Saturday, July 9, 2011

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  • unitednations
    07-08 10:41 AM
    Hi,
    I applied for GC under schedule A in may06 .My husband filed as derivative.He received a notice of intent to denial last month .Reason being he did not have paystubs for a period of more than 6 months during 2000 and 2001.His employer at that time did not pay him even after he worked for 4 months then he took few more months to change his company(more than 180 days)In 2002 he went to India and came back .and in 2004 filed for a GC as primary petitioner and me as a derivative .last year he withdrew the petition after he received several RFE`S fearing the worst.Even though he no longer has GC filed as primary petitioner he received notice of intent to deny for the petion filed through me saying that his H1 was not legal as could`nt show proof for several months and that when he filed for AOS he used those years as work experience.
    and now another problem is I applied for EAD in march and have not received new ead.my old ead expired 10 days ago.and now Iam not working.
    We bought a house last year thinking that under schedule A we`ll get GC in no time.Now we know it is a terrible mistake.Now both of us can`t work and had to take my son out of daycare. and we have house payments to make.We put our house for sale weeks ago and so far no offers.I contacted local representative to expedite My EAD and also contacted USCIS to expedite it,
    citing financial burden.We are spending sleepless nights and have no clue what to do for my EAD and his AOS.pLEASE HELP.
    Did anyone face similar situation .Any suggestions are welcome.


    The other posters are correct in that they are telling you that your spouse is covered under section 245k. That is as long as a person hasn't overstayed an I-94 card by more then six months; no major criminal or health issues then everything is reset upon leaving and re-entering USA.

    However; USCIS officers try to find other ways to nail people when a person needs protections such as 245k.

    I have seen a couple of cases where people have had an i-140 denied due to education. They appealed and re-filed another 140 and in the eta 750b they omitted certain education diplomas that were listed in the first application. USCIS then accused them of fraud and a permanent barrier to getting greencard.

    Now; it looks like the officer is going down the same road on your husbands case. Accusing your husband of essentially fraud by claiming that he was working with a company listed in the g-325a biographical information when it appears to uscis that he wasn't working with them. 245k or any other part of immigration law which could protect him becomes difficult to use when they accuse you of fraud.

    To get a better grasp of things; you need to post the RFE's that he received on his original case (don't post general stuff but be specific) and what they are saying now. It will allow people to help you better assess the situation.





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  • gopinathan
    08-12 02:03 PM
    :D:D

    can't stop laughing.. thanks rsdang..

    (long pause)

    DJ: Folks, we need to take a station break





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  • abracadabra102
    07-14 08:47 PM
    Oh yes...today there are people who applied in early 2001(EB2-RIR) ...and waited untill end of 01 to get a NOD from DOL and then re-applied again in mid of 02 without retaining thier original PD of 01(EB3 Non RIR)..do you know?..most of you are from PERM that's why you are finding it odd ..!..DOL while sending back these cases did not let them retain thier PD's..

    we were qualified to apply in eb-2 and RIR and the economy and the WTC attacks made things worse..

    :)

    So what you are saying is - some EB2 RIR petitions were rejected by DOL and employers re-applied under regular supervised recruitment under EB3.

    How does this imply that "DOL advised some of us to file under EB3?"





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  • mallu
    01-28 02:38 AM
    There has never been a mention of the H1b visas approved and those that do not fall under the quota....

    This guy is just after his ratings nothing else...his book explicitly quotes that H1b and L1 visa holders do not pay any taxes and transfer all the money home. (CNN has a few hundreds of them on H1b)

    When there was a huge debate on illegal immigration he quoted he was all for legal immigration. The only way one can legally immigrate with skills is via H1b visa and he is against it.

    When the debate is on illegal immigration, the former immigrants and their descendants will chant "We love legal immigrants". When the focus shifts to legal immigration, suddenly they don't want any immigration. Their argument is "If bus is full , we don't need more passengers" . Likewise USA is "full" with former immigrants and their descendants , so don't need more immigration.
    If supply is squeezed somehow, the demand will increase. But poor fellows, if businesses can't get qualified numbers , it will accelerate outsourcing.



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  • unitednations
    07-08 06:10 PM
    Thanks!

    The outstanding questions, i guess, are:

    They allotted the visa numbers prior to actual approvals. This contravened their clearly stated policy. In fact the ombudsman mentions this policy and suggests change. If they allotted the numbers prematurely, and are still in the process of approving those petitions and sending out the decisions...should the numbers have remained current UNTIL THE LAST PETITION IS APPROVED?

