Endless Wait

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YAY! H-4 regulation sees partial acceptance

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DHS Announces Proposals to Attract and Retain Highly Skilled Immigrants
Release Date: May 6, 2014
For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

WASHINGTON — As part of the Administration’s continuing commitment to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the publication of two proposed rules, including a rule to extend employment authorization to spouses of certain H-1B workers, and a proposal to enhance opportunities for certain groups of highly-skilled workers by removing obstacles to their remaining in the United States.

The tech industry celebrates!

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/205366-tech-heads-cheer-immigration-regs

 

June Bulletin and New Demand Data Released Today

June Bulletin - http://www.travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2014/visa-bulletin-for-june-2014.html

http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Green%20Card/Green%20Card%20Through%20a%20Job/I-485%20Employment-Based%20Inventory%20Statistics/EB_I-485_Pending_Inventory_as_04-01-2014.pdf

Total numbers for EB-2 India for 2006 and 2007 are very very small and even early 2008 is pretty low.

Those waiting in line with priority dates at or earlier than mid-2008 should feel optimistic that their dates will become current in the next 3 months’ visa bulletin. And start preparing to file immediately when it does!

Most are in 2008 and 2009 so those that are very recent applications should expect a bit of a wait until this big 2008 and 2009 backlog is through and then the dates should move faster.

It is very also interesting that there has not been as much demand since early 2010.

Overall, this demand data alleviates a big concern that a big deluge of EB-3 to EB-2 conversions could create significant additional demand. That has not happened – at least not more than expected.

 

 

Question – I am EB2-India and my priority date is Oct 2009. When will I become current?

A friend asked me this question and this was my response.

See demand data here - http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Green%20Card/Green%20Card%20Through%20a%20Job/EB-I-485-PendingInventory-2014-Jan.pdf

So you have roughly 15000 people ahead of you (Oct 2009). Let’s say this year 8000 visa numbers flow over from other categories then they will move the date to October 2008, then at that point those 8000 people will end up getting their green cards and you will have only 7000 people ahead of you. So if next year again 8000 visas flow over from other categories, then they will move the date to Oct 2009 and you will become eligible.
It all depends on how many visa numbers in EB4, EB5, EB1 are not getting used. EB5 China usage this year was very low so several thousand visa numbers came from there. If it stays that way next year then you will become eligible. Unfortunately, as much as I want to say YES MOTI, it’s impossible to know for sure. Another hope is that CIR passes by next year but that is even harder to predict.
Another unknown is the number of EB3-EB2 porting cases. more and more are doing that since they are now eligible based on more experience or Masters degree received during their wait, Etc. If 5000 people in EB3 port to EB2 and they have priority dates from their EB3 filing ahead of you they get ahead in the line also.
Demand data is released every 6 months or so that is the only way of knowing whats going on. Next update should happen in the next few weeks.
Last few years EB2 India visa numbers allotted have fluctuated between 10000 to 23000, averaging 17000. However as more porting happens and lesser visas flow over, this year may be closer to 12-13000. So date should move to June to December 2008 timeframe. Then you can watch demand data to know when yours will become eligible.
I think the chances are good that it will become eligible in the next 2 years. Just hang in there and try not to think about this and don’t get hopes too high about next year either. If it does, then it will be  a pleasant surprise. if not, nothing new :) .

HOPE for EB2-India. New prediction on EB-2 India movement

  • According to the AILA, the following are the State Department’s prediction for EB visa date movement for the rest of the FY 2014. It is just a rough prediction and the actual dates can turn out to be a little different:
    • EB-2 India: The cutoff-date is likely to move forward in either August or September to either January 1, 2008 or any date in 2008 in order to prevent waste of unused EB-2 numbers.
    • EB-3: Worldwide EB-3 can even move backward as early as May or June 2014
    • EB-3: China may also move backward as early as May or June 2014 probably caused by high down grade demand

How to Check if DOL Labor Petition for PERM is approved

Copied from trackitt.com – originally posted by user gckap:

Get the “A-Number” from the lawfirm. They would have already provided you this.

Once you have the A-Number, go to https://icert.doleta.gov/index.cfm?event=ehLCJRExternal.dspQuickCertSearch (open using IE – this does not work in firefox).

