AM22 Tech https://www.am22tech.com Visa, Immigration and Money Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:43:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.am22tech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/am22tech-logo.png AM22 Tech https://www.am22tech.com 32 32 HR 392 – Removing the country limit for US green cards https://www.am22tech.com/hr-392/ https://www.am22tech.com/hr-392/#respond Thu, 16 Aug 2018 23:09:02 +0000 https://www.am22tech.com/?p=168238 HR 392 aims to remove country based limits on employment based US green cards. Will help Indian and Chinese H1B workers avoid kid ageing out and get GC faster.

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HR 392 is making news these days and is a hot topic in H1B skilled worker community as it is a crucial bill that holds the potential to change their future significantly with 327 sponsors.

A bill passes through these steps before it can become law and make some significant contribution to people’s lives:

  1. Introduced
  2. Passed House
  3. Passed Senate
  4. To President
  5. Became Law

Chances of HR 392 Passing and becoming Bill?

HR 392 is currently at introduction stage. There is a long way to go before it ever sees light of day. Given the current political scenario in Trump government and democrats priorities, the chances of this bill ever becoming a law are very LOW.

It’s good to have hopes but this bill is probably just an eye wash.

Remove per-country caps for Employment-based Green Cards

HR 392 aims to issue US green Cards on a first-come, first-serve basis instead of Country of Birth, thereby giving equal chance at obtaining US permanent residency to every one.

Today, each country has a numerical limit of 7% (9,800 of the 140,000 annual green cards limit) green cards that can be issued. This bill intends to make this amendment in the Immigration and Nationality Act and completely get rid of country of birth based limits.

If passed, HR 392 has the potential of reducing the Green card backlogs exponentially for Indian and Chinese nationals working on temporary H1B visa in USA. For almost a decade, no other country except Indian and China will receive any Green card as their nationals, that are waiting in queue, will get benefited. 

This will also help avoid the problem of H1B worker kids ‘Ageing out‘ on turning 21, which effectively makes them start their own Green Card process.

Increase per-country limitation for family-based GC from 7% to 15%

HR 392 Employment based country limit
HR 392 Employment based country limit

H.R. 392 also has a clause to change limit on family based immigration from 7 to 15% effectively doubling up the chances of uniting the families.

Source: H.R.392 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017

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ACS Work Experience ‘After Month’ Calculation https://www.am22tech.com/acs-work-experience-after-month-calculation/ https://www.am22tech.com/acs-work-experience-after-month-calculation/#respond Sat, 11 Aug 2018 18:38:47 +0000 https://www.am22tech.com/?p=168232 ACS work experience 'After month' date means the day in same month can be used as start date in Australia EOI, not the next month. 2 or 4 yrs deducted.

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ACS is Australia Computer Society and is required for certain job occupation in Australia’s SkillSelect permanent residency application.

ACS assessment will analyze your educational to match your degrees with Australia’s educational system and provide a certificate to claim ICT major or Minor status. 

The same ACS application can be used to evaluate your work experience as well.

This status helps gets points on Australia PR application.

ACS Assessment Report Work Experience AFTER Start Date

Check this sample ACS assessment report for an example:

The most important date is ‘AFTER month‘ that’s mentioned in the second line of the ACS report.

Since, they have only specified the month and not specific date, the biggest confusion is over what date to use in Australia SkillSelect EOI (Expression of Interest).

The official ACS guidance is that you can use the start DAY in EOI as the day of the date you filed your ACS application. 

Example, in the sample ACS report, AFTER April 2010 is the start month for relevant work experience and this application was filed on 3 April 2018.

You can use the start DATE while filing EOI as 3rd April 2010.

Lot of forums and people might ask you to use the next month’s first day as start date due to the word ‘AFTER April 2010′. But, this is NOT true. 

Not sure why ACS does not clearly write the full date in their letter to avoid any confusions. That’s how it is and we can’t change it.

ACS Assessment Relevant Work Experience Calculation

  • ACS deducts 2 years from your last 10 years work experience OR
  • ACS deducts 4 years from your TOTAL work experience.

In sample report above, person has 11 years 6 months relevant work experience starting from June 2006.

Assuming degree is considered as ICT Major and relevant to your nominated occupation, these rules will apply:

ACS will deduct 2 years from last 10 years or 4 years from total experience, whichever gives you EARLIER ‘AFTER START DATE

  • If 2 years from last 10 years are deducted (Go back 10 years from 3 April 2018, you get 3 April 2008), then add 2 years as a deduction to reach at 3 April 2010 – Called as Skill Applicability date.
  • If 4 years from total experience are deducted, this date would come out as JUNE 2010. How? Count the relevant years from ACS report starting June 2006, you reach June 2010.

The second option results in an earlier ‘AFTER DATE’ for your work experience, and hence ACS will award you April 2010 date.

