Monday, July 11, 2011

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  • Gravitation
    03-25 03:28 PM
    is there a website/magazine where i can get list of foreclosed properties?

    Google will find you plenty but they charge money. I search real estate through ziprealty.com. It's free. It doesn't specifically mark the foreclosed properties. However, there're a few ways you can find if a property is foreclosed:
    Some properties are listed as bank-owned in the description. they're foreclosed.
    Some properties say "pre-approval" required with offer. That's -likely to be (75% of the time) a foreclosed property.
    Banks reduce price of property at a consistent basis (say reduce by 20K in the second week of every month). The website I mentioned has a history of price drop of all properties.
    If a property is offered As-Is, it's likely to be foreclosed.
    If you want to double check, goto the municipalities web-site, most of them have owner's information of all properties on their websites. If the owner is a bank, it's a foreclosed property.
    Look for a combination of the above factors to identify a bank-owned/foreclosed property.





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  • Better_Days
    12-28 03:28 AM
    Since more than a few hours have past since this thread was started, I can think that we can sleep in peace knowing that there won't be a war.

    Having said that, I am startled at the number of Indians who seem to be sold on the idea that war is the answer. I went over to an Indian friend of mine and was shocked at the type of coverage. It seemed so much like the US media before the Iraq invasion.

    Exactly what will India accomplish by squandering away the economic clout it has gathered? Yes India is a regional power and probably an emerging global power. Yes, in a long drawn out conflict, Indian will probably win. Happy now? But at what price? PLEASE, Indian is no US and Pakistan in no Iraq.


    Pak has nukes, but their delivery mechanism is not sound and before Pak launches any nukes, US will disarm them and even if a few are launched India had a very good anti missile shield which will intercept and destroy all warheads before it enters Indian air.


    What I need to know is that what %age of Indian population believes this and the whole "Chinese-made" nuke crap? Is it being spewed out on TV by arm-chair generals and defense analyst? This will explain why everyone is sold on the whole War idea. And this after the debacle that US finds itself in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    Does anyone understand the concept of a nuclear doctrine? I have been out of it for a while and I don't think that Pakistan has published its nuclear doctrine but it has been speculated upon. The general consensus is that, at least initially, Pakistan will use the nukes on its own territory. Both as a means to inflict casualties on advancing Indian troops and as a means of area denial as neither army is equipped to fight large scale battles in a NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) theater. Forget Pakistan but do you have any idea what the fallout do to the fertile agricultural land in India? And this is not even considering that the Pakistani leadership may decide to go down in a blaze of glory and launch strategic strikes against major population centers.

    War is no answer and should not (and probably will not) happen.

    Disclaimer: I am a Pakistani. While I am in IT, at one point in time I was considering a career in Strategic Studies and was serious enough that I started applying at various colleges. Had to drop the idea as I could not secure funding.





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  • GCapplicant
    07-14 09:26 AM
    Why is EB3 India unhappy?

    The impression I am getting from all posts is that EB3 is unhappy because EB2 got 2 year advancement in dates. EB3 is unhappy not because of their own retrogression but because someone else is happy being current.

    The reason is not justified. EB3 should be unhappy for its own retrogression and not because someone else in EB2 is current. I see a lot of EB3India guys waking up now to the reality and protesting just because EB2 is getting greencads. This approach is wrong. Where were all of you all these months when IV was asking letters for admin fixes? A lot of us were busy enjoying our EADs and suddenly everyone is woken up. Where were all these guys when visa bulletin came every month and dates did not move?

    I would support an action item for us EB3 folks only when it is based on the genuine reasons of EB retrogression. If it is based on the reason of EB2 getting greencards and EB3 not getting greencards, it is a wrong immature reason and USCIS or any authority capable of decision making will not like it.

    EAD cannot give a solution.We knew that from day 1 .EB3 is unhappy because we havnt got any movement.Will any EB2 here support our cause.I am seeing forums where they have alreday started tracking their LUD's.Fine...Human mentality is when they are out of the problem nobody will turn back.Just becoz we are making fuss out of here there are one or two getting ready to point on us that we are unhappy.How do you expect us to be happy?

