Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

DUI/DWI and Immigration

November 23, 2016

With Thanksgiving approaching, I hope you all stay safe and don’t drink and drive.  But if you are a non immigrant (ie with say a H, E, an L or a TN visa) and you get caught (not convicted, just caught), you may receive a letter in the mail, cancelling your visa.
But, you say, you thought that yo…


Entrepreneurs Visa

August 29, 2016

In 2014, President Obama issued an Executive order making it easy for Entrepreneurs to get visas. However until this past Friday, the Citizenship and Immigration Service (hereinafter CIS) did not issue any guidance as to how this could be achieved. For instance, a computer science major foreign…


When Natural Disasters happen

August 20, 2016

The Government works with deadlines. Unlike State Court where lawyers can argue that they are not ready and reset the date of their hearing, we attorneys working with federal agencies have to such leverage. We are given an audit notice by the Department of Labor, and we have to answer in 20…


The Donald and Immigration fraud

August 5, 2016

Politico has raised doubts about Melania Trump’s Immigration Status.  Melania could have come to the US with the special H-1B status for models.  H-1B for fashion models, unlike other H-1B categories, does not require education.  However it does require that the model be famous in internationally, and that she has a job offer.  Therefore Melania’s lie about her education in Slovenia was probably not instrumental. However, the facts as to (1) whether she had a job offer, probably from a modeling agency, before coming to the US and (2) Whether at that time she was a reputed model, can be in dispute.

Added to that, Politico also notes that both Donald and Melania Trump stated that she would return home every few months to renew her visa.  Since most H-1B visas are given for three years, maybe Melania Trump came on a Visitor’s visa (B visa).  Under a B visa, she was not allowed to work in the US.

The H-1B visa would require Melania to work for a modeling agency.  She needed to sign up with the agency before coming to the United States.  Maybe she was free lancing, because my guess is that free lancing models get paid more per job. So she came on a B visa, worked here, and went back to Europe after the job was done, to come back again. The only problem is that the B visa DOES NOT allow her to work in the US. So in this scenario, she committed Immigration fraud.

After the article came out, many left wing pundits are calling for deporting Melania.  Not so fast. She is married to a United States Citizen.  Her “fraud” can be waived (the technical term is 601 waiver) if the US Citizen husband suffers “extreme hardship” if she leaves.  This standard is “Yuge”.  However judging by the number of times Donald has mentioned “sex” in the campaign, not to mention his strong defense of his hand size, I think Donald would claim “tremendous loss” if Melania is deported.

For more information on Immigration, please contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, Annie Banerjee

H-1B fraud solutions

March 7, 2016

The H-1B program has been coming under attack lately. Ted Cruz wants to put a moratorium on H-1B visa. That seems to be the Republican solution to every crisis—-stop it and put your head under the sand, and the problem will go away. Is there fraud in the H-1B program? Yes. But the way to…


Immigration Reform

November 26, 2013

I applaud the fact that President Obama has accepted the piecemeal approach instead of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (read citizenship to Mexicans so they vote Democratic) approach. For many the Immigration issue consists of ONLY illegal people from Mexico. Yet Immigration is a complex issue.
And to the heckler in the crowd who said that his family has been separated for 19 months because apparently they were deported, I say, go live with your family wherever they are. 11 million people are not being deported. It’s the people doing crime who are being deported. And the Democrats scream against it, as if possession of drugs is so insignificant, that it’s USA’s fault for deporting the drug users. The Democrats also put up pictures of Jose Antonio Vargas, as the quintessential dreamer, yet most dreamers have barely a high school certificate.

And as for the Republicans, they are deeply divided. The tea party just wants Obama to fail, no matter what the issue. The conservative Christians want immigration for the illegal Mexicans. And the business factions want Business Immigration reform.
Immigration as it is now is based on country quota. A person born in India, holding a Bachelor’s Degree, and completely legal has to wait right now for more than 10 years to become a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) holder. Then she has to wait another 5 years to become a Citizen. A master’s Degree holder, even from the USA, has to wait for 14 years to become a citizen if he was born in India. How can I look them in the eye and tell them that an illegal immigrant with no education will get citizenship in 13 years?

The Senate bill, which the House rejected, had a point system. But it was more generous with the point system based on family than on education and experience. When people choose to come into this country, they make a conscious decision to leave their family. Why should someone with no education come in simply by being adult siblings of a United States Citizen, or worse, simply by lottery, when it takes 14 years for Master’s Degree holders whose ONLY crime was being born in India?

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

H-1B vs EAD

May 30, 2013

Question: I have filed my I-485 petition and have my work and travel permit.  Do I still need to continue my H-1B?