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CKGS Passport Refund Policy in USA https://www.am22tech.com/passport-refund-policy-in-usa/ https://www.am22tech.com/passport-refund-policy-in-usa/#respond Sat, 11 Aug 2018 16:35:44 +0000 https://www.am22tech.com/?p=168229 CKGS passport refund policy allows to return consular fee, shipping charges, ICWF Fee, CKGS application Fee, Convenience Charges, SMS Services, Other VAS.

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CKGS Online Form Filled, Made Payment, Not Shipped yet

If you have filled the CKGS form online, made the payment and have not yet shipped the application to the CKGS, then your cancellation request is eligible for refund:

Fee TypeRefund Status
Consular FeeRefundable
ICWF FeeRefundable
CKGS FeeRefundable
Convenience ChargesNon-Refundable
ShippingConditional
SMS ServicesRefundable
Other VASN / A

CKGS Passport application shipped, CKGS has NOT yet sent to Indian Embassy

If you have shipped your Passport application to CKGS or if you walk-in with the application which has NOT yet been forwarded to the Indian Consulate, your withdrawal request will get the following refund:

Fee TypeRefund Status
Consular FeeRefundable
ICWF FeeRefundable
CKGS FeeNon-Refundable
Convenience ChargesNon-Refundable
ShippingConditional
SMS ServicesNon-Refundable
Other VASNon-Refundable

CKGS sent Passport application to Indian Consulate

Fee TypeRefund Status
Consular FeeNon Refundable
ICWF FeeNon Refundable
CKGS FeeNon Refundable
Convenience ChargesNon-Refundable
ShippingConditional**
SMS ServicesNon Refundable
Other VASNon Refundable

CKGS Refund for Erroneous / Ineligible Applications sent back to Applicant

If there was a problem in your application like missing document or wrong or mismatch in information, CKGS will return your application to you and will ask for re-doing. In that case, Refund will be processed as:

Fee TypeRefund Status
Consular FeeRefundable
ICWF FeeRefundable
CKGS FeeNon-Refundable
Convenience ChargesNon-Refundable
ShippingConditional
SMS ServicesRefundable
Other VASRefundable

One common case is the your residence address does not match the CKGS application form with what you have either on your address proof or on current Indian Passport.

Read this real life example where the address in Indian passport had city and state name like Chennai [TamilNadu]. 

In CKGS passport renewal application, the address was mentioned as ‘Chennai’ and CKGS rejected the application, sent it back to applicant and refund was processed.

CKGS refund for “Abandoned” due to “Incomplete Documentation”

Sometimes CKGS marks your Indian passport application as Abandoned if it has incomplete documentation prior to submission to the Indian consulate, then you are eligible for following refund: 

Fee TypeRefund Status
Consular FeeRefundable
ICWF FeeRefundable
CKGS FeeNon-Refundable
Convenience ChargesNon-Refundable
ShippingConditional
SMS ServicesNon-Refundable
Other VASNon-Refundable

CKGS Application “Abandoned” after submission to Indian Consulate

If your Indian passport application is marked as Abandoned after CKGS has submitted it to Indian embassy due to “Pending Additional Documentation”, the refund will be processed as follows. The Consulate may charge an additional 23 USD per application during collection in such cases.

Fee TypeRefund Status
Consular FeeNon Refundable
ICWF FeeNon-Refundable
CKGS FeeNon-Refundable
Convenience Charges*Non-Refundable
ShippingConditional
SMS ServicesNon-Refundable
Other VASNon-Refundable

Convenience Charges

Convenience charges are applicable only for Credit Card payments and are non-refundable.

Check /Cheque Payment Refund Charges

Additional charge of 1.90 $ will be levied in case of refunds done through Check / Cheque payment.

Stop Bank Payment – Personal Bank Check

CKGS will not be responsible for any penalty charges levied by the bank in case the Applicant attempts to stop check payment. CKGS cannot refund those charges if charged by your Bank.

Shipping Charges – Conditional Refund

Shipping charges are non-refundable if Incoming Label (from You to CKGS) is printed or downloaded by you.

Shipping charges are non-refundable if the Applicant collects documents directly from the EOI / Consulate or from CKGS Application Center.

Shipping, SMS Services & Other VAS (Value Added Services) are all optional services.

CKGS Refund Processing Time – 15 to 45 Days

Refund processing time will be approximately 15 business days for all except shipping services.

For Shipping Services, the tracking status of generated shipping label should be expired for starting refund. This might take as long as 45 days in certain cases. Applicant cannot reuse Incoming Airway Bill (AWB) of cancelled application to send new application in future.

Consular fee – Non Refundable – If passport application sent to Indian Consulate

Consular fees is non-refundable if your application has been sent to Indian Embassy for processing. It does not matter if your Passport is issued or denied or delayed due to any reason whatsoever.

