Relatives of Texas Military Personnel Benefit from Immigration Legal Counsel

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Houston, Texas – Last year, more than 11,100 military personnel became U.S. citizens. This is the largest number of naturalized since 1955, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics reported.

Current members of the U.S. armed forces and recently discharged members can seek expedited application and naturalization. Many spouses and unmarried minor children are also eligible. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and specific individuals in the National Guard and the Reserves can also qualify.

In Texas where there so many military bases, an experienced immigration attorney can help with every aspect of the naturalization program, including applications, interviews, and coordinating with family still overseas. Service members will want to apply after a minimum of one year of service, and be sure to apply when still with the military or a maximum of six months after leaving the military honorably. An immigration attorney is especially important for extended family who want to immigrate to the U.S., or for spouses who are in the U.S. but want to change their residency status. Citizenship for surviving spouses, children, or parents of deceased service members who passed away during military service will also benefit from legal counsel.

“Military personnel that fight for the American ideals that are not from this country truly are an inspiration,” said Houston immigration Annie Banerjee. “Immigrants have shaped our nation’s history and they and their families deserve to have citizenship.”

Expert legal counsel will assist individuals and families with all the necessary forms and ensure they are effectively completed. Attorneys will help with compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act and track the status of forms and deadlines with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. They will also prepare clients for the English language and history requirements.

The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee has assisted individuals and families for more than 10 years with their immigration cases. She is known for her fast, efficient manner and individualized attention with every client. As an immigrant, attorney Banerjee takes the business of immigration very seriously and counsels clients throughout the United States and in family law in the Texas court system.

To learn more, visit

Supreme Court and Immigration

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In a 5-3 majority decision yesterday (Justice Kagan recused herself) the US Supreme Court held in Chamber of Commerce v. Whitting, that Arizona should keep the controversial bill to prohibit illegal immigrants from working. They will have mandatory E-Verify requirement for every employer in Arizona. As expected the 5 Justices who voted for this are conservative Republican justices.

However look at who brought the lawsuit. Chamber of Commerce. Why? The Chamber of Commerce does not cry out for illegal immigrants from South America. They care about businesses, and businesses in Arizona are hurting. There are some industries that simply willl not find Americans to do the job, and will be forced to relocate to other States. And Arizona will hurt economically.

Yet it is the Republican Justices who advocate for businesses. They bill themselves as the financial gurus, ruling harshly against individuals and pro business. However when the question boils down to Xenophobia vs. financial interest, Xenophobia wins in the Republican and Conservative minds.

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee

Caught between State and Federal Systems

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More and more States are trying to take immigration matters in their own hands and enacting punitive immigration laws for the illegal immigrants. This blog is not about illegal immigrants. This blog deals with how unnecessarily hard life is for legal immigrants, just because State agencies don’t understand Immigration Law.

You need a social security number for everything. And a valid Immigration Approval notice. So lets take the case of Client C. He has an H-1B which expired on April 01, 2011. He filed for an extension on January 01, 2011. He got the receipt notice which just says its a receipt notice. But according to immigration laws his status is valid. He can work and stay in the US. However, come April 01, try and explain that to the driver’s license agents in any state. They will simply not get a renewal. Without the car, it is extremely difficult for Cleint C to get to work. But if he does not work, according to Federal Immigration law his status is not valid. So yes, Client C has to get up at 4 am and take public transportation, cab or walk or bike to work.

Take the example of client B. He came to the US and married. He files adjustment of status. His wife cannot put him on any health insurance. He falls sick. Now what? They cannot rely on State welfare for his disease. And most people simply cannot afford to pay out of pocket for medical costs.

These legal immigrants are being penalized simply because States do not like illegal immigrants. And if these States enact these laws, should they at least attempt to teach their personnel the Federal Immigration laws?

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee

Why I came to America

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A place has a lot to do with developing people. It nurtures and fosters creativity and intellectual growth. Such was the case of impressionist Paris. Artists all over Europe converged. Art, architecture, philosophy blossomed in the cafes of Mont Marte. Same was true of Rabindranath era Kolkata. Poetry, Revolution against the British, Science, and even soccer saw their heyday in the 19th century Kolkata.

I was born though in the latter part of the 20th Century in Kolkata. A Kolkata where thoughts were stiffled, a Kolkata that was fast falling behind the rest of the Indian mileau. I went to an all girl’s Catholic school, and then to Presidency college, a college that had the repute of turning out scholars and revolutionaries. Yet, the 80s Presidency College I attended, with an English major, sought to stiffle my original thoughts. If you wanted the grades, you had to conform to the pattern of writing that was “prescribed ” for you. Creativity had no place.

