October 15, 2016

Dateline Greencard Lottery 2016 !

Dateline Greencard Lottery 2016 !

US Government reports: Green Card Record Number of Winners Published

US Government reports: Green Card Record Number of Winners PublishedThe US government has recently released the statistical breakdown of the DV diversity visa program, the so-called green card lottery.

Approximately 110.000 successful applications for US permanent residence were randomly selected from more than 13.6 million entries which were received during the 60-day submission period last year.

However, only half of the selectees will actually receive a green card. The other half is expected to either not follow through with the application process or be disqualified due to strict educational and financial requirements requested from all winners.

More than half of all applicants were born in a developing country. The top three countries in terms of winning entries were Ghana, Nigeria and Bangladesh, Together they account for more than 15% of the total number of winners.

Due to per-country limitations, only 3,500 winners per country are allowed to receive a green card. Even if educational requirements are met, more than half of Ghana´s 8,752 winners will therefore not be able to actually come to the USA.

While the green card lottery is especially popular in less developed countries, interest is rising in Europe as well. A new research by the Pew Institute in Washington has shown that confidence in Obama has lifted the US image considerably around the world, especially in Germany, where US favorability has risen from 31% during the Bush years to 64% this June.

This research is supported by a record number of green card applicants from Germany last year. The submission period for the green card lottery lasted for about four weeks after the last presidential election. During that time, there was an increase of almost 150% in applications from most European countries." More applicants result in a relatively higher number of successful participants as well. In Germany, for example, 532 people actually won the green card - a high number.

Application form : click here

in german / in deutsch

October 5, 2016

55,000 Green Cards Are Now Up For Grabs In A Lottery

55,000 Green Cards Are Now Up For Grabs In A Lottery

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has opened its annual process for prospective immigrants to apply for 55,000 green cards in a lottery system Tuesday.
DOS’s Diversity Visa program targets people who come from countries that typically don’t immigrate to the U.S. Individuals from countries that have had more than 50,000 people immigrate to America in the last five years are not eligible to apply for a green card through this program.
Among the many countries that have been excluded from the green card lottery are Mexico, El Salvador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and China. Some of the people that can apply for visas are applicants from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and many more. DOS has designated Iran, Syria and Sudan as three state sponsors of terrorism in the world.
Applicants to the program must have a high school education or two years of work experience in a trade that requires two years to learn. If an applicant is not from one of the eligible countries, they can still apply as long as their spouse or parents are from one of the countries listed by DOS.
The annual lottery for 55,000 visas was set up by Congress in 1990 and has been very popular — 14.4 million people applied for a spot in the coveted annual lottery in 2015 alone.
The paperwork involved in the lottery system is free. DOS stops accepting applications for this year’s lottery Nov. 7 at 12pm ET.


EB-5 News

Did lawmakers flub the temporary renewal of EB-5?

Congress thought it extended the EB-5 visa program at the end of September — but did it?
A letter from the Congressional Research Service, which serves as a research arm for Congress, questions whether the EB-5 Regional Center Program, which earmarks green cards for investors in development projects, was lawfully extended. The continuing resolution, issued Sept. 30, was slated to keep the program up and running until Dec. 9, and lawmakers could hash out terms for a potential long-term authorization during that period.
But in the letter, dated Oct.3 and reviewed by The Real Deal, CRS cites a legal technicality which may mean the program is no longer legally funded. The program, it says, was subject to certain “sunset provisions” that see it expire unless explicit legislative action was taken to extend it. Since no legislation was technically passed to extend the program, it may have lapsed. That means the Regional Center Program, which helps developers raise billions of dollars for real estate projects, may no longer be active.
The letter was sent in response to a request from legislators, who were unclear on the status of the program.
If that is, in fact, the case, the government could have opened itself up to litigation from thousands of investors who wouldn’t get the green cards they were promised, sources said.
“If it has expired, it means they can no longer process regional center investors filings,” said one EB-5 expert, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “There would be no more issuing of green cards. The ramifications would be huge.”
Representatives for both the Senate Judiciary Committee and CRS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A botched renewal would just be the latest in a long line of controversies related to the program, which many have argued is rife with fraud and abuse.
Detractors claim it favors projects in wealthy parts of the country and can be used to bring dirty money into the U.S., while proponents say it promotes development and creates jobs. Real estate developers, who’ve tapped the program for cheap capital, have actively lobbied to keep it alive.