CKGS will NOT refund any fees in these circumstances:

  • Rejection of Passport application by the Mission.
  • Request for Reapplication Passport by Mission.
  • Delay in processing Passport application by Mission.
  • Non-receipt of Passport on or before the travel date.
  • Loss to Employer / Self due to delay in receipt of Passport due to nonattendance.
  • Loss due to Deportation and repatriation for any reason at the Port of Entry in India.
  • Delay in shipping of Passport by shipping company.
  • Loss or Damage of Passport in transit by shipping company.
  • Change in Passport fee by the Mission.
  • Air tickets, Hotel booking and other related cancellation due to delay or rejection of Passport application.
  • All expenses related to travel to IPAC to collect Passport including but not limited to local / interstate travel expenses, purchase of Food / Beverages, hotel accommodation, boarding/ lodging expenses.
  • Opportunity loss for time spent on Passport application.

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Get green card fast on H1B if my kid is born US citizen? https://www.am22tech.com/get-green-card-fast-on-h1b-if-my-kid-is-born-us-citizen/ https://www.am22tech.com/get-green-card-fast-on-h1b-if-my-kid-is-born-us-citizen/#respond Wed, 01 Aug 2018 18:30:00 +0000 https://www.am22tech.com/?p=168208 Yes, kid can sponsor his parent working on H1B visa in USA for a Green card, but only if he is 21 or older under family immigration with proof of financial support.

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Can US born citizen kid sponsor their parent working on H1B?

Yes, kid can sponsor his/her parent working on H1B visa in USA for a Green card, but only if he is 21 or older.

Even if the kid reaches 21 and sponsors parents, he/she has to show the sufficient money/income source to support parents and apply on his own.

Can H1B visa working parent’s Green card be expedited by US born child?

The sponsorship by Adult kid is counted under family immigration and it too has a huge back-log at this time for Indian and Chinese population.

Can Parent on H1B stay in US without visa if US citizen kid sponsors?

In H1B case, it is recommended for the parent to maintain the H1B status, till the time child turns 21 and do find an employer, who can legally sponsor the Green card for them though.

Get Green card fast on H1B if US born citizen child sponsors?
Get Green card fast on H1B if US born citizen child sponsors?

When the kid turns 21, he can sponsor the parents in family immigration queue. But, the same ‘country of birth’ will come into play.

H1B worker will not be able to stay in US beyond 6 year limit, on H1B unless, they have their green card under-processing.

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Do H4 Dependent has to Leave US when he turns 21 with dad on H1B waiting for Green Card? https://www.am22tech.com/do-h4-dependent-has-to-leave-us-when-he-turns-21-with-dad-on-h1b-waiting-for-green-card/ https://www.am22tech.com/do-h4-dependent-has-to-leave-us-when-he-turns-21-with-dad-on-h1b-waiting-for-green-card/#respond Thu, 26 Jul 2018 17:46:07 +0000 https://www.am22tech.com/?p=168204 Yes, you will have to leave unless your parents (including you) get their Green card before your turn 21 due to ‘Ageing out’ in USA immigration law.

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H4 dependent has to leave USA when he turns 21 with parent on H1B waiting for Green Card

Yes, you will have to leave USA unless your parents (including you) get their Green card before your turn 21.

This is normally known as ‘Ageing out’ in USA immigration. You will have to go back to your country of passport.

US immigration law does not consider children above the age of 21 as a dependent and hence, you are left to feed yourself.

File Change of Status from H4 to Other Visa Types?

You can change your status to some other visa type like F1 (student) or H1B (for yourself), but, the crux of the matter is that you are on your OWN once you turn 21.

If you want to get green card, you will have to follow the same process that your parents followed, when they first came to US for work, possibly on H-1B visa again.

That’s the irony of US immigration. Unless, they change the law, this ‘ageing out’ situation is going to affect thousands of Indian H1B families that are stuck in extremely long EB2 delays.

H4 dependent has to leave USA when he turns 21 with Dad working on H1B and waiting for Green card
H4 dependent has to leave USA when he turns 21 with Dad working on H1B and waiting for Green card

US legal immigration never thought about this problem as they never imagined that Green Card queues could grow this longer for people from specific country.

It is a real problem in today’s time when the the kid has to go back to their country like India, where they have probably never lived.

The congress has been trying to change the law under Trump, to make the Green card distribution based on merit rather than country of birth.
But, both their attempts with HR 6136 Bill to Remove Country based Green Card Caps and
HR 4760 Bill increase legal skilled H1B EB1, EB2 and EB3 green cards have failed to gather sufficient congress votes.

The hopes are really low for Indian and Chinese skilled workers without any immigration law change in near future. Almost every Indian and Chinese, who files his/her employment based Green Card application today, will have his/her children age out at the age of 21.

DACA Dreamers vs H4 Dreamers

The irony would die a million times before we even talk about it.

DACA dreamers are kids who have been brought to USA illegally (without any papers and crossing the border into USA).
They are given more importance in political speeches than the H4 dependents that followed all the rules and have been waiting in queue for decades.