I get asked the above question a lot.  And the answer like most things is, “it depends.”


Since the Department of State advanced the current dates for Indian and Chinese individuals in 2007 and then EB-2 towards the end of 2011, a lot of people filed for adjustment of status (I-485).  Along with that filing they got the initial Employment Authorization Document and advance parole (travel document).  Those documents can be extended yearly until one gets the Green Card (Permanent Resident Card).  So technically one does not need the H-1B

Please note though that once you don’t extend the H after 6 years of being in H status, it disappears.  You cannot extend it anymore.  If you want to get back to the H quota, you will have to go back for one year,  then you will have to wait for the next fiscal year, and might have to get into the lottery which happens some years, including this year.  In other words its close to impossible to get back the H status if you don’t keep extending beyond 6 years.

The work and travel permits are dependent on the I-485.  This is applicable to the principal alien filing the I-485, ie the person for whom the employer filed the Labor Certification.  As long as the I-485 is valid (ie the Employer still wants to continue the process) there should be no problem.  The problem arises though when the sponsoring employer does not want to sponsor anymore.


However if the principal alien has a new employer after 180 days of filing the I-485, that new employer can transfer the Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) process through AC-21.  The job has to be “same and similar” to the job described in the labor certificate.  In this situation, the I-485 will be valid for the principal and the dependent aliens as well.


If it happens to be a job in a completely different area, the new employer can start a whole new process of PERM- Labor Certification.  The principal alien will still get the old Priority Date, but in this case the I-485 will no longer be valid. And if the principal and dependent aliens don’t have a valid H-1B visa, they cannot do this.


The bottom line: The H-1B visa provides a second layer of security and should be extended if cost is not a consideration.  However if cost is a factor, one needs to do a cost-benefit analysis.


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

When lawyers try to bribe

May 24, 2013

Why does it always have to be Indian lawyers? Usually lawyers who are foreign graduates, and usually Indians.

They try to bribe Immigration officers. Just like they did in India.

Kiran Diwan, an attorney from the Law office of Dewan in Maryland recently got indicted on charges that he tried to bribe (an undercover) CIS agent for 3 of his clients.  He took money and faked a marriage for two of his clients, and probably faked the signature of the employer in Employment based visas. Then he submitted these documents to the Immigration Officer rather than by proper mail channels that is regular with the CIS.

I remember being asked by an Immigration Officer, for an interview (at the Houston District Office)  I had with my clients once, “you are not going to bribe me with tickets to the music show?” When I looked horrified that the officer would suggest such a thing,  he said, he was joking with me, but that the previous Indian attorney had offered him tickets to a musical show that she performed in.  Although the officer did not say the name of this attorney, I completely believed him, because there is an attorney in Houston of Indian origin who sings.

This attorney may or may not be trying to bribe the officer, but of course was trying to get friendly with him. As Immigration lawyers, and in order to ensure and uphold due process must not become friends or have any social connections with the officers who adjudicate these cases.  The same is true for judges.

And while I am at it, Texas elects all its judges. And lawyers give “campaign contributions.”  Is not campaign contribution a form of bribery?


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



Special Quotas for Irish in the New Immigration Deal?

May 17, 2013

The history of Immigration in the USA goes right along the history of slavery, and can be described by one word: Discrimination. The Asians were not even allowed to enter, because Immigration was restricted to people “from Caucasian descent.”

In 1923, when Bhagat Singh tried to get Citizenship, claiming that he was “Caucasian” (Indians are Caucasians by race), the US Supreme Court ruled that Indians could not assimilate into the “white society”, that East Asians were barred from immigrating, and applied it retroactively, denaturalizing all Asians given the Citizenship previously.

Fast forward not even a 100 years and the Irish are claiming favoritism again in 2013.  They claim its “hard” for people of Europe to immigrate and estimates that as many as 50,000 Irish people are currently living ILLEGALLY in the US.  They complain because they are not included in the “Diversity” visa, a visa given by lottery to any High School graduate because there are few citizens of that country.  Note India and China never were included in the diversity visa.  People from there come on the basis of merit.

And just how will Ireland justify allowing more numbers to the Immigration quota? Because they  have “political clout” with a lot of Senators. Senator Chuck Schumer is in their pocket. John McCain “works ” with them.

I have a note to Irish parents: why don’t you just have your children get the Bachelor’s Degree like the rest of us?  And yes, the CIS favors a British or Irish Degree over Indian or Chinese Degree anyways.

We should end country quotas, end Diversity based on country of origin, end Xenophobia, and get immigration not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our brain and character.


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