    How long we have to wait?

    3 solid years I was waiting for my 45 day letter then it took 6 months to get my labor approval.atleast if it had moved same like EB2 we can again sit and watch the show.

    Fine ,even I feel , this EB2 movement if taken as a possitive movement ,I can expect EB3 ROW to be current by Oct 2008.When they interpret the spillover will that help EB3 single state to move.
    Sometimes I do feel this has been done to fail the bills and break the team effort by IV-see how we are questioning ourselves-right? but will any Eb2 care for us-its our mistake to apply in EB3 and beleiving the old tradition.

    How many of us are there since 2001 nov.any answer.How long can we wait?its impossible.





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-06 09:55 PM
    An old man went to the Wizard to ask him if he could remove a curse he had been living with for the last 40 years. The Wizard said, "Maybe, but you will have to tell me the exact words that were used to put the curse on you." The old man says without hesitation, "I now pronounce you man and wife."



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  • puddonhead
    06-05 05:22 PM
    Your leverage is $270,000 in this investment, and you pay 5% interest on it which is tax deductible. You don't suppose one can borrow 270Gs to invest in, per my example, S&P 500 to get 10% annually? Of course the you are able to borrow that much on a home is because it is considered relatively a safe debt for the lender. That can't be said for stocks.

    How/where else will you earn $15,000 (equity) per year by spending $13,500 (interest).

    Now we are getting into another different fun topic - how does a real estate "investment" compare with other forms of investment.

    1. Leverage = speculation = risk. By taking the leverage and buying the house - you lock in a 3-5% return and a lot of risk (for a 200k house - that would be 10k/year max). The 3-5% comes from long term price appreciation trends.

    If I did not buy that 200k house - I would invest the initial 40k and the rest of 160k gradually every month. For simplistic calculations:
    return from 40k - 5% (I can show you reward checking accounts with that rate even now). Inflation protected TIPS could be a good place if you are afraid of hyperinflation
    Earnings = 2k.

    You save 3k each year by renting.
    Running Total = 5k.

    Every year - you put in some money to your investment vehicle = mortgage amortization. So over 30 years - you would have been earning investment income on $80k @5% on an average = 4k.
    Running Total = 9k.

    So you are making 1k more by buying - AND taking a lot of leverage = risk.

    Inflation can upset this calculation - but not much. 1980 - 2008 was an unusual period of low inflation and high growth = high housing price increase. Any bets on how sustainable that would be? Typically housing price appreciation would be at or below inflation - which would favor other investment vehicles over real estate.

    I personally would need much more compelling reasons than the above to buy.

    This calculation does not take into account the flexibility in relocation if you do not buying a house. It alos does not consider the risk associated with having the largest chunk of your portfolio invested in a single non-diversified house instead of having a properly diversified portfolio.

    Probably not very relevant - but you can get a lot of leverage if you have the stomach for it by opening a brokerage account with 40k (your initial downpayment). A good semi-professional one would be IB (interactivebrokers.com). Margin accounts give a 3X/4x leverage any day. Buy a few interest rate, currency or commodity swaps with that - and your leverage can reach stratospheric levels. I know I dont have the stomach for that.





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  • sanju
    12-18 12:15 PM
    Sanju gave very good explanation here.

    I'm sure some of the readers would already know what I'm saying in my post and like many of them I almost stayed away from posting but for the benefit of those few ( even if it's one person) who might wonder if Gita could have been doctored I decided to share what I know .Again I felt the need to post because the idea was brought up by Sanju(NO..I'm not accusing you Sanju...nor 'm I preaching Gitaism here.Again it's just for the benefit of that few sincere folks...others can stick to Sanju's version...no harm.)

    Hindu society all through the monarchical times was blessed with Enlightened Masters who willfully(for a person who had realized the ultimate truth material positions don't matter) served as subordinates (Mahamantri, ,Rajguru )to the Kings .

