The U.S. Government has resumed H-1B Premium Processing, but only for institutions of higher education and nonprofit and governmental research organizations. Under Premium Processing, H-1B applicants can be eligible for visa approvals within 15 days. Unfortunately, for-profit businesses are still not eligible for Premium Processing. For 2017-2018, H-1B visas were capped at 65,000 a year, with an additional 20,000 available for applicants who have earned masters degrees or higher in the United States.
A bipartisan (Yes, seriously) bill to extend the Dream Act was introduced today on the Senate. It was introduced by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin (IL).
The so called “Dream Act” promises to not deport individuals who were brought to the US when they were kids, had completed High School, and have an unblemished moral character. Introduced by Obama as an Executive Action in 2012, Trump said in June 16, 2017, that he has not made a decision on the DACA program yet, and will not immediately cut it.
Today’s bill would actually extend a path to Citizenship to the Good Hombres. Applicants will receive a Conditional Residency for 8 years. If they prove themselves under the following conditions for 8 years, they get their Permanent Green Card (Permanent Resident Card). 5 yrs after that, they can apply for Citizenship.
They can apply for green card on the basis of:
1. Work track: Demonstrates employment over a total period of 3 years
2. Higher education: Completes at least 2 years of higher education.
3. Military service: Completes at least 2 years of military service or receive an honorable discharge.
4. Waiver: Receiving a “hardship waiver” that exempts an applicant from having to follow the tracks outlined above.
Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham said that the “Day of Reckoning” has come for the Republican party. The Question for the Republican Party is, what do we do with these people? How do we treat them? Here’s my answer: We treat them fairly, we do not pull the rug under them.”
The White House has indicated that Trump won’t sign the legislation. However, if this bill passes the Senate and the House, it will be so huge, that my guess is that Trump will sign.
For All your Immigration needs, contact Banerjee & Associates
As immigration attorneys, we do our best to help our clients meet their immigration needs within the confines of the law. Unfortunately, attorneys must always be vigilant in not allowing their desire to help clients supersede their oath to uphold the law. Actions do have consequences, as this Dallas immigration attorney recently discovered by being indicted for illegally assisting the commission of marriage fraud.
For All Your Immigration Needs, Contact Banerjee & Associates
From time to time, our lawmakers meet with lobby groups, with Constituents or with other interest groups and promise them the moon. They of course are given gifts and campaign contributions. In return, these lawmakers introduce bills in the Congress or the Senate. The bills might be debated or might be killed immediately. But most of them don’t make it out to the other House, and some that do, might die in the next house. During my career, I have seen countless bills die. Yet for a fleeting moment, they bring hope to people.
Whenever such bills are introduced, we lawyers get a flurry of calls. Can this be true? Can we get work permit? Can we get the green card soon? And as an Attorney, it becomes our duty to crush these dreams.
Good attorneys crush dreams. Bad attorneys sign on clients. For instances, when DAPA was introduced by the Obama administration, giving dreams of working and driving legally, to parents of children born in the United States who entered illegally, many attorneys took retainers and signed on clients. Clients think, they engaged an attorney and will get their dreams realized. But that executive action died in the Supreme Court.
Today, I got calls from Indian tech employees. They are legal residents, working in the tech sector, being productive. Yet, they have to wait 12 to 18 years after they file their petition, to ultimately get their green card. Most are Master’s degree holders and many times, their employers abuse them. They work hard. They make the best of their situation.
How does a lawyer tell them, that bills to alleviate their wait times will probably die?
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The season for new H-1B Request for Evidence is approaching. Because we cannot control who will make it to the lottery, petitions are often filed in bulk. And Citizenship and Immigration Service looking at small company H-1Bs, issues Request for Evidences, and very often a denial after that.
Its always the small companies that get these insane Request for Evidences. They state:
1. This is not a specialty occupation: Commonly given for Computer professionals, there is no objective criteria to define this. We have had the exact same complex job go through with one adjudicator, and not with another. Generally though, if the pay is high, the petition does go through. The problem is that while filing, the petitioner does not know who will get in, and does not want to promise a lot of money for someone who they may not like.
2. The Beneficiary is not qualified: Recently the Citizenship and Immigration Service has been holding that anyone with a Bachelors in anything other than computer science is not qualified. Unless they have more than 12 years of experience.
For both these above types of Request for Evidence, one can give expert opinions. But often, especially with small Computer Consulting Company, the officers have already made up their mind, and will deny, no matter what evidence you give.
I know small Computer Companies are very often fraudulent, and I am not defending them. I do wish though that the Citizenship and Immigration Service would give objective criteria and also allow substitution in the lottery process.
For more information, contact Banerjee & Associates