September 14, 2016

US economy: Citizenship for sale - EB-5 visas EB-5 Visas - Miami - Florida

US economy: Citizenship for sale


US economy: Citizenship for sale
From the 36th floor of a downtown Miami office tower, Ronald Fieldstone has a 360-degree view of the construction boom that he has had a hand in fostering.

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There is the high-speed rail line that will connect the city to Orlando, home of Disney World. To the west is the newly renovated Langford Hotel and to the north is the building site of the Paramount Miami Worldcenter, a 60-storey condominium and retail complex, where construction crews are digging the foundations.


All of those projects are funded, in part, via an investor visa programme known as EB-5 that gives investors a path to US citizenship. For a $500,000 investment in a project that creates at least 10 jobs in a high-unemployment area, a foreign national can eventually receive a green card that allows him or her to live and work permanently in the US.
Miami, already a magnet for wealthy families from Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina, is using the EB-5 programme as a tool to attract cash from China. Officials hope to transform Miami into an international banking centre with close ties to China, which they hope to cement by persuading Chinese airlines to begin nonstop flights from the mainland.
Miami’s embrace of the EB-5 is not without controversy. Critics say it is rife with fraud and used to launder money. Canada ditched a similar programme while Australia tightened its requirements after finding there was little economic benefit. 
Some US lawmakers say it sends a bad signal — trading visas for cash from the wealthy while much of the money has gone to well-off areas, not the distressed regions the programme was designed to help.
Congress will vote later this month on whether to renew the programme. Even supporters like Mr Fieldstone say it needs more regulatory oversight to limit fraud and protect the national security interests of the US.
Advocates of the programme say it has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into mega-projects in New York and California, including the 12.7m sq ft Hudson Yards office complex in Manhattan. Now Florida wants a bigger piece of the action. 

Lawyer Ronald Fieldstone spends 50% of his time dealing with EB-5 cases

For decades, Mr Fieldstone’s legal practice dealt primarily with corporate securities work, but today he spends 50 per cent of his time working on EB-5. “The success rate is really high for EB-5 funded projects,” he said. “South Florida is a special place. You can’t duplicate it — the climate, transportation and beach. I think the Chinese look at it as a gateway city.” 
The EB-5 programme was created in 1990 as part of the Immigration Act to spur the US economy and promote job growth. Since then it has brought in $15.5bn in investments and created 84,400 jobs, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the programme. Applicants need to loan $1m to a job-creating business or $500,000 if the project is in an economically depressed area. After roughly five years the investor receives a green card and, if they are lucky, their money back with a profit.
Other countries have investor immigration programmes of varying levels. France requires a €10m investment in a project that creates 50 jobs. Malta’s programme, which issues an EU passport for €650,000, has drawn the ire of the European Commission. The UK raised its requirement to a £2m investment in government bonds. 


Annual limit for EB-5 visas, which was reached for the first time in 2014
The US programme sputtered along largely unused until the 2008 global financial crisis made it harder for real estate developers to obtain financing. Canada’s 2014 decision to close its programme, which had been extremely popular with wealthy Chinese, also gave the US version a boost.
The US scheme is capped at 10,000 visas annually, which it hit for the first time in 2014. Chinese investors are by far the biggest users, accounting for 86 per cent of the visas issued last year. That has created a backlog for Chinese applicants entering the programme, which is now up to 18 months. Some fear they will choose other countries given the delays.