    These enlightened gurus were the protectors of some of our scriptures(just some because many of the scriptures were outside the intellectual realm of many kings no matter how powerful they were) be it shastras,stotra or sutras.

    Now before one goes on a spin with these enlightened masters let me also remind everyone that none of the great works are patented or owned by any king or master(unlike in some societies). They did truly protect our scriptures so they can be passed on to us, leaving these great works for use/abuse (based on the individuals intelligence/intention) popular examples in today's world being yoga/kamasutra (both are great spiritual mechanisms but are greatly misused so much so that one can't name (one of them) without feeling wee bit embarrassed).

    If one was to trace the evil practices like caste system they wouldn't find the roots in any of these scriptures. Now these evil practices, I would say were doctored/cooked up by people/kings, but Hindu scriptures were out of the reach of these people.

    These scriptures are wired in such a way that to change them one needs to be highly evolved(not just highly educated or filled with dry intelligence) , to understand them one needs to be sincere seeker not professional seeker.

    Also Vedic Culture which is way of life, a civilization got reduced to mere religion only after foreigners came to Bharatavarsha (although the basic pillars remain the same..dharma , karma ...)

    Thank you.

    oh, ya! So just because you follow a specific faith, it has got to be pious, and books of other religions have been doctored. There is nothing new to this view. Every man on this planet adheres to this view.

    You see, every book has been changed during the course of human history. It doesn't mean that they were tottaly changed, but in a way there have been elements added and deleted from these books. So there are parts of these books which are good and teach us to love all of humanity and our sorroundings, then there are those parts in each such book, and those parts have been very carefully added by thugs and cheats during the period of time, such that they could keep control and grip on the comman people and at the same time spread their religion/world view. Anything that remotely peaches hate towards anyone cannot be the word of "God", whether it calls people of other religions as Kafirs ordering to kill them, or, whether it calls "non believers" as evil going to helll, or if it implements caste system. They are all the same. The true nature of the supreme being, the creator, is nothing but love and every thought in contradiction to the nature of supreme being is plain false. And older the religion, more the chances of that religion getting docotered by greater number of kings.

    You have reasons to accept that these books have been doctored but your ego is not letting you accept that things you have believed in your life could be wrong. Thats not just your problem, any person following any religion has the same problem.

    It is your responsibility that you don't pass on this disease on the mankind called religion, to your next generation. For too long the progress of minkind have been hindered by this disease. The progress you see in 21st century is not because of religion, but inspite of it. 99% of all inventions from Tesla's AC current to the first flight of Wright brother, they were all conducted in the country where there is separation of state and religion. I bet you, if religion was part of the consitution of US, no progress would have been possible.

    Its time to shed your ego that my religion is pious and others religions are wrong because all oraganized religions are wrong. And even if you want to lean against some religion, try to question every part of every religion that is peached and see it with a critical view. it will become easier for you to separate the diamonds from the dunghill.


    .



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  • unitednations
    03-25 02:54 PM
    I heard from the grapevine that UNITEDNATIONS will be the next USCIS chief - so folks better behave with him or he wil report ya all :D :D :D :D

    My first order is greencards for everyone then next time people will see me would be at my funeral after the anti immigrants knocked me and obama off.:D





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  • Macaca
    05-01 06:10 PM
    Integrating immigrants (http://tribune.com.pk/story/160476/integrating-immigrants/) By Urvashi Butalia | The Express Tribune

    A few days ago, quite by chance, I happened to find myself at lunch with a member of the British political establishment. For a while, the conversation remained desultory and ranged over the usual subjects � India, economic growth, food, Indian business in Britain and so on. And then, suddenly, things began to heat up. We found ourselves talking about immigrant communities in the West. What began as a general discussion on whether and how immigrant communities �integrate� into the culture of the adopted country, turned specifically to discussing Indians and Pakistanis in Britain.

