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Visa Numbers Progressing

January 25, 2012

Everyone from India or China who is waiting for a green card number knows that the Employment based second preference visa numbers are moving very fast.  And the good news is that it is predicted to move fast, at least by 6 months, for the March Visa Bulletin that will come out in the middle of February. Every Country is allocated a fixed visa number and the numbers are distributed according to categories.


The First Categories consists of PhDs with a high level of research experience.  They either have “extraordinary ability” or are Outstanding Researchers. The other group consists of International Managers and Executives generally with an L-1A visa. These people are deemed to have the highest priority and are given the visa first.


The number of visas left over are given to the Second Preference, who are either Master’s degree holders, or have a Bachelors and five years of experience. Also included in this group are researchers, whose institutions just use them as slave labor and don’t petition for them. They have to prove that it is in the National Interest to waive the requirement of a labor certification. Since China and India are huge countries, and there are huge numbers of EB-1 and Eb-2, they use up their quota very quickly.  Thus if you were born in India and China, and are in EB-2 you had to wait for 5 years to get the visa, as opposed to people born in other countries.


However since October of 2011, the numbers for Eb-2 for India and China had been advancing rapidly. And that movement is expected to continue for the next several months.


Mr. Oppenheim of the Visa Office of the State Department said that the rapid movement is because there is very little Eb-1 petitions filed. That is probably because EB-1 has become much harder. The standard for Extraordinary has been increased, simultaneously as the average in our country has dumbed down.


However with so many filings, the USCIS will take forever to adjudicate these petitions. The visa numbers are expected to increase for some months; if after that the numbers retrogress, then all applicants will probably not be able to get their Green cards, and have to wait. However at least the H-4 dependents can work with their EAD cards.


EB-3 however will still remain retrogressed.


Meanwhile there is no progress to the Fairness and High Skilled Immigrant Act, (HR 3012) which sought to do away with per country quotas and passed with overwhelming majority in the House. Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) and anti Indian placed a permanent hold on the bill. Senator Grassley has a Master’s degree in Arts from Iowa State Teacher’s College. I’m sure like his Republican colleague, Ted Stevens, he thinks that the internet is a “bunch of tubes” and can be programmed by humanities majors from Iowa State Teacher’s College.



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


J-1 Student Internship

June 23, 2008

The USCIS released final regulations regarding J-1 Student Intern visa. This new visa will allow a student, enrolled in post secondary education, to intern with private or Government sector employers for training. This will provide much needed work experience to foreign students. Previously the students could only work on CPT or OPT, and the length of time was highly restrictive. In contract, USC students could enter into any number of internships. Thus US students could have a competitive advantage in graduate studies or the job market.

It is nice to note that ALL students (and not just STEM students) can avail of this situation. The OPT extension,l by contract is ONLY available to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students. I still fail to realize how technology cannot include Engineering. Also I am appalled by the cold world era emphasis on Science in this day and age. If one looks at great works of literature, movie, music, it is primarily produced by hyphenated Americans, (like Chinese-American, Indian-Americans, etc.) Scan the Pulitzer or Oscar list. Same is true of any Management Degree holders, whose international experience is greatly necessary for global business. Yet the government only recognizes the need for STEM students. This is so reminiscent of the Cold War. But then, so is the War on Terror.

The Politics of Immigration

June 8, 2008

The issue of Immigration has broad bi partisan support. But at loggerheads are two issues, business immigration and granting status to illegal immigrants. Business immigration laws restrict the number of immigrants that can come in for instance on the H-1B visa (professional visa) and employment based green cards. Tech companies like google and Microsoft are severely affected. This year google received more than 1 million application for jobs . They filed only 300 H-1B visas. 90 of those visas did not get accepted. Google has the reputation of being one of the best employers and hire the very best. In fact one of google founders, Sergey Brin, is an immigrant.

Responding to complaints by Google and Microsoft, both the house and senate has bills to increase the H-1B quotas and exclude people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) from the quota.

But such bills are often not passed, and tend to be rejected by those law makers who believe that there is more pressing need to legalize illegal immigrants rather than do something about business immigration. Comprehensive immigration is great, but almost impossible to pass in this divided congress. Yet the champions of legalizing illegal immigrants often do not want to pass immigration reform to grant businesses more professional immigrants. Ultimately, what those Senators and Congressmen and women fail to see is that Immigration benefits us, no matter what type it is. Restricting professional immigrants just results in those professional jobs being outsources to other countries, and the US loosing its foothold in the world.