Honestly speaking, if DACA is given a path to citizenship, H4 legal dependent children should be kept ahead in the queue, if USA wants to set up and example of fairness.
But, everything is dependent on who wants to win who’s votes.

Until legal immigrants make enough count to make a difference to the win/loss difference in political game, their concerns will always be ignored.

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Indian H1B, L1 Denials and RFE Doubled Under Trump https://www.am22tech.com/indian-h1b-l1-denials-doubled-under-trump/ https://www.am22tech.com/indian-h1b-l1-denials-doubled-under-trump/#respond Wed, 25 Jul 2018 14:48:11 +0000 https://www.am22tech.com/?p=168196 USCIS data analysis reveals Indian H1B and L1 Denials doubled under Trump government. Increased RFE (request for Evidence) for 'Speciality Occupation' proof.

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42% Increase in Indian H1B Extension, Transfer, Amendment Denials

There was a 42% increase in the proportion of H-1B petitions denied for Indian-born professionals from the 3rd to the 4th quarter of FY 2017.

In the 3rd quarter, 16.6% of the completed H-1B cases for Indians were denied compared to 23.6% in the 4th quarter.


Indian H1B denial rate vs Others
Indian H1B denial rate vs Others

Country Denial Rate 3rd Quarter 2017 Denial Rate Quarter 4, 2017
India 16.6% 23.6%
All Other Countries 14.0% 19.6%
Combined Total 15.9% 22.4%

The latest data released by National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) shows the dramatic increase, which shows that Trump administration is trying to demotivate skilled workers by indirect, behind the scenes unofficial rules.

Since, they can't change the law in congress, USCIS has been changing the policies on how to make legal worker's life difficult.

Similarly, there was a 40% increase in the proportion of H-1B petitions USCIS denied for professionals from countries other than India from the 3rd to 4th quarter, rising from a denial rate of 14% in the 3rd quarter to 19.6% in the 4th quarter.

The proportion of H-1B petitions denied for foreign-born professionals increased by 41% from the 3rd to the 4th quarter of FY 2017, rising from a denial rate of 15.9% in the 3rd quarter to 22.4% in the 4th quarter.

More RFE's for Indian H1B applicants than others

Data indicates that USCIS was much more likely to issue a Request for Evidence for applications for Indians than
for people from other countries.

Indian H1B RFE (request For Evidence) rate vs Others
Indian H1B RFE (request For Evidence) rate vs Others
Country RFE rate 3rd Quarter 2017 RFE rate Quarter 4, 2017
India 24.2% 72.4%
All Other Countries 18.0% 61.2%
Combined Total 22.5% 68.9%
Indian H1B and L1 Denials Doubled Under Trump Admin
Indian H1B and L1 Denials Doubled Under Trump Admin

In the 4th quarter of FY 2017, 72% of H-1B cases for Indians received a Request for Evidence, compared to 61% for all other countries.

Quarter 1,2 and 3 combined, 2017 Quarter 4, 2017
Requests for Evidence (RFE issued) 63,599 63,184

Data analyzed over the years show USCIS adjudicators deny more applications and issue a higher rate of Requests for Evidence for Indians on both H-1B and L-1 petitions.

The number of Requests for Evidence in the 4th quarter of FY 2017 almost equaled the total number issued by USCIS adjudicators for the first three quarters of FY 2017 combined (63,184 vs. 63,599).

Failure to comply with an adjudicator’s Request for Evidence will result in the denial of an application.
And now, USCIS has given more power to its consultants to deny the H1B without ever issuing an RFE.

Other USCIS policy change to issue NTA (forceful deportation court order) is going to make H1B family's life really-really difficult.

As a percentage of completed cases, the Request for Evidence rate was approximately 69% in the 4th quarter compared to 23% in the 3rd quarter of FY 2017.

L1-B Denial for Indians Increased in 2017 and 2018

The denial rate for L-1B petitions (to transfer employees into the U.S. with “specialized knowledge”) increased between the 1st and 4th quarter of FY 2017 from 21.7% to 28.7%, an approximately one-third increase in the denial rate within the same fiscal year.

Almost half (48%) of Indian nationals whose employers sought to transfer them into the U.S. via L-1B petitions had their applications denied in the 4th quarter of FY 2017, representing an increase from an already high 36% denial rate in the 1st quarter of FY 2017.

The denial rate was 30.5% during 1st quarter of FY 2018 for all L-1B petitions and 29.2% in the 2nd quarter of FY 2018.

L1A denials increase exponentially

Between the 1st and 4th quarter of FY 2017, the denial rate increased by 67% (from 12.8% to 21.4%) for L1A petitions, which are used to transfer managers and executives into the U.S.

The increase in denials for L-1A petitions began early in the Trump administration. The denial rate for applications for L-1A petitions for Indians increased from 9.5% in the 1st quarter to 13% in the 2nd quarter, and 17.4% and 16.4% in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

The Request for Evidence rate was consistent through FY 2017.