    Why was it, our host asked, that there was such a strong attachment to the home culture and, in many cases, such a resistance to integrating. In many places, he pointed out, immigrants even refused to learn the language of their adoptive country, in this case English, and this then meant that they could not move into the mainstream economic sphere, and they thus remained economically backward. He pointed to many stories he had heard, especially of Pakistanis, who could go through 16 years of schooling in Britain without learning English, or even showing a desire to learn it. And what mystified him even more was that these were not first generation immigrants who still carried the memory of the homeland with them, these were children born and raised in Britain, and for them there was no such memory to hold on to.

    The politician�s concern was quite genuine. How do you deal with your political constituencies if one set of them always elects to stay �outside�? But I�m not sure the reasons he gave � he pinpointed only the reluctance to learn the language � are adequate to explain what is increasingly becoming a problem in diasporic communities. For too long, migration, � or rather voluntary migration, when people go out in search of jobs or better lives � has been looked upon somewhat askance, especially if it is people from the erstwhile Third World countries moving to the so-called developed world. It�s almost as if, in seeking to improve their lives by going elsewhere, these people are doing something not quite right.

    This attitude towards immigrants holds both for the home country and the adoptive one � in one you are seen as a deserter and in the other as, at best, an unwelcome guest. So the onus of making yourself feel at home, of acquiring a new identity, of �integrating�, is put upon the immigrant. Whatever services the state provides seem almost to be given reluctantly, and are often accompanied by a discourse � not a state discourse but an independent one, which makes it that much more difficult to address � of resentment, anger, prejudice and, sometimes, just sheer envy. None of this encourages immigrants to try and integrate, rather it pushes them in the opposite direction.

    And then, if there�s already a community in existence, as there is virtually everywhere in England and America, you tend to remain within it, not seeking to enter a world that you feel is hostile to you. And you have to be driven to the wall to protest because protest means mobilisation, it means numbers, it means making yourself vulnerable, it means tackling the strength of an increasingly coercive state. Small wonder then, that most immigrant communities duck their heads and carry on doing their own thing.

    It isn�t only their relationship with the adoptive country that is problematic, but, especially for first generation immigrants, it�s very important to keep the connection with home, and to ensure that subsequent generations keep it too. This, as has often been seen, results in a somewhat static idea of what things are like at �home� and has also often led to a more dangerous phenomenon; the tacit support and the very real funding provided by diasporic communities to right-wing movements at home � there�s plenty of evidence of this and I don�t need to go into it here.

    But let me come back to our politician and his concerns. Why should South Asian immigrant communities in Britain be reluctant to learn English? There�s little doubt today that the world over, English has become the language of social mobility, and there�s a widespread desire to learn it. At home, in both our countries, as we know, institutes offering to teach English have sprung up everywhere and they are always fully subscribed. So what is it that holds Indians and Pakistanis in Britain back from this?

    My own sense is that we�re asking the wrong questions here. The question isn�t about whether people wish to learn English or not. Rather, it is much more about how immigrant communities are made to feel at home, about their rights and privileges, about their sense of self. One might just as well ask: What has the state done to help such communities integrate? Have Diwali and Eid for example, become part of the national calendar? Are there community centres and pubs and coffee places that are self-consciously and deliberately multicultural and that encourage people to sit together and talk? Have governments thought of new and innovative ways of ensuring that their �other� citizens have the same rights and privileges as their mainstream citizens, and that they know these rights belong to them?

    Dealing with difference isn�t always easy. Where do you draw the line? How far do you encourage and sustain difference and how far do you try to homogenise things? As the French move to ban the veil has shown, coercion is no answer. People have to be convinced of the logic and reason for change, they have to feel it works for them. How would it be if we insisted that foreign men in our countries had to wear either the dhoti or the awami suit? Much better, perhaps, to engage people in dialogue, to sit down and talk, and to find a solution that works for everyone. I�m not sure what message our politician took back to England with him, but it certainly wasn�t one that blamed communities for not integrating, instead it was one that looked at the question of integration as one from which both sides, if one can say that, gained.