The Brighest and the Best

June 1, 2008

Anti Immigration groups like the Center for Immigration Studies charge that the foreign workers who come in to the United States are not the Brightest and the Best. Dr. Norman Matloff, a Professor of Computer Science, in UC Davis, recently wrote a paper full of fallacies, whose main theme is that Asian students are inferior than American and Western students in Math and Science.

Lets look at some facts here. The Dept of Labor has mandated that foreign workers have to be paid more than the prevailing wage. The CIS fees for Companies over 25 workers is $2340/- each H-1B employee. Add attorneys fees to that, and the figure can reach almost $5000/- per H-1B individual. Would it make market sense then, for a Company to hire a foreign worker if American workers are available? Surely Mr. Matloff does not think that American businesses, like Cisco, Google and Microsoft, who he quoted in his article are stupid in making business decisions.

What Mr. Matloff has done to prove that Asian students are lower than European students is taken averages from those countries. Yes, Europe will have a higher average any day than China or India. That is because European countries have a homogeneous and small population, with free public education. India and China have over a billion people and of course cannot afford to educate its entire population. The same is true of states in the US. The average PSAT score which is used to compute the average for National Merit Scholarship is much higher in North Dakota than it is in CA, NY or TX. ND has a much smaller and homogeneous population than the larger states. But if you look at the population of students in the ivy leagues from the bigger states, there are more students from these states than there is from North Dakota. So the brightest and the best does not necessarily coincide with the median.

If we are to look at averages, can Mr Matloff explain why Asians have, as a group scored higher in the Math portion of the SATs? Why compared to their population in the general US society, so many Asians get accepted into the ivys? Bear in mind that Asians get neither legacy nor affirmative action in terms of admission to these ivys. My daughter just graduated from Yale University with distinction in Literature, and yes, the top scoring Science and Math student at Yale in 2008 was a student from Vietnamese origin. This is not a statistics, just a fact.

There’s got to be a lot of Asian students taking Computer Science at UC Davis. Do they enroll in Mr. Matloff’s class. If so, I would dearly love to know how he grades these students. With his prejudicial views, I doubt that he is a fair and impartial grader.

I-140 Portability

May 30, 2008

You filed your I-485 under the July 2007 Visa Bulletin (VB No. 107). It has been more than 180 days. You cannot stand your employer, and have found a new employer who will continue the process. Can you Port your I-140 under AC21?

Below are some pointers to consider before you switch employers:

1. Is your I-140 approved?

If your I-140 is not approved yet, you need to decide if that case will be approvable. You have to decide if your first employer who sponsored you have the ability to pay, a valid job offer, etc.

If your first I-140 is approved already then porting becomes much easier

2. Is the new job same and similar?

The new ported job has to be same and similar. Both those jobs have to have the same DOT Code (for RIR and traditional cases) or SOC Code (for PERM cases), and the salary range offered in the underlying Labor certification has to be within a similar range. It is much better to have a copy of your original labor certification and the I-140 approval or receipt notice, to determine if the new job is same and similar.

  1. What if my first Employer withdraws the I-140?

It is not a problem if your first employer withdraws the I-140 after 180 days of the filing of the I-485.

  1. Can you port to a different Geographical location?

Yes, you can take a new job anywhere in the US and port the I-140

5. Should the new employer have the ability to pay?

Although technically the only factor that counts is whether the two employments are same and similar, the question of whether the new employer has the ability to pay can be a factor in adjustment of status

  1. What’s the worst case scenario?

If the I-140 Portability is denied for some reason, you can always retain the Priority date of the old labor for the adjustment under 8 C.F.R 204.5(e). But you have to start with a fresh PERM filing. This means if your 6 years of H-1B are over, you might have to go back to your home country until you can get your green card.

Mississippi, the Deep South and the Illegal Aliens

May 16, 2008

In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck Mississippi, the Gulf Coast was devastated. The State had to rebuilt. Illegal Immigrants came in droves, found construction jobs and worked to rebuild the State. Mississippi slowly started regaining its former self back on the backs of this cheap labor. Fast forward to 2008. Their state was rebuilt. The deep south began to start disliking these “illegal alien.” Their only crime….. they already rebuild the State, there was not much left to be built. So the State passed one of the strictest laws against illegal aliens. All big businesses must submit to e verification Social Security Checks. Strict penalties are levied on businesses that employ people not authorized to work in the US.

The illegal immigrants are leaving. We can only hope that no other hurricanes/natural disasters strikes Mississippi again.