Anti-Immigrant officers placed on Important USCIS Designations by Trump

The significant increase in denials and Requests for Evidence in the 4th quarter of 2017, which started July 1, 2017,
came shortly after Donald Trump issued his restrictive “Buy American and Hire American” executive order on April
18, 2017.

The data indicate the new administration needed time to get in place its new political appointees –
considered by observers to be a who’s who of opponents of all forms of immigration – and to exert their will on
USCIS career adjudicators, who were not considered favorably inclined in the first place toward businesses or high skilled
foreign nationals.

Source: NFAP Report

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Does buying house on H1B Visa in USA make sense? https://www.am22tech.com/buying-house-on-h1b-visa-make-sense/ https://www.am22tech.com/buying-house-on-h1b-visa-make-sense/#respond Tue, 24 Jul 2018 15:56:15 +0000 https://www.am22tech.com/?p=168193 Buying house on H1B Visa is risky but may be profitable if you stay in it for at-least 5 years. Home price drop in US pretty fast based on city and capacity to expand.

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Should I buy home without worrying about the un-certainty attached to H1B visa?

Buying house on H1B visa is a long term decision and depends highly on your base location/ City.
It may or may not be always be the best investment due to the high property taxes.

Some locations like Boston, New York City, and Bay area (in California) are extremely expensive to buy a house, but may be able to give you a profit when you sell your house.

But, other locations, like Dallas (Texas), Tampa (Florida), Raleigh (North Carolina) may not be fruitful as they all have land available to expand horizontally. More ground area is generally responsible for low price appreciation for housing market.

If you do not stay in the house for at-least 5 years, it would be really difficult to even break even the money you may have spent (think of maintenance, home insurance, property taxes, monthly EMI).

We are hearing a lot of people on H1B are a bit scared now to sign for Home Mortgage after recent USCIS policy changes to allow forceful deportation (NTA) and H4-EAD work permits being stopped (Almost confirmed).

H1B buy home with 5% down payment?

Many people that we spoke to, have informed us that even though they are buying a new house and taking mortgage, they are only putting in 5% as down payment.
This too, when they can actually pay 20% and avoid the PMI insurance.

They are basically trying to keep as much money with them as they can, in the highly un-stable environment when your H-1B extension / Amendment or Transfer can be rejected without ever issuing an RFE!

Do H1B worker still owe money to Bank Mortgage if visa is denied?

What can happen if your H1B extension is cancelled and you have mortgage to pay?

Well, simple answer is – you still OWE the money to bank.

If you have to go back to your native country immediately in case of H1B extension cancellation, there are not much options available to you. You have to FOLLOW the immigration law and leave the country immediately.

You still have to keep paying the MORTGAGE installment, home insurance, maintenance and property taxes. It does not matter how you pay it. Bank want their money back and government want their taxes.

Off-course, you can rent out the home even though you are not physically present in USA. This is allowed legally. Clever America.

If you do NOT want to rent, then you should sell it out unless you have enough savings to pay monthly bills to keep that house.

How can we sell a property in US after we return to our country due to visa expiration?

Short Sell the house?
Well, you may have to sell the house at a much lower price if you want to leave the country quickly.

If, the H1B extensions are indeed cancelled sometime in future, there is a good chance that housing market will collapse.
You might just loose all the value if you have to go back.

Nevertheless, you can appoint an agent in USA (legally allowed) to arrange for tasks like initiate, conduct, or finalize the sale of property.
You do not have to be present in the United States physically.

The final sale agreement that need your signature can be sent to you wherever you might be (like India or China), and signed there and sent back to USA.

Can we get B1/B2 visa for selling house in USA after H1B denial and moving back to home country?

Yes, you can.
You can certainly apply for B1/B2 visa with a reason to sell your property in USA. That’s a legitimate purpose for B1.

But, the visa may or may not be given based on the visa officer’s analysis of your case.

What happens to credit history if not able to pay back bank?

First and foremost, your house will be taken over and foreclosed by bank.
Your credit history will certainly take a big DIP and you will have problems fixing it in future (if at all, you come back to USA).

Buying house on H1B visa – Safe range?

After speaking to more people who are currently working on H1B visa, I have come to the conclusion that staying below 350k mark is a safe zone, if you really want to go ahead with buying decision.

Demand for houses above 350k mark normally goes up when economy is doing good but DROPS substantially after the economic downturn.
Selling, in case your visa extension gets rejected may result in losses.

Buy house on H1b visa
Buy house on H1b visa

So, it is advisable to stay within budget and controllable mortgage payments (like less than $2k per month) that you can easily manage even from your home country job.
Try to stay away from a future situation that may force you to short sell your house when you are not able to pay monthly property taxes + mortgage payment, as it is too high to support from your home job.