Shutdown threat

The programme’s fast growth has exposed vulnerabilities in the system. There have been criminal cases alleging investor money was stolen. A Chicago man was charged with stealing $160m from investors that he purported to use to build a convention centre. He pleaded guilty earlier this year.
Two government watchdogs have found deficiencies in oversight. An accountability audit found USCIS failed to consistently enter information, such as names or dates of birth, in its system to track individuals for potential fraud. USCIS says it has consolidated its examination staff in Washington and has started random visits to regional centres. It is also expected to propose regulatory changes later this year to strengthen the programme, including raising the minimum investment.
Congress is divided over whether to improve the programme or simply end it, as Canada did. One lawmaker, Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California who is the vice-chair of the Select Committee on Intelligence, says it should be shut down.
“I believe the programme is deeply unfair, sends the wrong message about this country’s values and is prone to fraud and abuse,” Ms Feinstein wrote in an op-ed last year. “It says that American citizenship is for sale, and that’s not what our country stands for.”
“It’s cash for a green card,” adds David North, a frequent critic of the EB-5 programme, who is a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative think-tank. “I don’t think we should be selling visas to anybody.”


Value of investments through the EB-5 scheme, which has created 84,400 jobs
One of his concerns, which are shared by some lawmakers and law enforcement agencies, is ensuring that cash is not being laundered or that the individual receiving the visa is not a threat to national security. “It’s very hard to trace money through particularly obscure Middle Eastern or Chinese financial systems,” Mr North says.

Hotting up

In Miami, the view is that the influx of capital will raise the city’s profile internationally and attract more business. Developers have been on the ground in China promoting the city as the best place to park their cash.
Real estate developers began their effort to recruit Chinese buyers five years ago, but now those efforts are interwoven with EB-5 financing.
Marketers for the Paramount Miami Worldcenter began pitching the residences in China last year. Paramount’s builders hired a feng shui expert who advised them on introducing the right earth, wood, metal, water and fire elements in the development. They were advised to position the chairs in the lobby to face the door and green potted plants were added to the seating area. A fireplace was also added.

A condominium development in Florida © Getty

For the first time the developers of Paramount decided to use EB-5 to finance a project. In March, following the Chinese new year, they deployed a team to the southern city of Guangzhou to pitch to potential EB-5 investors. “There seemed to be a much greater interest by the Chinese for investment opportunities in the US,” says John Montani, a business consultant to the developer.
For many of the overseas investors there are other appeals, from access to the US education system for their children and a safeguard against political difficulties in their home country.
The Miami Chamber of Commerce 18 months ago launched an Asia task force. “We have very few people here who speak Mandarin and who really are familiar with Asian and Chinese culture and customers. We have to build up our troops,” says Seth Gordon, chair of the task force. 

EB-5 visas issued per year

He says the city also needs to hedge its bets against cycles of instability in Latin America, where countries such as Venezuela and Brazil have been hit by the commodities bust. “When China began to pay attention to us [it’s like] when somebody is passing an approving look at you across the bar and you smile,” Mr Gordon says. “You begin to think, ‘Maybe we should have a relationship.’”
One hurdle is changing the image of Florida that many associate with Mickey Mouse or drug trafficking. The Chamber of Commerce arranged a visit of a group of Chinese journalists to help promote the images of sandy beaches, clean air and ocean breezes.
In February, members of the chamber, the mayor of Miami and others met the Chinese consulate’s Houston office to discuss opening a branch in Miami, according to three attendees. A representative for the Chinese consulate did not have an immediate comment.
Two months later, a delegation including the Miami-Dade County Commissioner flew to China and made presentations to China Eastern AirlinesChina Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines to discuss offering a nonstop service, according to a written memorandum summarising the mission, and viewed by the Financial Times. China Eastern put Miami on its “shortlist” for introducing the new service within one to two years, according to the memo.

Eyes on Cuba

Angie Ki was among those in the Miami delegation. Ms Ki had grown up in Malaysia and lived in North Carolina for 25 years with her husband and children, working in real estate.


Proportion of applicants for EB-5 visas that were Chinese investors
During a family visit in 2014 to Hong Kong, she was struck by the televised broadcasts of US President Obama’s visit to China when he spoke of the US lifting sanctions on Cuba and the expansion of the Panama Canal. Seeing parallels between Cuba and the lost opportunity for many to capitalise on the growth of China’s economy, Ms Ki had an idea. “I had to be in Asia to discover Miami,” she says. 
After some persuasion, her husband agreed to relocate to downtown Miami in May 2015 and Ms Ki has been recruiting Chinese to Florida.
Chinese investors “look at Cuba as almost 20 years behind China. They’re more excited about Cuba than Florida to be honest. But Miami is a stepping stone to go to Cuba,” Ms Ki says.
When a group of Hong Kong businessmen came to visit, Ms Ki took them on a boat ride around the city.
“They look at the buildings from the boat and say, ‘Oh my god, there is so much room to build high-rises. You’ve got so much room to spend’,” she recalls.
Ms Ki helps parents seeking EB-5 visas for their children, who will then go to university in the US and, with a green card, be in a better position to compete for jobs after graduation.
“Miami is just waking up to the Asian market. If I was here three years ago I couldn’t get a job. Now, I can speak Chinese and have connections in Asia. It’s hot,” she says.
“You’re going to see a lot of them coming,” Ms Ki predicts.