As was the case of most women in Kolkata at that time, I was never given a chance to develop physical prowess. No gyms, no biking. And of course, wearing a swim suit in public was out of question in my conservative family. How I cursed Kolkata when I wanted to learn, but found so difficult breathing in the water for swimming in the US. It took me a whole three months before I could swim two laps without stopping. Kids learn that in one week.

On the emotional part, dating was frowned upon. Even if it was allowed, you were never allowed to date more than one guy in your life time. So you better meet your perfect match on the first date, or be doomed to an arranged marriage, where the only thing that mattered was the guy’s education, ability to earn, family (ie no one was divorced, or had any bad reputation)and of course a perfect horoscope match. I take that last one back. You can bribe any priest in India, like most other things in India, and get that perfect match if your parents really wanted that match.

Yet with a billion people, things dont come easy in India. We had to work hard for the grades, and your social life depends on your standardized exam scores. Thus the value of education and hard work were ingrained in me.

So I journeyed across the ocean, and today I am proud to be an American. Law school taught me how to think analytically instead of conforming to a pattern. The society gave me the freedom to do what I wanted. I am still proud of the fact that I drove by myself from Canada to Rochester New York to see the lilac festival, a feat that Americans would take for granted shortly after I came to the US. And I can swim, run, bike, do whatever I want, in clothes that do not encumber these activities. When I see Indian women in my gym, wearing long pants and sweating like anything, I feel so glad to be an American, wearing shrots, without caring.

But also my drive to achieve and hard work propelled me forward. After graduating third highest in my law school, I practiced law, but also focussed my energy on raising my kids. A combination of American thought and Indian work ethic led my children into ivy leagues and subsequently into med school. And that is the value of America, where the thought, culture and opportunity is mingled with the old world hard work and ethics. The end result of immigration then is SUCCESS.

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee

Houston Immigration Attorney Explains Opportunities and Complexities of Training at American Businesses

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Houston, Texas – H-3 visas can be a promising way for foreigners to get American training. The program allows foreigners to stay in the U.S. for a maximum of two years to train in any field except for graduate medical training. Once training is completed, the foreign national must go back to their home country.

“Many individuals seek this type of visa because their home country doesn’t have this type of training,” said Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee. “Their careers will be boosted in their homeland after receiving the training.”

H-3 can only be for training, not gainful employment. Many corporations use this visa to educate an individual so they can work in its foreign office when completed or partner with a business that is affiliated with it overseas. Family members can join the foreigner in the U.S. during this time but are not allowed to work or seek permanent residency automatically.

Employers must provide proof that they have a structured training program, including classroom training and how the business will pay for materials, books, and benefit the individual back in the home country. Legal counsel to obtain a H-3 is advised as documentation of an individual’s prior experience and why such training is not available in their homeland is scrutinized. Employers will want to seek an immigration attorney’s guidance on completing the I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker before the H-3 can be obtained.

“USCIS officials are very strict about making sure an individual is focused on training, not working in the U.S. or taking a position away from an American worker,” Banerjee said. “Many people who try to get this type of visa are denied when they do the paperwork on their own. It is much better to seek the resources of an attorney to ensure better success at getting a H-3.”

Thorough documentation and strong arguments for needing U.S. training equal improved chances of getting a H-3 visa. The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee works with many employers throughout Texas and the United States who are involved in the agriculture, commerce, finance, communications, government, industrial, and transportation industries. She has more than 10 years of accomplished immigration law experience and as an immigrant attorney Banerjee will efficiently and aggressively go after an individual’s goals of obtaining a H-3 visa.

To learn more, visit

Immigration Reform

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Presedent Obama is in the border town of El Paso today, stressing Immigration Reform. The border towns of Texas has recently felt the violence of the drug war on the other side. They have seen the deaths of relatives on the other side as well. And Americans, afraid of the drug war spilling over, attribute all crimes to Mexican illegal immigrants. They call for border controls.

The Republican, in the Bush era bandied along the idea of building a wall along the border. But walls like the Berlin wall do not prevent immigrants spilling over. The human species is ingrained with the survival instinct, and if there are jobs on this side, they will come. And thus the 11 million illegal immigrants stay. They have jobs. They are not given driver’s license, they can be picked up and deported, they often undergo their bosses paying them next to nothing. Yet they stay. And they have children. Those children gets educated. They fall sick. They get treated at our emergencies. They have no driver’s license, and hence no insurance. They hit our cars, we pay for the repair. They make money, yet dont have to pay taxes. Just doesn’t make fiscal sense.

The other segment that breaks my heart are the children of these illegal immigrants. We educate them, yet we dont allow them the opportunity to work. Bills to legalize them, called the “Dream Act” routinely gets shot down in the Congress. Recently Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, (R Tex) said she did not want to legalize these people, who will ultimately become citizens and then bring over their parents. Ok, so lets educate them, and then let them sit. And their mothers are already here. Lets keep them illegal. Why let them be productive and contribute to the economy. Ratioonalization has never been a Texas trait.