Do you have any experience to share? Your opinion is most welcome and appreciated in the comments section below.

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Will H1B family move out of USA if H4 EAD is stopped? https://www.am22tech.com/h1b-family-move-out-of-usa-h4-ead-is-stopped/ https://www.am22tech.com/h1b-family-move-out-of-usa-h4-ead-is-stopped/#respond Mon, 23 Jul 2018 18:59:42 +0000 https://www.am22tech.com/?p=168190 H4 EAD survey - withdrawal tries to find the mood of H1B skilled worker community primarily from India, China. Canada is favorite country to move if EAD terminates.

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We have been running an H4 EAD withdrawal survey to gauge the mood of H1B skilled worker families, that have a spouse who has utilized H4-EAD work permits.

We have been watching the survey results pretty closely and the percentage for each category have almost been same for each new 500 responses received.

Related: H4 EAD News 2018 DHS – USCIS Plan Withdrawal – Updated Daily

If H4-EAD is withdrawn, Are you thinking of moving to any of these countries for Permanent residency and working?

Till today, about 3000 people have responded and these are figures:

H1B H4 EAD families prefer Canada due to their merit based Green Card immigration policy
H1B H4 EAD families prefer Canada due to their merit based Green Card immigration policy

Canada is favorite to immigrate if US stops H4-EAD work authorization

Canada is most preferred country after USA by the skilled worker community which primarily comes from Indian and China. Canada has merit based Green Card (Called Permanent Residency) system which unlike US, gives you immediate GC, even before landing.

38% of people are actively thinking about moving to Canada.

The interesting thing to note is that second place (30%) is taken by people who are not thinking of moving from US, until USCIS pushes them out with their updated forceful deportation policy after H1B extension denial!

The next 24% people are satisfied with their immigration status in US and would return back to their home country with smiling faces if EAD is withdrawn and their spouse does not want to lose his/her professional life.

Australia lags behind with just 4% looking at east side of horizon. As a matter of fact, Australia’s job market is thriving and lot of highly skilled people are applying for Australia’s SkillSelect points based Green card system. It also favors your education and professional qualifications instead of your country of Birth.
As per our information, the comparative salaries in Australia are higher than Canada in same job profile.

UK (United Kingdom) is least favored due to their highly restrictive visa system too.

There are people who have also decided to look for ‘self sponsorship‘ by either setting up their own company or using the EB-5 entrepreneur visa.

H1B family Kids going to High School – Bought House

People with high school going kids feel that they are stuck in USA with investments in House, Cars, Social Security and hence can’t move even when H4 EAD work permits are taken away.
They feel stuck with extremely long Green Card queues that leave little hope for seeing GC in their lifetime.

I will be very happy, H4 EAD is stealing American Jobs

Many people have also responded to the survey with comments ‘I will be very happy, H4 EAD is stealing American Jobs‘. I would assume that it is probably because of political narration that they may have heard.

Every one is free to form their own opinion.
I would say that it is not entirely true. H4 EAD, if working, has the skills to work for that job.

Some others have tried to skew the survey results by commenting that ‘H4 EAD is Illegal‘, presumably have little knowledge about how US immigration works and lack skills themselves to secure a job.

Related: H4 EAD Sample Form, Documents Required – New and Renewals

H1B spouse Females – Most affected by H4 EAD

Majority of H1B spouse are females and they feel that ‘it depends on their husband’s job career‘ and if they both (husband and wife) collectively can make same amount of money outside US.

These spouses feel sad because they won’t be able to use their education and skills to contribute to US economy at large and support their individual family, if work permits are terminated.
Off-course, every person who works, gets the job with their skills and pays taxes.

If H4-EAD is withdrawn, will you switch to H1B Visa?

Apparently, 25% H4-EAD spouses are eligible for H1B visa as well. So, they will move to more restrictive H1B if they have to in future with no open H4 work permits.

Switch to H1B If H4-EAD is withdrawn
Switch to H1B If H4-EAD is withdrawn

A high number of dependents i.e. 27% are not eligible for lottery based H-1B visa, which can now be even rejected by USCIS with no RFE!, attacking H1B families from all sides.

Related: Current H4 Processing Time – California, Vermont – Updated Daily

H4 EAD Withdrawal Survey – What Skilled worker families think?

You can also contribute to this survey or see the result here:

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H1B Extension denial without RFE starting 9/11 – USCIS changes policy https://www.am22tech.com/h1b-extension-can-be-denied-without-rfe/ https://www.am22tech.com/h1b-extension-can-be-denied-without-rfe/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 22:28:11 +0000 https://www.am22tech.com/?p=1473 H1B Extension can be denied without RFE with USCIS policy change, if initial application is missing important documents, client letter to prove eligibility.

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H1B extension can be denied without RFE now

USCIS posted a another policy change (on July 13, 2018) that gives more power to its consultants regarding their discretion to deny an application, petition, or request without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).