August 7, 2016

23 Companies That Will Help You Travel The World For Free (And Maybe Even Pay You To Do It)

23 Companies That Will Help You Travel The World For Free (And Maybe Even Pay You To Do It)

23 Companies That Will Help You Travel The World For Free (And Maybe Even Pay You To Do It)

A free vacation in Spain
from Forbes.
English speakers willing to spend a week talking with foreigners can get a free vacation to Spain or Germany with Diverbo. (Courtesy of Diverbo)
Feel like you can’t afford to go on vacation? Think again.
A Wisconsin-based teacher and author with a passion for Spain, Abbey Algiers looks for inexpensive ways to take trips on her summer holidays. So when she discovered Diverbo — a company that offers free vacations for English speakers willing to spend a week mingling with foreigners in Spain or Germany to help them practice their language skills — she couldn’t believe it.
“It’s the best-kept secret on the planet,” she says.
The setting couldn’t have been more perfect: La Alberca, a tiny village four hours west of Madrid. Algiers spent the week chatting, enjoying Spanish tapas and wine and bonding with fellow travelers. The best part? Apart from paying for the flight there, the trip didn’t cost her a cent.
free vacation to Spain with Diverbo
Speaking English by a pool in Spain with Diverbo. (Courtesy of Diverbo)
Algiers loved it so much, she has done Diverbo two more times and is currently traveling in Portugal with a friend she met on her first trip. “This is a legit way to make lifelong friends from around the world,” she says.
Diverbo is part of a growing trend: companies that are giving new meaning to the phrase “business trip.” If you’re willing to do a little work while you’re on vacation, these companies will help you get most — if not all — of your travel costs covered.  Some will even pay you a stipend or a salary. It’s a trend that is taking off, especially among young female travelers who are new to the workforce and looking for affordable vacation options or for millennial women in search of ways to give back while on vacation.
A free trip and a chance to see the world? Sign us up! Here are 10 ideas and 23 companies to check out right now.
Practice English
Speak English? You’re in luck. Diverbo recruits English speakers to help foreigners in Spain and Germany practice their language skills. Even better: Diverbo prefers if you don’t speak Spanish or German. There’s not much downtime — you’ll spend most of the day “working” in small villages near Madrid, Munich, and Frankfurt. But it’s not a hardship: There are group dinners, parties, and even theater performances. There’s also an offshoot of Diverbo for teens.
WWOOF organic farm volunteers
WWOOF volunteers getting down and dirty on an organic farm. (Courtesy of WWOOF/Facebook)
Work On A Farm
Sue Coppard was a London secretary who volunteered on a farm with some friends back in 1971 and thought the idea was so great that she turned it into a business: WWOOF, which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. The company has recently been rediscovered by a new generation of travelers that craves getting dirt under their fingernails. Here’s how it works: Farm owners post help-wanted ads on the site, and you can apply to do anything from sowing seeds to making cheese to gathering herbs. In return, the farm pays for your accommodations and food (you usually need to cover the flight). Volunteers typically work a few hours a day, then get time off to explore. There are opportunities everywhere from Costa Rica to Cambodia.
rescuing elephants at an eco lodge Thailand
Through Workaway, you can volunteer to rescue elephants at an eco-lodge in Thailand. (Courtesy of Workaway)
Are you willing to put in a little sweat equity on your next vacation in exchange for free meals and accommodations? The sharing economy has resulted in innovative resources for work-exchange programs. Workaway and HelpX connect travelers with locals around the globe looking for volunteer help. You could find yourself working for people like Alex and Allie, who own an eco-lodge in the Northern Thai mountains near Chiang Mai where they rescue elephants and support human rights. Or Pamelawho has a house in Provence and wants assistance gardening and cooking. Or there’s Rick and Lindy, a couple who needs workers for their cattle farm in New Zealand. Generally, volunteers work four or five hours a day, five days a week, then have the rest of the time to themselves. It’s a great way to affordably see a new place and live like a local.
