has verifiable information like addresses which match the I-140,  the RFEs are still being sent out. In some cases the RFE refers to addresses that the Company has never used.  D & B denies ever putting up the information. In another case, we had an RFE that basically had nothing to do with the D&B report of the Company, yet the RFE started with the D&B language. I guess the officers are using that template so often, that it crops up in almost all RFEs. And officers are just dong the checks and hitting the RFE button, instead of actually looking at the petition submitted.

The RFEs are also saying, “ USCIS does not require you update your record with D&&B”  But yeah, do so now.  Businesses may not want their information to go public, and give their competitors access to their information. Yet it seems if you sponsor a foreigner, you might have to. Big Brother dictating? You bet. Mr. Obama, aren’t you a constitution expert? What about the rule of law?

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

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Employment Based Category 1 Immigration

April 15, 2011

This week the USCIS published a Statistics of its denial rates for Employment Based First Preference (EB-1) categories of Aliens with Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Researchers categories. Extraordinary Ability is a self petition and has a higher standard than Outstanding Researcher which is petitioned by Universities and Research Institutions. The denial rate for Extraoridnary Ability has gone down. In 2010 for Extraordinary Ability was 38%, as opposed to 2008 when it was 53%. In 2009 it was 41%

However the denial rate for Outstanding Researcher has gone up. In 2010 it was 9% as opposed to an all time high in 2007 of 10%. In 2009 it was 7%

This is just statistics.  It does not mean that Extraordinary Ability has become any easier. What’s astounding is the very high rate of denials. Many researchers who are young and thus haven’t risen to the level of Extraordinary Researchers, but were born in India or China, where an EB-2 National Interest Waiver takes forever; choose to file under Extraordinary Ability  and gets denied. Their institutions do not want to sponsor them, so they self petition under Extraordinary Ability. Unless a researcher has discovered something extremely novel, which will help mankind, a post doc usually does not qualify under Extraordinary Ability.

Similarly I don’t think that Outstanding Researcher has gotten any more difficult. Many of those petitions are done by the International Affairs divisons of Universities, where they are not attorneys and produce poorly written petitions.

But as with grants for researchers, immigration law does not have the ability to see the young mind thinking of novel ideas.  And going back to statistics again, most extraordinary research was done when the researcher was in their prime. (Think relativity)  Young minds can challenge assumptions, and rebel against established thought to produce revolutionary new discoveries. Yet lots of them were squashed because of lack of funding and some leave for greener pastures in other countries, because the immigration process under EB-2 takes too long.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

Why we need more H-1Bs—- Because of the NCAA

April 8, 2011

There is a quota of 65,000 for regular H-1B and 20,000 for holders of Master’s Degree or Higher in a fiscal year.  This year the USCIS has received  appx 5,900 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap, and approximately 4,500 petitions toward the 20,000 cap exemption for individuals with advanced degrees so far.

But the March Madness which recently ended, embodies why we need H-1Bs. Our colleges spend way more on sports than on education. I had not heard of Butler until last year.  And most people supported Butler over Duke. Cinderalla team? Sure. But we did not know about the existence of this educational institution unless there was NCAA Basketball. Same with VCU this year. There is nothing wrong with cheering for the underdog, until you realize that these are actually educational institutions. And the Coach at Butler or VCU gets paid far higher than any professor or researcher in those institutions.

In other countries there are no colege sports. College sports are not big businesses.  Instead the money goes towards education. Thus we have serious, and more productive students who in turn make better workers, and hence the H-1B program.

Note to Butler, You had two turns, and still could not win.  Next year funnell more money into research, so that your US Nwes and World Report ranking rises.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information