They can now deny the H1B extension straightaway if any of the required document is not submitted or the evidence of record fails to establish eligibility with application.

Before this rule change, USCIS rarely denied the H1B extension or transfer without first issuing RFEs or NOIDs even though they had limited powers to do it.

Last week of June, USCIS changed its policy to allow issuing NTA (Deportation Order) if H1B application is denied.

Imagine your H1B extension application getting denied after your i94 has already expired. You are eligible for NTA (Notice to Appear – Deportation order) as per the earlier policy change.
And now, with this policy change, you can’t even expect to be issued an RFE, which any H1B worker would have expected till today.

Related: DHS’s decision to withdraw the H4 EAD work authorization

This new rule will take effect from September 11, 2018 and applies to all applications, petitions, and requests including new H1B petition, extension, transfer and other types of visa.

Can missing H1B client letter cause denial without RFE?

Yes, it can.

A very real life example if non-inclusion of ‘Client Letter’ in H1B extension, Transfer and Amendment application.
A high number of RFE’s issued on H1B applications ask for submitting ‘SOW (Statement Of Work)‘ and ‘End Client Letters‘.

Now, if you do not submit these important documents with your application, USCIS can straightway deny the petition without ever issuing any RFE since, these documents were required to prove your application eligibility in first place.

Can H1B wage Level 1 cause rejection without RFE?

Yes, it can.

We have seen recently that USCIS was issuing RFE’s for H1B Computer science Wage level 1 applications that are normally paid by software consulting companies to its workers working at client site.

These applications are now under threat as they can be denied without issuing RFE’s.

Can lack of Specialty Occupation cause H1B denial without RFE?

Yes, it can.

USCIS has been issuing a lot of additional evidence requests to prove ‘Specialty Occupation‘ and why the job profile mentioned in the H1B application can’t be performed by a college graduate.

Before this change, a CSE bachelor degree holder working as .net developer would have received and RFE to prove the job’s expertise.
The H1B may be denied finally but now, your application is bound to be denied without ever issuing RFE.

Read USCIS’s official guidelines on H1B’s eligibility requirement.

USCIS claims not issuing RFE will reduce application processing times

USCIS claims that they have changed this policy to avoid spending time on frivolous or merit less applications including H1B (extensions and transfers), F1, Green Card and others, that are currently issued RFE and NOID.

By rejecting the applications without issuing RFE (Request for Evidence), USCIS will save important time that can be used to work on other legitimate visa applications.

Related: Current H1B processing times

Related: EB2 India Predictions – 20 years average wait time, 151 years worst case

H1B can be denied without RFE after USCIS policy change
H1B can be denied without RFE after USCIS policy change

DACA applications cannot be denied without RFE or NOID!

The DACA applications are not affected by this new policy as courts in California and New York have given preliminary injunctions.
Seems like Trump administration is after legal immigration.

USCIS is trying to choke the life of skilled workers in USA by hook or crook.

Only time can tell if these measures are really going to help weed out the crap or just make every skilled worker’s time difficult.

Source: USCIS policy memorandum (PDF, 113 KB)

This article originally published at TruVisa.com. Shared here for wider audience reach.

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H1B Extension Denial Can lead to Deportation NTA – USCIS changes policy https://www.am22tech.com/h1b-extension-denial-deportation-uscis-policy/ https://www.am22tech.com/h1b-extension-denial-deportation-uscis-policy/#comments Sun, 08 Jul 2018 02:57:15 +0000 https://www.am22tech.com/?p=1467 USCIS policy change allows deportation order after visa denial including H1B extension or transfer. 240 day i94 expiry rule is going to hurt many if visa is denied.

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H1B Visa Extension or Transfer Denial can lead to forceful deportation

Update July 30, 2018 – USCIS has delayed the execution of NTA policy due to pending ‘operational guidance‘.
Operational guidance was expected to be issued to USCIS consultants within 30 days of June 28, 2018. But, it has not happened yet and hence, NTA policy is not executed at this time.

We will keep a track and update this page as and when changes are made.

This is big news and a big change announced by USCIS in its policy on June 28, 2018.
It allows USCIS consultants to initiate 'Deportation Proceedings' for anyone who's visa change of status, extension or transfer has been DENIED.

Related: July 13, 2018 – H1B Extension can be denied without RFE – USCIS changes policy

This is a big blow to most of the skilled worker community like H1B, F1 and other temporary visa holders when they are already struggling with DHS's decision to withdraw the H4 EAD work authorization.

As per the new order, USCIS agent has been given the power to issue an NTA for a person who’s visa petition has resulted in a denial like an H1B transfer/extension.

What is Notice to Appear (NTA)?

NTA = "Notice To Appear" (NTA)
The purpose of the Notice to Appear is to place an individual into deportation proceedings.

ICE is the primary authority to issue such NTA before the immigration courts.
CBP and USCIS also have the authorities to go for such NTA in very limited cases of immigration violations like criminal offenses.