Work In the Adventure Space
Want to spend a week or two skiing and snowboarding — and get paid to do it? The website AdventureWork lists jobs in the adventure space, some long-term postings but others for vacationers looking for a free trip. For instance, PGL hires ski reps at its resorts in France, Italy, Austria and the U.S. to accompany school groups. In exchange, PGL covers your room and food, in-resort expenses, lift passes, board hire and gives you a small stipend of $229 (£175)
Organize A Trip
Now here’s a sneaky way to get a free vacation: Plan a trip for a group of your friends or family. Many travel operators will cover your costs if you function as a trip leader. The rules change depending on the company, but as an example, YMT Vacations will give you a free vacation if you enlist 12 people to take a trip with them; if eight of the guests book their flight through YMT, your airfare is also covered. Other companies offering free trips to group leaders include Grand Circle Cruise LineSelect International ToursAll Abroad Travel and Merit Group Travel.
Host An Educational Trip
Are you a teacher who wants to take your students on a trip so that they can immerse themselves in what they’ve just studied? A number of educational travel companies provide free trips to teachers in order to get them to host trips for students. (Many will even throw in a free training trip beforehand, so that you can learn the ropes of hosting and guiding.) Some of the best outfitters include EFCHA Educational Tours, and Explorica.
Heritage Greece free roots trip
Heritage Greece invites young Greek adults to come “home” on a free trip. (Courtesy of Heritage Greece)
Explore Your Roots
Are you lucky enough to have roots somewhere else? Your home country might want you to come back and connect with your culture. For instance, the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation runs ReConnect Hungary to get young Hungarian-Americans ages 18-28 to take a two-week trip to learn about their history and traditions. The program covers airfare from New York to Budapest and two weeks of accommodations, meals, transportation, entertainment and programming. Countries with similar programs include Heritage Greece, aimed at accomplished college students of Greek heritage. Birthright Armenia reimburses expenses for Armenians ages 20-32 who will intern or volunteer for at least two months for a variety of organizations, including media outlets and NGOs. Love Boat Study Program is for people of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, ages 16-27. And Birthright Israel has helped over 500,000 Jewish young adults travel for free to Israel since the company was founded in 1999.
Travel Nurse on Route 66
Courtni Sladek, left, is a Pediatric ICU travel nurse who is exploring the country via her job and writing about it on her blog, So What’s Your Name Again? (Courtesy of Courtni Sladek)
Take Your Nursing Skills On The Road
If you’re a nurse, you can go mobile and travel for free to places like Florida or Hawaii — and get paid for it. The site TravelNursing.org offers opportunities around the country, with assignments lasting eight to 26 weeks. Compensation varies based on your skill level and the type of position you’re filling, but a traveling nurse can make as much as $10,000 a month, with food and housing often covered.
Become A House Sitter
Are you open to taking care of someone’s home – or even their pet — while on vacation? You might have a free place to stay for offering your services. Companies like Trusted Housesitters and HouseCarers connect travelers and people in need of sitters around the world.
Teach English
If you’re willing to teach English as a foreign language to non-English speakers, you can pretty much write your ticket. Some of the best resources for job hunters include TEFL.com and ESL Cafe, which list salaried jobs across the planet in search of your skills (typically, you don’t need to speak the home language). This isn’t something you’d do for a week-long vacation: Postings generally range from nine months to two years. Still, it’s a great way to have an extended (paid) vacation. 