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  • thakurrajiv
    04-06 09:35 AM
    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier t his decade.
    Jung.lee very good second post from you. People still think it is very easy to keep on holding onto your home for long time till turn around happens.
    But life events can cause you to sell like
    1. Job loss and not able to find job in the same area till back up money runs out.
    2. Kids grow up and you need to pay for college and you have little saving as you are holding to see turn around
    3. Hope not but some medical emergency.

    There can be many more situations. Do you know what people are currently doing in these situation ?
    Get money from Home equity ATM machine !!

    Personally I will be scared to buy now as my payment will be more than 50% of my salary and any of above situations will cause me to sell.
    The prices have to become saner ....
    This is very different from anything we have seen. Wall street will change, money will be harder to come by.
    I think time to say " Welcome savings again ". Long term very good for US as country.





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  • ArkBird
    01-06 05:22 PM
    You are educated by CNN and Fox. Go see what others are saying. Don't just be one sided.

    Yes, when you kill Muslims its collateral damage. Killing school kids and bombing schools and hospital is collateral damage. If we have this mentality, yes we would see peace and harmony in this world.

    What do you mean by "Others"? Al-Jazeera? Al-Aqsa? Al-Manar?? FYI, Here are couple of Articles from the charter of Hamas. And you think Hamas is peace loving organization because........ ?

    Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant states the following: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (the Cedar tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Muslem).

    Article 22 claims that the French revolution, the Russian revolution, colonialism and both world wars were created by the Zionists. It also claims the Freemasons and Rotary clubs are Zionist fronts. "You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.



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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 04:18 PM
    children being killed is sad beyond belief...i can't even imagine the pain of their parents! however, it isn't it hamas' position that israel doesn't have the right to exist? when will the madness end?

    btw i am not religious at all. i believe organized religion is a method of oppression and creation of unthinking clones. but i sure as hell don't want to die for being a non-believer! in my mind the only solution is to live a good life - "and it doesn't need someone to tell you what good is" - and protect and cherish the country/community that nurtures you.

    Hamas position??? Huh.. Did Hamas members came and told you that Isreal shouldn't exist? Did we hear all these from those people? When did we last hear from Palestinians on thier position and what they think about Isreal? Its media and nothing but jewish media propagate this. What do they acheieve by doing these kind of propaganda??? They win people like you who would support killing on innocent civilians and school kids. PERIOD





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  • vdixit
    03-26 03:15 PM
    I am still confused about the whole GC issue in buying and selling a home. Why is GC an issue in owing property or even taking overseas vacations? I have done both with absolutely no issues-caribbeans, europe, India. I have owned a home, and then decided to change jobs-move to a different city and sell my house. Heck I sold my house when I was on vacation in India. I did everything by phone and fax, and this is not some few years ago, this is 2 months ago.
    I totally agree with the fact that location and the condition of the house being the key factors. Maybe the fact that I have been here for a few years makes me resident alien for tax purposes helped me? I am not entirely sure.
    Folks mentioned that what if you lose your job, and have to leave the country etc. But like I mentioned a house can be sold from abroad. And if you have a GC and you lose ur job, how will you make mortgage payments etc. So some problems will stay the same.
    Any thoughts/comments on my dilema?
    Perhaps someone can elaborate on why GC is a factor?
    Cheers.



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  • diptam
    08-05 02:15 PM
    You are probably talking about a thin % of peoples - this is a lame argument for most of the Eb3 folks who can and want to port to Eb2 legally.

    Let me give you my case. I was eligible for both EB2 and EB3 when my GC labor was filed - my employer filed it in EB3 because the queue is longer and i remain with them for longer duration. I had about 390 days of H clock left so arguing with that employer and finding another one was also not an option because for getting H extension beyond 6 yrs needs the GC labor to be more than 365 days old.

    By the way I've seen the horrors of Labor Sub , I've suffered BEC cold storages for years,now I'm struggling with my Eb3 140 for 15 months at NSC and after all that if i port to EB2 and get my 485 quickly - what Problem you have or what's wrong in that ?

    Good points, but let me put a counter argument. Two people , one is named SunnySurya and the other is named Mr XYZ. Both came to the USA at the same time in 1999. The difference was SunnySurya came here for his masters and the other guy came here through shady means.