Related: EB2 India Predictions – 20 years average wait time, 151 years worst case

USCIS gets authority to issue NTA after H1B visa denial

Now, the visa denial has been added as criteria to go for NTA by USCIS directly without going through ICE.

USCIS can issue NTA (deportation proceedings) for Non-immigrants who’s application for a visa extension or change of status, a green card, or citizenship application is denied and they are deemed to present unlawfully in US.
Your unlawful presence starts the day your visa is denied by USCIS in case your i94 has already expired.

In Trump administration, mere denial of your petition for visa extension puts you on the same fast-track forceful deportation by US government as being charged with a crime, or doing something DHS considers to be criminal (even if never arrested or charged).

USCIS policy change Allow Deportation after visa denial
USCIS policy change Allow Deportation after visa denial

Source: USCIS guidance for issuing NTA for deportation.

Whats if I receive NTA after my H1B extension has been denied?

Earlier, if the H1B extension was denied, an H1b worker could have left USA on its own.

But, now, if the NTA is issued by USCIS for you, you have the obligation to stay in US and appear in immigration court proceedings.
Or at-least hire a lawyer and appear in court on your behalf if you decide to leave the US.

NTA issued and you depart US and fail to appear in immigration court?

A simple H1B visa extension can lead to NTA and you may have left US without any issue. But, if NTA is issued and you have left USA, you will most probably fail to appear for your deportation case proceedings.

This failure to appear, in turn, will lead to issuance of forceful deportation order against you.
Failure to appear also carries a 5 year ban on re-entry to US!

This ‘deportation order‘ will certainly be a cause of concern for all future US visa applications.

Staying in US after H1B visa denial is counted as ‘Unlawful Presence’

This is a tricky situation and going to result in a big mess for any H1B worker or for that matter any visa holder.

As an example, you are working on H1B visa after your i94 expiry and H1B extension has been filed before i94 expiry. You are legally allowed by USCIS to work and stay in US up-to 240 days.
Now, if your H1B extension is denied, your status in US is counted as ‘Unlawful presence‘.

This is a real life scenario as H1B extensions filed in regular processing take more than 8 months easily to reach a decision.

The best option in this case is to leave US immediately on visa denial. That’s what every H1B worker has been doing over the years to stay on the right side of immigration law.

If NTA is issued after this denial (since you started gathering unlawful presence as of the date of denial by USCIS), the H1B holder ‘may’ decide to stay in US and contest his case in immigration court which may take years to reach a decision.

Remember that ‘All the time’ that you in US after your visa denial, you are adding ‘Unlawful presence’ automatically.

This has two consequences:

  1. You WIN immigration court NTA case: Your status in US after your visa denial to the date of case win will be restored as legal.
  2. You LOSE immigration court NTA case: Your status is ‘Unlawful Present’ and it carries a 10 year ban.

Do you see the potential problem here?
Since, Trump administration is not able to change the laws to curb legal immigration, they are trying their best to scare the individual person by throwing un-necessary court cases at them.

Who do you think will have the time and resources to fight the immigration cases if they came to US to work legally?
An NTA can potentially ruin their future chances to ever come back to US legally again and work.

Can NTA be issued for my H1B extension?

Yes, it can NOW be issued for any H1B extension denial. Nobody is an exception here.

Can H1B worker work after extension denial while fighting NTA case in court?

NO, you cannot. Once your work authorization is denied, you cannot work in US.

Isn’t this ridiculous?
Your simple H1B extension denial has the potential of turning your career upside down and stamp you with ‘illegal’ non-immigrant from ‘legal skilled worker’ in a matter of days!

All your hard work will be flushed down the drain with issuance of NTA by USCIS.

USCIS makes filing H1B in premium mandatory indirectly by NTA policy change

Issuing NTA makes an H1B worker the biggest target and indirectly forces every H1B extension or transfer application to be filed in ‘Premium processing’.

If you want to avoid any potential NTA for your case, you will certainly want to get your extension approval before your i94 expires.
And if you want to make sure you get a result quickly, you have to pay for premium processing.

Life is going to be even more difficult, restricted and expensive for skilled workers after this new policy.

Visa holder has to prove his/her legal status if NTA is issued

Once in deportation proceedings (NTA) after visa denial, the visa holder must prove his lawful status in US.

H1B denial can lead to deportation
H1B denial can lead to deportation

Recently,USCIS changed policy for F, M and J visa holders and barred STEP OPT candidates to work at third party locations with respect to unlawful presence in the country.

Have anything to add to story or a question to ask, then please write them in comments.

Read the full USCCIS policy change (PDF) in detail here. USCIS policy

Article originally published at TruVisa: https://www.truvisa.com/t/uscis-allows-deportation-proceeding-after-h1b-extension-or-transfer-denial/785.
Republished here for wider audience.

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