August 5, 2016

What are the world's best airlines? - The world's best airline for 2016 - VIDEO



Farnborough, England (CNN)The world's best airline for 2016 is Emirates, according to a survey of millions of airline passengers conducted by Skytrax
The international airline, based in Dubai, won the top honors at Tuesday's Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. 
As jet engines screamed from the Farnborough airfield and thousands of visiting aviation geeks explored the airshow, smiling flight attendants dressed in brightly colored uniforms stepped to the stage as each award was announced. 
World's best airline named as...
Photos: World's best airline named as...
The survey underscores the consistency of the quality service among the world's top carriers, said Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO. 
"The Middle East airlines have continued to dominate," Plaisted said after the ceremony. "Virgin America continues dominating on the customer side in North America. Turkish Airlines is a big favorite."
The awards run the gamut from 73 categories from best economy class onboard catering to best airline staff to best seats to best cabin cleanliness. 
The top 10 best airlines were named as:
1. Emirates
2. Qatar Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific
5. ANA All Nippon Airways
6. Etihad Airways
7. Turkish Airlines
8. EVA Air
9. Qantas Airways
10. Lufthansa 
Other winners included: 
Transatlantic Airline: Lufthansa
Transpacific Airline: Eva Air
North American Regional Airline: Porter Airline
Airline Staff in Asia: ANA airlines
Regional European Airline: Aegean
Airline lounge: Star Alliance
Airline in Southern Europe: Turkish Airlines
Airline in Northern Europe: FinnAir
Airline in Western Europe: Lufthansa
Airline in Eastern Europe: Aeroflot
Airline in Africa: South African Airways
Airline in Australia/Pacific: Qantas
Airline in Central Asia: Air Astana
Airline in China: Hainan Airlines
Airline in Central America/Caribbean: Copa Airlines
Airline in S. America: LAN Airlines
Airline in N. America: Virgin America
Airline in Asia: Singapore Airlines
Airline in Middle East: Emirates
Airline in Europe: Turkish Airlines
Low-cost airline in Australia & Pacific: JetStar Airways
Low-cost airline in Asia: AirAsia
Low-cost airline in Central Asia & India: IndiGo
Low-cost airline in China: Spring Airlines
Low-cost airline in South America: Azul Brazil
Low-cost airline in North America: Virgin America
Low-cost airline in Europe: Norwegian
Lounge dining business class: Turkish
First class lounge dining: Air France
Airline staff service Africa: Ethiopia Airlines
Airline staff service Aus Pac: Qantas

June 12, 2016

Seven ways to get Green Card for International Students

Seven ways to get Green Card for International Students:

Job Sponsorship, Marriage, Asylum, Green Card lottery, Military Service, Sponsorship by parent or child, Sponsorship by Business owning relative, National Interest waiver and more.

Most international students leave their home country to study and pursue their dreams in a foreign country. However, it is very difficult to attain legal status in a foreign country to work and access the many privileges that citizens have.
A lot of people have tried but failed to gain legal status in foreign countries leaving them in the difficult position of being illegal immigrants. This is a terrible situation that leaves you unable to work and at the risk of being arrested and deported at all times.
Holding a Green card in the US is a great thing. You get all the rights and privileges of citizens except voting or running for public office. With a Green card, you can work at any place, get college financial aidscholarships and can live in the country indefinitely as long as you are a law abiding person. Committing some felony crimes can get you deported even if you have a Green card.
As an International Student however, you have one very big advantage in that you came into the country legally and hence are able to adjust your status to Green card holder through a number of ways. Currently, people who enter the US illegally are ineligible to get a Green card by any means.
Below are some ways an International Student can get a green card in the U.S.

Job Sponsorship.

If you are lucky to finish college, you may get a job and your company may sponsor you for a Green card. This is difficult especially if there are economic difficulties in the country and citizens are also looking for jobs. However, it's not impossible.  The company has to fill in immigration forms explaining why they want to hire a foreigner and show that they cannot find an equally qualified American citizen to fill that job. If there are many Americans qualified and willing to do that job, you will not get the visa. However, if you have specialized skills in high demand areas, and there are not many Americans with that kind of specialization, you have a big chance of getting approved for Green card. The skills in demand vary from time to time but if you are specialized in certain Scientific and Engineering & Health disciplines, there is a high likelihood of getting a Green card through job Sponsorship.
It may be easier for your company to sponsor you if they apply for the "National Interest Waiver". This is where they demonstrate that your employment will contribute to the National interest of the United States. Such cases are considered on an individual basis but past successful candidates have demonstrated that their admission will improve the US economy, improve wages and working conditions for US workers, improve education, housing, health or national security.


