Self Deportation and Our Economy

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
Mitt Romney walked into a storm when he used the term, “self deportation” ie don’t give illegal people jobs, and they will self deport themselves. This idea was already present in America, with a different (better sounding) term: Attrition Through Enforcement.” The blog by Immigration Policy Center talks about how research shows that immigrants will not leave even if they don’t have a job, because many have lived here for more than 10 years, and have roots here.

Well, let’s just assume Mitt Romney is right. If we demand to see “papers” for every job, that illegal immigrants will simply leave and go away. What will happen then to the American economy?

Construction costs will go up, and construction will take forever.  Because Americans will simply not do the job. No one will pick fruits and vegetables, so as Stephen Colbert pointed out, “we should simply stop eating fruits and vegetables.” And maybe build our own houses. I wonder if Romney’s grand kids would mow the White House lawns.  And yes, no one will cut up chickens and eggs.

Or maybe, as the Conservatives so often want, we can go back to the lifestyles of the original founders of the country. Work with our hands, make this country white only, and preserve our guns. And then we can simply sit and watch all other nations bypass us.

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

B-1 Visas Help Americans and Foreigners Conduct Business Here

By | News & Press | 218 Comments

The U.S. State Department provides B-1 visas for citizens of other countries to come to the United States to conduct business.

Most people travelling to the United States from around the world need a non-immigrant visa in order to enter the country. The visitor visas are B-1 for business and B-2 for citizens of foreign countries coming here for pleasure, tourism or medical treatment.

Business travel visas are given for a variety of reasons. Some foreign citizens come to the United States to consult with associates, attend seminars or conferences in their industry, or negotiate and close business contracts. Others come as athletes to compete in American contests or lecturers who speak at events.

There are 35 countries that participate in a visa waiver program and citizens of those countries usually do not need a B-1 visa when travelling to the United States for business.

Those countries are Andorra, Hungary, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Norway, Austria, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, San Marino, Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, South Korea, Finland, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Malta, Sweden, Germany, Monaco, Switzerland, Greece, the Netherlands, and United Kingdom.

Qualification for a B-1 visa is determined by the U.S. Embassy in the country where the applicant holds citizenship. It is important to apply well in advance of the proposed travel date as the application process can be time-consuming, according to the State Department.

The application process will likely require an interview at the embassy. Applicants who are younger than 14 or older than 79-years-old usually do not need to interview in the process.

The embassy will ask for some documentation including an online DS-160 form, a valid passport (that will remain valid for six months after an applicant plans to leave the United States) and a photograph.

There are often fees associated with acquiring a B-1 visa as well. The State Department recommends applicants contact the U.S. Embassy in their country as soon as they know they need to travel to find out more about the necessary fees.

There are provisions in the rules that allow domestic employees or personal assistants to travel with their employers.

Carrying a B-1 visa is not a guarantee that a businessperson from another country will be granted access to the United States at a port of entry. The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have the ultimate say on who can enter.

Companies hoping to bring business associates to the United States to work on projects, sign real estate deals or attend conferences can benefit from hiring a qualified law firm to help make the process as smooth as possible for the traveler.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston, Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled website at https://www.visatous.com.

EB-2 visa numbers will move fast

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
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

Floating Incubator Near Silicon Valley Could Skirt Legal Immigration Laws

By | Immigration Policy | 138 Comments

Since inadequate legal immigration policy in the United States prevents many international entrepreneurs from crossing the Pacific to Silicon Valley to create jobs, one California company plans to meet them in the middle – of the ocean.

In order to preserve Silicon Valley’s reputation as the world’s leader in technology innovation, Blueseed is building a Visa-free offshore technology incubator.

The company wants to “…enable countless great ideas and talented individuals to test themselves in the hotbed of Silicon Valley,” according to the Blueseed website. “With our incubator, startups and individuals will also get a chance to establish the connections and capital necessary to move their operations onto land if they so choose.”

The Blueseed team is responding to an American legal immigration policy that leaves many international technology workers on the outside looking in when American companies could be hiring them and creating more jobs.

The U.S. government gives out about 140,000 visas every year to skilled workers from other countries. The State Department restricts those H-1B visas so that no more than seven percent of that 140,000 can come from any specific country. This means workers from countries like India and China get just as many employment-based visas as workers from Iceland and Greenland.

The year’s supply of H-1B visas is regularly taken in the first couple of months into the fiscal year.

There are bills under consideration in Congress that would lift some of those restrictions and make it marginally easier for skilled workers to come to American technology companies.

But Blueseed is not going to wait and see. In an interview with ARS Technia, Blueseed CEO Max Marty, a son of Cuban immigrants, admitted that it would be better if the United States just updated and modernized its policy.

While trying to benefit from inadequacies in U.S. immigration law, Blueseed also will need to depend on the State Department’s generosity. Part of the company’s sales pitch is that entrepreneurs would be able to make frequent trips using B-1 visas that allow international businesspeople to come to the United States for training, conferences and even meetings, according to ARS Technia.

The next step for the company is to raise money to finance the ship, as its projected 300-person crew and interior would make it feel like an office. Blueseed announced in late November that Paypal founder Peter Thiel will lead the company’s seed financing round.

The Blueseed vessel would be parked about 12 nautical miles from Half Moon Bay – south of San Francisco and west of Palo Alto, Calif.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at https://www.visatous.com.

Keeping Families together

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
Under the present law, anyone who entered the US illegally cannot adjust for status in the US.  However, if they entered legally, ie on a visitor’s etc, and then overstayed, they can still adjust for status if they married a US Citizen, even though they have no valid status anymore. However love does not make this distinction. People who entered US illegally, fall in love with citizens, marry and have children. If they had to become citizens, they would have to return to their home countries and wait for a waiver. The law dictated that if people who are illegal leaves the US, they would not be allowed in for 3 or 10 years depending on the length of their illegal stay. The CIS and State Department had the power to waive this requirement due to hardship.  However this process took a long time, and there was no guarantee of success. So the illegal spouse would have to leave their spouse and children , go back and wait forever for the mercy of the US Consulate.

Thus we could not advise clients in good faith to do this. And the spouse remained illegal.  That spouse could not work, have health insurance or any other types of insurances. Even though their spouse as US Citizen was paying taxes, they would have to live as a second class inhabitants.

On Friday the Obama administration announced that they would ameliorate the situation by making those waivers (known as 601 waivers, faster and perhaps easier. That would keep the family intact and not treat a member differently than the rest of the family. However, the pro family Republican party has accused the President of using back door methods to grant amnesty.

We would like to advise people caught in this situation to wait right now until further regulations are issued before they decide what their next step would be.

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