    Mr XYZ was able to file his green card in 2002 in EB3 category based on his shady arrangements with his employer, whereas Mr SunnySurya continued to do right and socially acceptable things i.e. studied, got a job and then after several years this big company filled his green card in EB2 category in 2006.

    On the other hand after strugling for several years Mr. XYZ has collected enough years on his resume to be elligible for EB2. Now he want to port his PD

    SunnySurya's PD is 2006 and Mr. XYZ PD is 2002. Now if Mr. XYZ want to stand in EB2 line, I wonder what problems SunnySurya can have???:confused:





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  • gondalguru
    07-08 08:00 PM
    Assuming your husband is here from 2000, they are asking for 7 years, i.e. 12 * 7 = 84 months of paystubs? This is ridiculous. How many people keep paystubs from 7 years ago? Infact in those days paystubs used to have their social security numbers on them, they should be shredded, atleast that's the common advice.

    My pay stub still has SSN.

    Its always good to keep all the paystubs / w2/ tax returns / employment verifications letter / what ever other evidences you have.. especially employment based GC applicants



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  • Macaca
    10-14 04:25 PM
    Boxer Gets Boost in Industry Cash; But Aides Say Positions, Strategy Unchanged (http://rollcall.com/issues/53_41/news/20421-1.html) By John Stanton | Roll Call Staff, October 11, 2007

    With one eye on a possible 2010 re-election race against California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and the other firmly focused on the Environment and Public Works Committee, Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D) is taking in increasing campaign contributions from industrial sectors and their unions with business before her panel.

    Boxer � who vaulted from a rank-and-file role on the committee to chairwoman following the 2006 elections and the retirement of then-ranking member Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) � has long had a contentious relationship with industry. According to aides, she continues to maintain a ban on accepting political action committee contributions from a number of sectors, including oil and gas companies.

    Rose Kapolczynski, Boxer�s longtime campaign consultant, said Boxer has not changed her campaign fundraising strategy as a result of taking control of EPW and that she expects no major increases in contributions from industry once the cycle is completed.

    �I�d be surprised if there�s a major difference in the amount ... there may [just] be a difference in timing� of contributions by industry PACs, Kapolczynski said.

    Kapolczynski also said that in addition to maintaining her long-standing policy of not taking PAC dollars from the oil and gas industry and its top-level executives, Boxer�s rise to power has had no impact on her policy positions. �Anyone who�s followed Barbara Boxer�s career over the years understands there is one thing you can count on � you know where she stands on the issues. And whether she�s in the minority or the chairman, that�s not going to change.�

    But while environmentalists and other allies agree they have seen no significant sign that her long-standing commitment to their cause has waned with her ascension to power, Boxer has recorded what appears to be a significant uptick in funding from industries traditionally hostile to her philosophical positions.

    An analysis of campaign contributions this year through Aug. 30 showed that Boxer has taken in $41,000 from political action committees connected to the energy, natural resources, construction and transportation industries.

    According to CQ MoneyLine, the energy and natural resources sector so far this year ranks as Boxer�s second-largest source of PAC contributions, clocking in at $20,500.

    Labor unions, which have donated $57,650 to her campaign this year, rank as her top source of PAC dollars, and $21,500 of those funds come from unions connected to industries with business before the committee.

    Compared to the 2004 fundraising cycle � the last one in which Boxer was actively raising campaign funds, according to an aide � Boxer appears to be pulling significantly more cash from these sectors now than she was then. For instance, Boxer�s campaign reported $18,500 in total receipts from the energy and natural resources sector in all of 2003 and 2004, according to CQ MoneyLine, while the transportation sector donated $35,450, for a two-year total of $53,950 from these industries.

    While partisan fighting has largely stalled much of her environmental agenda this year � for instance, it appears unlikely that an ambitious climate change bill will be passed � the EPW Committee has successfully moved legislation key to industry.

