Posts Tagged ‘India’

H-1B lottery

September 30, 2016

Every year as winter starts to fade into spring, the Citizenship and Immigration Service receives thousands of petitions for H-1B visas. 236 thousand petitions last year to be precise. H-1B visas are used by US Employers to get highly qualified professionals, mainly in Science and Computer…



Why I came to America

January 9, 2013

I want to start this first blog of the year on a personal note.  I came to this country in 1985 because I wanted liberty.  I was a women in India. The rape case in India and the ensuing uproar about women’s status brought all those memories back to me afresh.

Back in the early 80s I was a student in the English Department of a prestigious liberal arts college in India, Presidency College, Kolkata. I remember the very day that  I formed a resolution to leave India. A Rhode Scholar, Oxford educated female Professor said, “we are happy when our male students get a good job, but for our female students, we are happy when they get married.” I sat there devastated. I was planning to sit the Administrative Services Exam and get a job in India.  But if a liberal women said things like this, what were my chances of success as a women.

Of course this was not the ONLY instance of being treated as a second class citizen for being a women, that I had experienced. In India we did not have the freedom to go around as we wanted. In crowded trams and buses, or even in roads,  males routinely groped women. We could not say anything, because the “shame” would be for the women, not the men who freely violated us, or made cat calls. After dusk, we women were not allowed to go out by ourselves.  Even when I was 18, I had to take my 6 or 7 year old brother to go a short distance to my friend’s house. This was humiliating to say the least.

I had to wear a saree in grades 11 and 12 to school. Not only did I not know how to tie the yards of plain cloth to my body, but it restricted lower body movement and in hot summer months it was painful. Life’s little inconveniences, but they do add up. I did not run, bike or swim—-apart from studying and music,  the only other activity I did was walking to College and libraries. We were bred to be wives and mothers and were given no success ethics in terms of a career. And we had to conform to the mores of what the “village” thought, not free thinking. I dont think I ever questioned the fact that I had an option to not marry or have children. My daughter is choosing that option, and my mother simply cannot understand it. After all, that’s what a female does in a society of 1.2 billion people.

When I came to America, I had to fight all those years of pre-programming. Law School taught me free thinking. I learned to bike and swim in my 40s. And yes, I developed a strong hatred for the saree.

There is a popular myth that these days  unless you are an asylee,  people  to America for economic freedom.  That is simply not true. Ever since the dawn of immigration with the Pilgrims, people came to this country to seek freedom.  Even if the means of Immigration is through employment, the reason for Immigration may be freedom. And we in America should strive to preserve those freedom, to become the beacon for people of all colors, nationality and sexual orientation.  The country that our forefathers left behind is changing. Lets not,  in the name of  preservation,  restrict abortion or gay rights. For in the end, we want to become the haven that people all over the world covet.


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

Eb-2 for India and China

May 10, 2012

In the June Visa Bulletin, the Eb-2 category for India and China are unavailable. The Department of State (DOS) thinks that it will remain unavailable for the rest of the fiscal year., ie until September 30, 2012.  This means that if someone born in India or China and has an Eb-2 petition with a priority date of  say 2001, they still cannot file for I-485 Adjustment of status.  They hope to restore the numbers to 2010, but this wont happen until at least the spring of 2013.

The reason that the DOS gives for this unavailability is that a very large number of people from India and China are converting from EB-3 to EB-2. Many of them had a Bachelor’s Degree, but did not have the requisite 5 years experience when they filed.  They now do. Some individuals are also getting Master’s Degree.  When you change or file another petition, you retain the old priority date. The current priority date for Eb-3 for India is September 15, 2002.  These people have been waiting for 10 years before they get their Permanent Residency. Yet, all this time, they have been living and working in the US with their H-1B visas. The job clearly exist for them.  Yet they have to wait and be punished simply because they were born in large countries which value education.

These people do have job, and will ultimately (hopefully in their lifetime) get the Permanent Residency.  They are on valid visas and pay their taxes.  They perform valuable service to the US, those technical jobs we do not graduate  enough people.  Yet farmers with political science and useless liberal arts degrees like Senator Grassley want to restrict these law abiding people from becoming United States’ resident.  Senator, if the United States could perform solely with liberal arts degrees like you have, we would be the bottom nation of this world.  We would become like your home state, Iowa, good for producing corn only.


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

The Rise of Expectation in India

January 11, 2011

I recently visited India, and as everybody knows was amazed by the optimism of the young Indian Professionals.  They work hard, six days a week, and speak of India overtaking the world. Yet I cannot but feel that this exuberance is overblown, perhaps created by Indian media. The young middle class Indians feel they are at par with America. Yet here are the things that my Western eyes found are hindrances to its growth.

Population and Poverty—- The Young Indian Professional is completely blind to the millions of people barely subsisting on the “other side of the track.” In Mumbai, there were blind children begging for a morsel of food from a fat middle aged women holding some fried pakoras. She promptly got into her car and her husband nearly ran over the little girl. Yes, I know that beggar kids are a business in  Mumbai, and you can avoid them; but do you have to be mean? The haves simply do not even recognize the existence of the have nots. I would vote any day for China’s one child policy.

Traffic—- Everyone gets a car, no one builds roads. The traffic jam situation is horrible. So are the dirty roads. Strangely India is more kind to their stray animals than people. Cows, dogs, monkeys, people  just live, eat, defecate on the roads creating health hazards galore.

Expectations—- India has money.  Yet the conditions are so bad. We in the US would complain bitterly and not accept these conditions and thus they would not happen. yet people in India take this lying down. Whatever money India has is enough to build roads, feed people, etc. But it is being stolen by corrupt politicians and their innumerable ‘meetings”. I was in Kolkata for 4 days. In one of those days there was a massive rally in the center of the town, paralyzing the traffic in the City. There was no elections coming up.  I was told they have this situation at least every 15 days.  Yet the corrupt politician get away with almost everything fueled by money from rich business people. Unless this is stopped, India will never achieve first world status.

As someone once said, “china is rising because of their Government, India is rising despite their Government.” If this is the price of democracy, to hell with it. Self Government cannot be condoned for Corrupt Government.


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

State Dinner for India

November 24, 2009

President Obama is holding a State dinner for India and this is getting a lot of media coverage in the mean stream media. This is his first State dinner. Even Fox news mentioned that GOP leader John McCain was not invited. Yes, Fox news, but Mr. Conservative Bobby Jindal (who is surprisingly very Anti Indian) is invited. Probably a State dinner for a “brown country” is incomprehensible to Fox News.

Whats important is that India is rising as a Nation, and friendship ties between India (and China) and the US will strengthen both economies.

A lot of Hollywood personalities were invited, including Stephen Spielberg. And of course AR Rahman of Jai Ho fame.

What surprises me though is that meat is not being served, but prawns are. When I left India vegetarians did not eat meat, fish or eggs. They did drink milk. And some people did eat eggs. And we have some great national meat dishes, including the Tandoori Chicken and the British National dish of Chicken tikka masala. Well, at least they were pared the tasteless, no matter how you cook it turkey.

Happy feasting Mr. Obama and Mr. Singh!


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