Archive for April, 2013

The Merit based Immigration System

April 30, 2013

While a lot has been said about the 11 million illegal immigrants in the proposal by the Gang of 8, nothing has been said about the merit based point system.  This is business friendly, and hopefully both Republicans and Democrats can agree on this. 


It replaces the old diversity visa and other country specific visas. We can finally move away  from  the goal  to keep this nation white, and make it bright. Diversity visas were given to any one with a simple High school graduation. This at a time when our indigenous high school grads cant get work. 

Instead we move to having a merit based point system.  The points are: Doctorate degree 15 points, Master’s 10 points and Bachelors get 5 points. For experience, the proposal creates job zones. (Somewhat like the old preferences)   You get 1 point for high zone employment with a total of 20. 

However the point system is not perfect. A score of 80  on the TOEFL gets 10 points. Good knowledge of English is the same as a Master’s Degree?   And countries underrepresented in this country gets an extra 5 points.  And yes, community service gets 2 points. 


Looks very much like an Admissions rubric for s selective Universities.  Time to pad your resumes people. 


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

High Tech vs Low Tech

April 12, 2013

Mark Zuckerberg created a PAC for Immigration Reform. The debate on Immigration is now between high skilled workers vs the undocumented people. The tech industry vs the fruit industry.  The Republicans vs the Democrats.

Yes, we need fruit pickers. But we can easily teach the 7 % unemployed people in the US to pick grapes in 3 hours.  We cannot teach them to program a computer.

And yes, this is a political issue. The Obama Administration wants “comprehensive Immigration.” it says that it wants high tech jobs. But all the administrative options that are available, seems only to apply  to  undocumented  immigrants.  That is good.  DACA is giving many kids the chance to drive legally.  But they are high school graduates, and many simply cannot find a job, even though they are getting the work permit. Similarly the procedure for I-601 waivers is made easier.  And it is helping many families stay intact.

But when it comes to the business immigration, we are simply not seeing those administrative solutions.  The “control” memo that puts a dent on the H-1B s for tech companies, introduced during the Obama administration is still here.  This year the H-1B quotas even for Master’s Degree holders from US Universities got filled in the first day, with lottery.  If these Master’s Degree holders don’t get into the lottery, will their OPT work permit be extended? And if not, why not? These are Master’s Degree (or even Bachelor’s Degree holders ) from US Universities. Are they inferior to the DACA people simply because they followed the law and maintained legal status? If the DACA people are given work permits for just being high school grads, why should Bach and masters of US Universities not be given the same opportunity? And what about highly qualified spouses of H-1Bs? What wrong did they do?


And last but not least, the Obama Administration wants a “clear path to citizenship” for everyone. And yes, these 11 million people, (most of them poorly educated) has to stand in line behind all those in line right now. But what about the next high tech inventor who is now in grade school, dabbling in programming. If this kid invents the next google, and wants to come to the US, does she have to wait in line behind the 11 million people? And if so, will we then lose our technology edge in the world, simply due to political pandering of the Democrats?

Lets make immigration like most countries do: The more qualified you are, the simpler and faster will be your immigration. Irrespective of whether you are legal or not.  We want people for the content of their brains, not for the color of their skin.


Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration AttorneyAnnie Banerjee, for more information


H-1B Cap

April 8, 2013

USCIS announced that it has received approximately 124,000 petitions.

The cap is 20,000 for US Master’s Degree holders and 65,000 for general.

USCIS has received more than the amount in all categories.  Thus it will do a lottery for the 20,000 Master’s Degree holders first.

Those who are selected will get the receipt notice.

Those who are not selected will be entered into the 65,000 general lottery

So US Master’s cap will get two chances at the lottery.

USCIS has not announced when they will do the first lottery.

We will update each and every one of our clients as soon as we know anything.

If you don’t get selected  the CIS will not withdraw your application fees. If you are on any other visa category, and applied for a change of status, your status won’t be changed and you can continue in your current status.

If you were a student, and are working in your OPT, and don’t get selected even after 2 lotteries, you can either : (1) go back to student status, or (2) file H-1B from a non cap (non profit research) institute.

CIS also has the power to extend the cap gap or the EAD status until next year, but we cannot predict if the CIS will do so.

If you are a student and get selected, you will need your receipt notice to apply for cap gap, if your EAD expires before October 01, 2013.


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


The Unnatural H-1B quota

April 5, 2013

Our laws impose the completely unnatural, unrealistic, uncapitalistic quota of 65,000 (plus 20,000 for US Master’s Degree holder) visas for H-1B, a visa reserved for professional skilled personnel.  Since the government year starts on October 01, and they accept visa applications 6 months before, the first day one can file the petition is April 01.  The job actually starts from October 01.

From  2006 to 2008 more than that amount was filed with the USCIS on the first day. The government resorted to a lottery.  Then came the economic downturn and the visa filings were slow.  Now again, as the service centers start counting the visas today, its expected to at least reach or exceed the quota this year.  This means that the economy looks better.

The counting starts today, on the day that the job records came out with a bleak report that hiring has slowed down in the USA. I am sure that the anti business immigration folks will scream about job preservation. Yet, the jobs lost in the US are federal government jobs and retail jobs partly seasonal and partly due to the sequestration. None of these jobs are tech jobs. If America idolized colleges for their US News and World Report rankings rather than the NCAA rankings, we would not face a shortage of tech  personnel.

However another major problem is the quota itself.  Computer consulting companies are the main users of the H-1B visas. They have to predict their usage for the year.  Once the quotas are gone, they cannot get labor to supply their clients, and have to take a major hit.

The other reason is that the educated spouses of H-1B holders, (on H-4 visas) cannot work. Dependents of L or J visas can.  But for some completely inane reason, dependents of H visas cannot work. So these H-4 visa holders approach Consulting companies for jobs. Consulting jobs are hard.  Not only do you have to know computer science, you also have to travel places with the job. Americans simply wont work that hard or travel that much.

Thus we should do away with this unnatural quota. Let the marketplace dictate needs. Yet the Obama Government simply will not handle immigration piecemeal. They want those Hispanic votes and wont do anything for the country until they get those votes.


Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration AttorneyAnnie Banerjee, for more information