    For example, Boxer successfully pushed through the Water Resources Development Act reauthorization bill this year. WRDA has long been a top priority for the construction and shipping industries, among others, since it provides billions in federal funding for public works projects such as levy construction and ship channel dredging. This year�s bill, which was vetoed by President Bush last month, included $20 billion in new federal spending.

    Similarly, Boxer�s committee is expected to pass a �technical corrections� bill making changes to the 2005 transportation authorization bill. The corrections measure, in addition to making modifications to the original law with millions of dollars for transportation firms across the country, also includes tens of millions in new spending, including a �mag-lev� railway project connecting the coast of California to Las Vegas.

    While lobbyists representing industries with business before Boxer�s committee declined to comment for this article, lobbyists and Democratic campaign strategists have noted a realignment now under way in Washington thanks to the 2006 elections that in many ways mirrors Boxer�s financial relationship with industry.

    For more than a decade, energy, natural resource and transportation industries and their PACs have tended to favor Republicans, who held control of Congress from 1994 through 2006, both in terms of spending and in whom they chose as lobbyists. But in the wake of the 2006 elections and the sudden ascendancy of Democrats to power in both chambers, those alliances have begun to shift.

    While Boxer has not shown any signs that her reliably progressive and pro-environmental positions are changing as a result of this new dynamic, one public interest advocate, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Boxer and other Democrats clearly have begun reaping the benefits of power. �It�s good to be queen,� this source said.

    Democratic Senate aides said the veteran lawmaker is in the early stage of gearing up for her 2010 re-election fight, which could include a high-profile � and prohibitively expensive � showdown with Schwarzenegger, and that the increases in her fundraising are a reflection of that reality.

    Kapolczynski acknowledged the specter of a Schwarzenegger run but noted that any statewide race in California is a costly affair and nothing should be read into her donation increases other than the fact that she is prepping for her next re-election campaign. As a result, �she needs to prepare for a really tough race,� she said.

    Although state GOP sources said it appears unlikely at this point Schwarzenegger will make a run for the Senate, one Republican strategist noted the governor is infamous for holding his plans close to the vest until the last moment.

    �This is a guy who didn�t tell hardly anyone he was going to run for governor until he did,� the strategist noted. �He likes surprise and likes the theatrics of it all. He will keep everyone guessing till bitter end, I think. [But] everything I�ve seen so far is focused on being governor.�





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-06 06:40 PM
    The local bar was so sure that its bartender was the strongest man...

    ... around that they offered a standing $1000 bet.

    The bartender would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass, and hand the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze one more drop of juice out would win the money.

    Many people had tried over time (weight-lifters, longshoremen, etc.) but nobody could do it.

    One day this scrawny little man came into the bar, wearing thick glasses and a polyester suit, and said in a tiny squeaky voice "I'd like to try the bet."

    After the laughter had died down, the bartender said OK, grabbed a lemon, and squeezed away. Then he handed the wrinkled remains of the rind to the little man.

    But the crowd's laughter turned to total silence as the man clenched his fist around the lemon and six drops fell into the glass.

    As the crowd cheered, the bartender paid the $1000, and asked the little man "what do you do for a living? Are you a lumberjack, a weight-lifter, or what?"

    The man replied "I work for the IRS."



    more...


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  • anilsal
    11-11 11:53 PM
    Totally right. Whenever anybody mentions immigration anywhere (be it in your neighborhood, streets, bus/train stations or your companies), just find out what the person understands about the immigration issue. The person will surely talk about illegal imm/amnesty.

    That is when you educate the person about legal immigration.

    There will be people like Lou, Joe Scarxxx etc who will muddle up our whole existence by associating our immigration with the ones from the southern borders.

    We have no comments on illegal immigration/amnesty.





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  • Cheran
    04-12 07:59 PM
    When in college students used to rag others just because they were ragged when they joined the college. It�s not because they want to, it is just because they went through it. Indian software companies are just like, I worked enough in software industry and I have even been on call 24 hours but the truth is, it was never 12 hours or 10 hours work every day. Yes, occasionally I had 12 hours work which is the same in every industry and I used to get calls in the middle of the night at least once or twice during the night, but its not 10 hours work everyday. We want to impress our boss by working 10 hours, that�s the truth; it�s not that your boss wants.