Search using your A-Number (and select type=perm).

IF YOUR PERM processing is STILL pending, this still won’t show any result. If its processed (ie, approved or denied), it will show up & You can see a retracted version of your certified PERM.

This is public info. no userid/password needed. It won’t give you the current status, but you will know once approved.

btw, the site gets updated midnight EST – only once per day.

Good news for EB2-ROW but more bad news for EB2-India

The November 2012 visa bulletin released last night and brings cheer for some and the regular monthly dose of disappointment for Indian nationals. EB2-ROW is now current – a big relief for those from countries other than China, India, Mexico or Canada that were dealt with a shocker last month. EB2-India did not move a single day – and remains stuck at September 1, 2004. Yes, 2004. EB3-India moved by a week again, confirming the theory that in the absence of legislation, this category will not become current in a very long time for those with priority dates in the late part of the last decade.

I am sure we’ve all wondered how these dates are arrived at and it appears random and cruel to those in the endlesswait. But there is apparently a method to the madness and USCIS and the DOL deserve kudos for the vast data that they have been releasing off late. Transparency is definitely helpful in dealing with this situation – it’s that last thread on which our hope rests.

The State Department released this EB Demand Data report earlier in the week, which shows this exponential growth in EB2-India cases since 2007. There were 33 times more EB2-India cases pending in 2012 compared to 2007. EB3-India, on the other hand, had a relatively modest increase of roughly 35%.

The reason for the surge is primarily EB3 candidates that have been in the country for several years making a fresh petition under EB2. They are able to do this because many of the EB3 candidates have now been in their professions for several more years during the wait and have gotten promoted to an EB2-level position and/or received their Masters degrees. That, along with some other qualifications, now qualifies them to apply under the EB2 category. Another factor contributing to the surge is new applicants picking EB2 instead of EB3 given the hopeless wait associated with the latter.

My interpretation of this is that EB2 dates have now retrogressed back to 2004 to allow USCIS to clear all backlogs prior to 2007 first and then get to the rest. Opening the gates temporarily for EB2-India allowed applicants to apply for their EADs and avoid being on the stressful annual H1-B renewal cycle – much like what they did in 2007.

My prediction (and hey, I am no lawyer and know nothing – so don’t take my word for anything) is that EB2 India will get to at least January 2007, if not more like May 2007 relatively soon. But beyond that, the progress will be slow. For applicants with priority dates 2009 or later, the road is going to be rough unless legislation comes to our rescue. And that, my friends, takes this drama back a full circle to Washington D.C. and the best don’t know what’s going to happen there. Uncertainty will continue to rule our lives for the foreseeable future. The positive side of it is that the recent opening of the floodgates allowed many to get their EADs so now they can change their jobs via AC21 if needed and also start part-time businesses.

The silver lining in the cloud is that some of these restrictions makes some decisions for us. They can only narrow our choices, not eliminate them altogether. True survivors and winners will take what they have and make the most of it and I will be trying to get there myself and hope that you will as well.

Disappointment galore! EB2 Retrogression in October 2012 + STEM bill failure

There is no sugarcoating this – September 2012 has been a dark month for Employment-based immigrants. First, the October 2012 bulletin released the incredibly disappointing news that EB2-India retrogressed back to September 2004 and other EB2 categories, including EB2-worldwide retrogressed as well. EB2-worldwide was not current only for the first time in 20 years. More bad news – EB1 numbers were not left unused either so those will not be available for the EB2 category either. EB3 continues to crawl, espcially EB3-India has been moving  forward at 1 week per month – still at October 2002 . Such progress rate is dismal, almost like a dose of monthly disappointment to those in that category that want to break away from the shackles of limited work authorization!

Add to that, the STEM bill was voted down by the House of Representatives today. This was the bill that would eliminate diversity based visas and replace them with additional visas for those with advanced education in in the STEM (Science, Tech, Engg, Math areas). The reason that some of the congressmen that voted against it gave was that it was too inclusive and might lead to misuse, which actually might be true. I am not sure why the bill was not worded more exclusively – only for graduates from top universities, for instance, or add additional requirements to qualify in addition to just getting an education. The end result is that the bill failed, and with it, took the hopes of thousands of us down the drain.

This blog was started four years ago – actually this month marks our four year anniversary and I’ve been tracking EB priority dates since May 2007. In those 5 years and 4 months (64 months), EB3-India priority date has moved from May 2001 to October 2002. That is roughly 1 year movement in 5 years. At that rate, my EB3 Priority Date of April 2007 will be current in a mere 25 years. And if you think such craziness is not possible, look at Phillipino Family Based Immigrants waiting 22+ years for their green cards to know that the lawmakers don’t give a damn what the waiting period is. They care about the economy TODAY some of their narrow minds will never be able to view immigrants for what they really are – drivers of the US economy. They think immigrants steal jobs – and they are wrong! I am planning my move back to my home country to start my business and so are many of you who are beginning to realize that this may never happen. The country will certainly lose exactly what it needs the most – jobs!

The endless wait is KILLING us inside out – just tell us yes or no, will you!

I know many of you are asking the question – what’s next? Is the date going to recover soon? Is the new BRAINS act going to pass (the one that came after the STEM act)? Will an amended STEM act be resurfaced during the lame duck session? I wish I knew the answers. I asked these questions to one of the attorneys that I know and respect and will post his response if he does respond.

I can only pray that we find the courage and the power to find our way out the “victim” mode and to make our destiny despite the lemons that USCIS and DOL are handing us month after month.

I expect to get my green card in:

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Provocative article in The Hindu regarding H-4 visa holders

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article3700233.ece

Nothing new to those of us. But I am glad the issue is getting more spotlight. The problem is the politicians in DC who somehow correlate everything related to immigation as the reason why America isn’t doing well. Isn’t it amazing? One half of them thinks immigrants are the driving force of the economy (majority of startups are founded by immigrants and majority of tech companies that are the drivers of innovation in the US need skills that are scare in the US and immigrants fill the void). The other half strongly believe that immigrants are making this country worse by taking jobs away from Americans.

Reminds me of that ad for Cofee Bite – Coffee….Nahi Toffee….No Coffee…NO Toffee….

August 2nd USCIS memo changes everything for aspiring entrepreneurs..

USCIS made a very surprise announcement on August 2nd that allows aspiring entrepreneurs to start their single-person startup in the US and at the same time qualify to apply for a green card under the EB2 category or get an H1-B visa. This is for ANYONE out there that qualifies for the H1-B or EB2 and wishes to start a business.

For the thousands that are waiting in the line for an EB3 visa or have an H1-B visa but want to start their own business. This has been a very sore point that we all know about and I’ve written about on this blog many times. For those that have followed this issue for years, August 2, 2011 marks a VERY VERY important step forward.

Long story short, if you really want to start your business, now there is nothing stopping you from doing it. Read the USCIS post carefully, consult with an attorney and get going! It’s imortant to consult with an attorney because the process of qualifying for it and establishing the employer-employee relationship that is required for this route is NOT CLEAR and most of us are confused about it. It’s so new that there are no right answers at this point but experienced attorneys have dealt with it and can recommend the right way to handle the petition.

USCIS is really making some strides. Hats off to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Director of USCIS Alejandro Mayorkas for coming up with PRACTICAL solutions that make sense for the country and are possible to implement immediately outside of major changes to the law.

As immigrants, knowing that the possibility of running our own business is out of limit forces us to curb our creative side and limit our option to the corporate career. Break out of that mode today. Let your imagination run wild and chase your dreams!

Making progress..

Thanks to some encouragement from people like Roger and Atsushi, we are moving forward, despite everyone’s ultra-busy schedules.

We are almost decided on the new Q&A feature to implement here.

http://premium.wpmudev.org/project/qa-wordpress-questions-and-answers-plugin

Watch out for more updates on this soon..

The debate is whether to to only allow attorneys to post answers to questions or leave it open…Other forums often have very useful content but too much clutter and often inaccurate inormation. The former sounds better but then reduces the number of contributors and possibly the speed of responses quite a bit. For simpler issues, I guess it’s ok for anyone to respond. For complex issues, it’s best left to the pros. But how can that determination of complexity happen automatically? May be volunteers can classify? The software above doesn’t allow that many options either I think…

what is your preference – open for anyone to respond or give only attorneys the ability to respond?