If you are in the US as an international Student and there is civil war or political upheavals in your home country that would risk your life to return, you may be eligible for political asylum. There are different laws governing asylum seekers and many criteria that one has to meet. Before applying for asylum, you must consult an immigration lawyerto advise if you are eligible.
Many people have applied and found themselves ineligible for asylumand later have difficulties getting Green card. This is because the immigration department now knows your intent to become an immigrant. Always remember that you came here as a Student with the understanding that you will return to your home country after college.
Another word of caution about immigration lawyers, please spend some money and hire a reputable lawyer who will not mess up your case.

Getting Married to US citizen or permanent Resident.

The easiest way to get a green card is to marry a US citizen. Your spouse will then sponsor you for Green card as a family member. While this is an easy method if done right, it carries a lot of dangers.
The rule of thumb is to ensure you have a real marriage. Get married for love with the intention to stay together as a family and not just for green card. While filing your Green card papers, you'll be required to show that you have a real marriage.
Some things you may be asked to prove are: if you live together, how you met, if you know intimate details about each other, if you have children, if the US citizen's family knows about the foreign spouse and many other things to prove that you are married for real. While many American parents are wary of their children marrying foreigners because of the Green card issue, if you show them that you really love their son or daughter, most parents are very cooperative.
If your application is successful, you will get a Two year temporary green card. After two years, you will then get a permanent Green Card if you are still married. This two year period is to ensure that your marriage was real. If your marriage fails before the two year period, you have to show that you were truly married but things just did not work out, otherwise you may not get your permanent Green Card. In all cases while dealing with immigration issues, consult a reputable lawyer.The same thing applies if you marry a green card holder. However, if the Green card holder got his or her green card through marriage, they cannot sponsor you until they become citizens.
If your American spouse is abusive and threatens to divorce you and have you deported, you can still get your greencard if you can prove they abused you. Again, consult your lawyer first.

Green Card lottery.

The Electronic Diversity Visa lottery is another way one can get a Green card to the US. The lottery is held every year and application period is between October to November.
As the name suggests, this is a lottery and there is no guarantee to win. But it's still worth the try. There are some minimum requirements though. One has to have finished high school. Some countries with a lot of immigrants into the US are not eligible.

Military Service.

Enrolling to serve in the US Military, whether Army, Air force, Navy, Marines or National Guard is another way to get a Green card for an International Student. There is however a catch 22 rule that states that you cannot join the Military if you don't already have a green card or work authorization. I will show you some ways around this rule.
There are some career fields in high demand by the military, like nurses, doctors, psychologists e.t.c. and an international student who has been in the US for about two years may be eligible to join even if they don't have a green card.
If you have finished college and got your Optional Practical Training (OPT) work permit, this gives you the right to work for anyone in the US for one year, which theoretically means you can also work for the Military. The best way to find out is to speak with a military recruiter about these eligibility criteria. Military recruiters can be found in every college in the US. They are always looking for recruits and will be very happy to help you out. If one recruiter gives you discouraging news, talk to another recruiter from another Military branch. He or she may have different ideas.
Even if you get into the Military, you must hire a lawyer to pursue your green card application because it will not happen automatically.

Sponsorship by a US Citizen parent or child.

Another unlikely way to get a green card as an international student is to be sponsored by a US citizen parent or child. This is rare because most likely, your parents and/or children live in your home country. The sponsor has to be at least 18 years of age. Most international students are young and are not likely to have adult children, hence making this method even more unlikely.
However in the rare case that an international student has a US citizen parent or child, they can sponsor you for green card.

Sponsorship by a business owning relative.

If your relative owns a substantial business in the US, they may be able to sponsor you to work for them. There are however many rules governing this kind of sponsorship and it is advisable to speak to a immigration lawyer.

Final Word of Advice.

When trying to get a Green card, it is always advisable to consult a reputable immigration lawyer to guide you through the complicated process. Lawyers cost a lot of money but considering the cost of failure, they are worth every dime they charge.
Another thing to note is to never commit a crime while in the US. While there are situations where people provoke you, it is advisable to be the better person and let things go. Don't do anything stupid that will get you in police records because if you commit a felony, you will be disqualified from getting a green card.

