Posts Tagged ‘Visa’

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.

New PERM Filings

May 6, 2008

From June 01, 2008, all PERM Applications will be filed in Atlanta. Right now the PERMS from the Western part of the country was filed in Chicago, while the Eastern half had Atlanta.

The Centralization will ensure the same standard for all PERMS in the US. Also, hopefully the Perms can be adjudicated expeditiously. Time was when labor certificate was a totally regionally affair, with different regions having different rules. But we are fast becoming one nation, under technology. So this move to one center will hopefully be better and eliminate regional differences.

How to Choose an Immigration Lawyer

April 28, 2008
I have been practicing Immigration Law in Houston for the last 11 years, having graduated third highest from South Texas College of Law. I have seen many clients been swindled, abandoned, and left out of status for inadequate representation. So here are my tips on HOW TO CHOOSE A LAWYER. These are general tips for choosing any lawyer in general, and immigration lawyer in particular. I am assuming that readers of this blog will NOT go to a notario, or a lawyer not qualified to practice law.
HOW BRAINY IS YOUR LAWYER—–Ultimately a Lawyer is selling his/her brain power to you. The lawyer has to assess your situation and give you a creative solution. Thus his/her law school standing, how well she did in her class matters. Many lawyers practicing Immigration Law are not graduates of American Law Schools. The degree that you should be looking for is the JD degree. These foreign lawyers come over here, and do an LLM in Law. No American student does an LLM. You do not need to sit the competitive LSAT exam to get into an LLM program. Any law school, including Harvard, will take in ANYONE able to apply and afford tuition to their LLM programs, because law schools do not fill up their LLM classes. Foriegn lawyers often come from countries like India, where you do not need a brain to get into law school. (The science education in India is excellent, not law) So ask your lawyer if she/he has a JD, (and not an LLM) if so from where, and what his/her class standing was. Choose based on your lawyer’s brains, not his/her ability to be nice to you.
I am sure none of those foreign lawyers could get into any law school in the US in a JD program. Law unlike medicine is NOT universal. It is specific to a country, a region. Foreign lawyers often do not have a clear picture of our body of law, our principles and constitution.
EXPERIENCE-Your Lawyer should have substantial experience (at least 5 years) in doing your type of cases. For instance if you have a family immigration case, going to a lawyer who only does business immigration law or assylum, will not help you. If you have a knee problem you go to an orthopedic specialist, not a dermatologist. So ask your Lawyer how long she has experience and in what type of cases. Do your due diligence and google search and learn what you can before engaging them.
BIG FIRMS WHERE THEY WONT CARE ABOUT YOU: So you walk into this shiny office of a big law firm, to be interviewed by a partner. He promises you that they know the “immigration Officers and have all positive results.” You pay big bucks as retainer. That’s the last time you ever talk to a lawyer. Your case is being handled by a paralegal, who has no brains. You leave messeges and e mails, none of which are returned. Please bear in mind, that unlike most other countries, NO LAWYER in the US has any special relationship to the Government. The big bucks that you paid just went into the lawyers pocket and his expensive upkeep. In general, turn around time is much slower in big law firms. In Immigration Law the day you file your case is your priority date and that date MATTERS. Most big law firm will take upto a month to file your case, a valuable time loss for you. So ask your lawyer about who specifically will do your case (a lawyer or a paralegal), who will return your phone calls/e mails, and when will they actually file your case.
FEES: Last but not least is the money. I would choose the middle of the road fees. The lower end fees are generally charged by incompetent lawyers, who may take your money and may not even file your case. The higher end fees go towards a shiny office for your affluent lawyer. Generally the middle of the road fees are the best.