    Similarly, in India people go to work on Saturday not because they have work but to show their face to their PM. Even if God comes down and says that people in India work 10 hours everyday, I cannot believe it. They might be in office for 10-12 hours but that does not mean they are working. It is the people who should be blamed for this. Yesterday�s programmer or today�s PM, and they expect the programmer to be there in the office for 10 hours just because they went through it. I am an ex TCSer, things worked exactly as I said. It is never going to change. All these talks about stress and coding 10 hours straight come on.....:cool:


    On a side note
    There are serious health implications working on a sedentry job like software coding for long hours. You will notice it after you are 40. No company will give you your health back.
    I recently had a big conversation with the doctor about this when i went for my phhysicals. Doctors say the software engineer lifestyle where people work long long hours is not a good lifestyle. I explained to him that it is because people's green cards is tied up and they do it by compulsion.
    I have seen some people working continuously for days , weeks , months together. I have done that too. It is not a good thing to do. health is wealth and one must take care of it first.

    This is what happens in India where a lot of outsourcing is going on. Young engineers getting high pay and expected to work long hours "this seems to be an unofficial protocol" and thats how the whole industry has turned out to be.

    Here you have your weekends - save your weekends for yoruself. Go out enjoy. If your office calls ur cell switch it off or keep it on vibrate. Go and golf, watch broad way shows, play tennis , etc..

    I do not wish to deviate from the original topic. But just wanted to let you know that "Your health is your first priority"





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  • unitednations
    08-02 06:06 PM
    UN, you are God, thanks for the clear answers. I have one more, what are the reasons for I-140 denials, i.e what are the pitfalls to watch out for? Its been almost a year since I filed my I-140 in NSC and no response yet with a LUD of 10/6/2006, its troubling because my 7th yr H1 is expiring in a month and my lawyer wants to wait and see if the I-140 gets approved before then to file a 3 yr extension (we already applied the I-485). I am worried because of the potential of serious problems resulting from an unfavorable adjudication of my I-140.


    There is mainly two things for denial: ability to pay and person not meeting the education and experience requirement.

    Now; some of the things that USCiS goes after: close relative owning the compay; no registered office or just a virtual office in a particular fast processing state; too many 140's (ability to pay); in merger situations;not substantially all assets and liabilities were acquired by the successor entity (greencard labor rules in successor are different then h-1b situation).





    rvr_jcop
    03-26 09:13 PM
    If you go really far back; california service center when they were adjudicating 140's would the odd time deny a 140 because they didn't believe the intent of joining the company if a person was working in different location (when baltimore case came out; it helped in overturning these types of denials and they stopped doing it).

    Now; nebraska service center the odd time did question the intent at the 140 level and also at the 485 level. I haven't seen it much in last three years. However; the ones I did see (they were all approved; thanks to baltimore decision) were for companies which had filed labors in iowa. I believe that this was also one of the catalysts in looking at iowa companies of what is happening today.

    Thanks UN. Just a follow up question, how would you advise to cases where the labor was filed at client location and the employee shifted to another state right after the 140 approval. I guess in this case there is no chance of convincing USCIS about AC-21 invokation. How would you act if such query comes up? Or is there a chance to get this query these days at the time of 485 processing.? Thanks in advance. With this, I would have all my doubts clarified regarding the work location. And also, I hope it does to so many others.





    Saralayar
    08-05 11:14 AM
    What a Bull Sh** ?? Are you saying that ppl who have applied under eb2 are the only ones who satisfy the eb2 criteria and eb3s can not satisfy the eb2 criteria ??? Come on ...this eb2 and eb3 thing is highly abused by lawyers, employers or employees .. I guess, you are in eb2 but I am sure if you go line by line of the law to recheck your eb2 eligibility, you might not even qualify for eb10,11, etc ....
    Well said. But in a little rude way.



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