June 11, 2016

Draft bill would boost H-1B worker pay for big visa users

Draft bill would boost H-1B worker pay for big visa users

Pay for H-1B workers may increase significantly if a draft bill authored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) gets the bipartisan backing it will need to pass Congress.

The bill primarily relies on salary to distribute the visas. Firms that pay salaries well above the prevailing wage will have the best chance of getting a visa.

Lofgren has been working with Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.), whose support in the GOP-controlled House is critical. The measure is now being distributed to stakeholders for feedback.

The "High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2015" has been in the works since last year, is already drafted and appears to be complete. But that doesn't mean it will actually be introduced. Both sides continue to talk and there are no immediate plans to move forward on the legislation.

(To read the official summary of the bill, download the PDF.) 

The H-1B visa is currently distributed via a lottery because requests for visas routinely exceed the annual 85,000-visa cap. While the bill doesn't eliminate the lottery in its entirety, it minimizes its importance.

The proposal is designed to encourage employers to pay 150% or 200% of the prevailing wage level. These employers will probably be assured of visa approval.

The prevailing wage system has four levels. Level 1 is for entry level; level 4 for the most experienced and capable employees. Prevailing wages vary widely nationally, depending on location.

In Gainesville, Fla., for instance, the prevailing wage for a level 4 computer programmer is $67,621. In San Francisco, it's $123,885.

A level 4 salary that is 200% of prevailing wage for a programmer in Gainesville would be $135,242. In San Francisco, it would be $247,770. (For prevailing wage information see the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center.)

The San Francisco employer doesn't gain an advantage over the Gainesville employer in the visa distribution because of the higher pay differential. What's important is a company's willingness to pay a percentage above the prevailing wage.

And wages alone don't set a priority in the visa distribution. Priority is given first to employers "that hire mainly U.S. workers." Next in line are H-1B dependent employers.

There are different thresholds for determining dependency, but for large users a dependent employer is someone with 15% or more of their employees on temporary visas.

The legislation sets aside 20% of the annual allocation of H-1B visas to firms with 50 or fewer employees. Small and start-up businesses would not be subject to the wage-based allocation.

For H-1B-dependent employers, the bill changes the $60,000 salary exemption level to a formula that would raise the minimum to about $130,000, based on the 35th percentile above the median for the most recent national annual wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations.

H-1B dependent firms pay salaries of at least $60,000 - a figure set in 1998 - to get an exemption from rules that bar them from displacing a U.S. worker. The bill also eliminates the master's degree exemption.

But the legislation also includes what may be a new loophole by excluding workers from this higher wage if their employer has petitioned for permanent residence or a green card.

The bill also eliminates per-country caps on green cards. Employment-based green cards are capped at 140,000 a year, with no more than 7% from any one country. Such a move would help green card applicants in China and India, in particular, who make up the majority of those seeking permanent residency.

Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at Howard University, sees a number of problems with the legislation. The high wage required of H-1B dependent firms, such as Infosys, Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services, may help non-dependent firms, such as IBM and Accenture, said Hira.

All these firms compete in the IT services sector, but non-dependent firms can continue paying the prevailing wage at level 1 for a 40% discount over an American worker, said Hira.

And, he said, visa-dependent firms could develop workarounds. A dependent employer could avoid paying the $130,000 wage by attesting that they won't displace U.S. workers. But Hira suspects affected firms may "figure out ways to meet the letter of the regulations but not the spirit."

Dan Costa, the director of immigration law and policy research at the Economic Policy Institute, believes a more direct approach is possible. "I think it's crazy that they would just create a new, more expensive exemption for replacing U.S. workers, rather than just prohibit altogether the ability of companies to replace U.S. workers with H-1Bs," said Costa.

The visa-dependent firms can apply for green cards for all their workers to get around the dependence status, as well as bring in more L-1 visa workers (another temporary visa used for company transfers). The green card exemption is a "huge loophole," said Hira.

Other strategies by dependent firms could also include merging with non-dependent firms, said Hira.

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