However, to be fair, the Republicans do look out for business immigration. Nancy Pelosi (D, Ca) had once said, that she would legalize all illegal people, but let H-1B employers pay for them with additional fees. The H-1B small enmployers (those employing less than 25 employees) pay $ 1285/- per H-1B immigrant. They employ legal non immigrants. These small businesses would not pay this amount if they got American people who could do the job. Requiring them to pay more would simply shut many of these small businesses down. Also, many legal non immigrant, particularly those born in India and China are standing in line for years to get the immigration. Its simply not fair to grant illegal people immigration over these non illegal people as the Democrats propose.

Hopefully there will be comprehensive immigration reform, and thankfully it will not be as one sided as the health care bill.

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee

Extraordinary Ability

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The USCIS has just released a ‘Request for Evidence” (RFE) Template for officers to use in Extraordinary Ability cases. Hopefulluy now the process will be far more standardized and not depend on individual whims of the officers. (I once was given a RFE from the Texas Service Center asking me to prove that breast cancer research was national in scope for a National Interest Waiver. Dallas, breast cancer is not the Mavs).

The template spells out many of the misconceptions that I find dealing with Scientists, especially those born in India or China who want to file under EB-1. Also I find that Scientist who were not born in India or China, want to file under EB-1 (rather than National Interest Waiver EB-2) because it is a ego boost for them.

Here are some common misconceptions:

1. Grants and money awards are not awards of National and International repute. Neither is poster award or any other departmental award. The award selection criteria has to be discussed, and the award has to be given to a national pool of people.

2. Just being member of an organization, where you can pay money and become a member is not good enough. For instance, most Immigration attorneys and I pay money to be memebrs of American Immigration Lawyer’s Association.(AILA). AILA does not require its members to have outstanding achievement. You just have to hold a law license, and pay the money. This membership cannot be counted towards the Membership category of Extraordinary Ability. Moreover the membership has to be in the field of the researcher. So a Mensa Member would not qualify because it only proves that you are bright.

3. Evidence of High Salary —- The salary has to be higher than the average people in the field. Usually this is very hard for researchers, because most universities pay the same amount.

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee

Anti Immigration Stance and Xenophobia

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A recent New York Times article traces the modern anti immigration movement to Dr. John Tanton.

The article points out that Dr. Tanton’s writing reveals that he believes in genetic supremacy of the white race. In fairness, the article also points out how pro-immigration crusadors are demonizing the entire anti immigration movement by pinning it on the supremacist views of Dr. Tanton. However, the anti immigration movement is NOT a centrist movement as their proponents claim. No immigrant (legal or illegal) is taking the job of any US Citizen. Our laws make it very difficult to employ immigrants, legal or illegal. And no one will leave their country and come to the United States if they dont find jobs. And do these immigrants lower the wages? YOU BET. But thats the reality of a marketplace. If we artificially restrict movement of people and inflate our wages, then countries like China will simply fill the void. And if we restrict trade as well—- well, we will go back to the 19th Century society, and watch as the world turns. We are one world now, and the world is a mouse click away. Lets just accept this and move on. If US Citizens want a job, compete just like immigrants do.

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee


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Mainly for the I-140 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is now doing a new internet based check. It’s called Validation Instruments for Business Enterprise or VIBE. Through an Independent Service Provider, the USCIS can check the following information :

Business activities, such as type of business (North American Industry Classification System code), trade payment information and status (active or inactive)
Financial standing, including sales volume and credit standing
Number of employees, including onsite and globally
Relationships with other entities, including foreign affiliates
Status, for example whether it is a single entity, branch, subsidiary or headquarters
Ownership and legal status, such as LLC, partnership or corporation
Company executives
Date of establishment as a business entity
Current physical address
The USCIS is using Dun and Bradstreet to check this information. It is resulting in irritating Request for Information (RFE) about the location of the Company. D & B uses data from incorporation etc to maintain its database about companies. And they don’t update this information. Thus even though we submit tax documents etc which has verifiable information like addresses which match the I-140, the RFEs are still being sent out. In some cases the RFE refers to addresses that the Company has never used. D & B denies ever putting up the information. In another case, we had an RFE that basically had nothing to do with the D&B report of the Company, yet the RFE started with the D&B language. I guess the officers are using that template so often, that it crops up in almost all RFEs. And officers are just dong the checks and hitting the RFE button, instead of actually looking at the petition submitted.

The RFEs are also saying, “ USCIS does not require you update your record with D&&B” But yeah, do so now. Businesses may not want their information to go public, and give their competitors access to their information. Yet it seems if you sponsor a foreigner, you might have to. Big Brother dictating? You bet. Mr. Obama, aren’t you a constitution expert? What about the rule of law?

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee