Endless Wait

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How to Check if DOL Labor Petition for PERM is approved

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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?

CIR reintroduced – but nobody looks excited..

CIR was reintroduced in the Senate today. Couldn’t have been timed any worse – with unemployment at 9.1%, talks about a slowing recovery from recession and jobs getting added at a paltry rate of ~50k jobs per month, it’ll be a miracle if it even gets discussed on the floors. Morover, with Republicans controlling the senate, and 2012 elections around the corner, there’s practically no way this will go through this year. The content of the bill is the same as last year

  • Securing borders
  • Path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants
  • Legal immigration process improvements

We’ll watch for progress anyway….hope is all we have had for years :)

EB-2 India and China move to March 2007- end of wait for many..

I could not actually believe it. A close family friend actually got his green card - he was on EB2 firsh a 2006 priority date. It feels as if it’s the first one in years that has got one! Very happy for him….one step closer to freedom.

The EB-2 move in the July bulletin has made if possible for many to qualify for I-485 processing. Now the hope is that it stays this way…

The trend to try to convert from EB3 to EB2 is accelerating as well. In google, if you type eb3, the top option is eb3 to eb2

This is getting to proportions where it’s starting to worry me. I hope greedy/indifferent lawyers don’t encourage people to convert even if they weren’t qualified to do so. No offense, but I’ve received emails from attorneys selling this opportunity like it’s the path to salvation!

A deluge of unqualified applications can raise a red flag and make it harder for the legit ones from going through. We know how that kinds of stuff gets overdone. For instance, these days it’s impossible to get an L1 work visa – everyone is questioned more than usual and often rejected unexpectedly. Even H1-B visa holders going back to their home countries for a visit get questioned and detained for weeks for no apparent reason.

I am thinking of such a conversion myself but it’s not that easy…will write another day about the issues and options involved – or have I already written about it? There’s a big problem that bloggers often report – they don’t always know what they’ve written in the past :) – certainly true for me.

Need your opinion on a new way to offer consultations here..

So I’ve been real busy – like all of us I guess. So hardly any posts off late. Haven’t had much of a chance to post. Some requests for consulatations have kept coming in. The feedback from the attorneys is also that they would rather log in and type in their responses to questions instead of scheduling time to talk. They want to be more selective about the ones that are worth discussing on the phone since many of the requests continue to be fairly straightforward cases.

Thanks to our attorneys (Attorney Shah Peerally and Attorney Matthew Oh) who graciously offered their time for no cost to help our members out. Based on the last several months of offering free consultations, it’s time to take a fresh look at it.

How about setting up a “question and answer” system on the site so anyone could post a question and get answers only from qualified people. Not just anyone. Would that be a useful service? Or would it be just like any other service?
If the feedback is encouraging, I might go ahead and implement such a system on this system. I am thinking of using WP-Answers for it. This site is based on wordpress so that was an obvious choice.

http://wp-answers.com/demo

Anyone got any experience with this plugin? Any ideas/thoughts/comments are much appreciated. And donations to fund the purchase (or you could buy it for me from the above site – $89) or time to implement that on the site are also very welcome..

Thanks to all – hope to continue to make this site a platform for honest uncensored sharing of thoughts regarding immigration….regardless of who you are, where you live and who you support or hate…

Lots of new action in Congress…

Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid, introduced S.6 bill  – COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL – in the Senate to reform America’s broken immigration system, co-sponsored by nine other Senators.

Quite a surprise that they are introducing it this early into the new Congress session. It has LONG way to go and I personally believe chances are still small that it will pass at all, let alone pass in its current form. But we’ll see, I am really really hoping I am wrong..

Obama mentioned DREAM and CIR during his State of the Union address earlier this week. May be that’s helping..

Another bill HR 399  was introduced as well. Attorney Matthew Oh at immigration-law.com summarizes it perfectly -

This bill proposes to eliminate numerical limitation for U.S. earned STEM Ph.D professionals with employment offer, meaning that such professional will be able to apply for adjustmust of status even during the period of visa number regression. This bill also proposes to eliminate numberical limitation for H-1B, again meaning that such professional will be cap exempt and regardless of the situation of H-1B cap, the employer can file H-1B petition. Considering the President’s State of Union address yesterday, this bill may be received somewhat favorably in the House

Excitement is in the air again. Hope is an amazing thing – even if it’s just a glimmer of it, it’s almost enough for us to get unreasonably excited and do great things with our life :) as a result.