    ---------------------this is an age old problem for uscis. If when a case is filed and they allocate a visa to it; then there would be a massive amount of visas that would go unused. A 2006 visa number cannot spill over to 2007 because the carryover effect is not available. If a person is stuck in name check, didn't get fingerprints; case got denied and is in appeal then that visa would be lost forever if it didn't get approved by the end of the fiscal year; and someone else wouldn't be able to file. You would only have forward movement of visa dates until beginning of next fiscal year when they release visas and then they could move them back to let other people file who just got their labors approved or follow to join, etc.


    ---------------------the current administration is fond of re-defining many things in law; they have re-defined torture; geneva conventions; bill of rights; even though those laws have not changed.

    ----------------------now they are re-defining the visa bulletin. Look back at June 2005; when eb3 visas went unavailable for july; they still allowed people to file until end of june. When October 2005 visa bulletin came out and eb2 india went back to 1998 they had used up all the visas by september but still allowed filing. When eb2 india went unavailable in August 2006 they still allowed people to file in July 2006.

    ----------------------therefore, the law hasn't changed but they have re-defined it. I haven't met anyone yet who actually had their case approved on the week-end. Just knowing systems the way I know them; they probably aren't allowed to do transactions on week-ends or holidays. Therefore, whatever happens on the week-end could have happened on the friday or the following monday. It will be interesting to see how many people actually get their greencard and it says "permanent reident since.... June 29, 30 or July 1".

    ----------------------the stakes were big enough for uscis that they were willing to re-define how they look at things. Hundreds of millions or billions of dollars would have been a big enough stake for uscis/dos to re-define the relevant laws/regulations and long standing process. Interesting thing is how would things have changed if the actual fee strcture went into affect on July 2. Maybe uscis wouldn't have been so overzealous in approving cases at lightning speeds.



    One could argue that per USCIS policy and stated process the visa numbers are still available till that day- a petition could be rejected at the last moment- sending a number back to the pool....

    the other question is- did they allot >81% of the numbers (27% per quarter) even before the fourth quarter began? Can they allot numbers on sunday while not accepting applications that day because they are "closed" thus denying petitioners from getting in while the numbers are current?

    i would be surprised if they went over the country cap- they have treated that as religion of late.


    ===============they definitely went over the country cap. EB1 ROW and EB2 row have never been retrogressed and eb3 row was retrogressed in June itself.


    the dates for india/china will only move after EB3 ROW becomes current. any ideas how far that is?

    ===============I was surpirsed myself in the perm labor filings. There is actually a very high number of cases filed by ROW people. ROW people will always get preference. 2007 ROW priority date in eb3 would get preference over the 2,802 person from india even if that person's date is 2003.






    see answers within text.





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  • Macaca
    05-09 05:49 PM
    Long-Prized Tech Visas Lose Cachet (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704810504576307342275841586.html) By MIRIAM JORDAN | Wall Street Journal

    A visa program designed to supply skilled foreign workers to companies in the U.S. has slowed sharply, attracting about 50% fewer petitions so far this year than last year, and 80% fewer than in 2009.

    Several factors have contributed to the decline in H-1B visas, including the lackluster pace of the U.S. recovery, more opportunities for skilled workers in their home nations and higher visa fees, which appear to have spurred Indian companies operating in the U.S. to seek fewer visas. Attacks on the program by congressional foes of U.S. immigration policies have also cast a shadow over it.

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told The Wall Street Journal this week that it received about 8,000 H-1B petitions from businesses in April, the first month the agency accepts them for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. That compares with 16,500 petitions in April 2010 and about 45,000 in April 2009, according to USCIS.

    "It's baffling that H-1Bs aren't picking up if the economy is stronger," said Steve Miller, a Seattle attorney who prepares petitions for employers in high tech, retail and other sectors.

    For years, the H-1B program was a mainstay for software companies, architecture firms and other businesses that seek foreign nationals to fill certain jobs. Demand for the visas by companies outstripped supply, and companies such as Microsoft Corp. lobbied the U.S. government to raise the cap on the number of visas.

    In 2008, employers snapped up all 65,000 visas allotted on the first day, April 1. But starting in 2009, after the financial crisis hit, the flow of applications has steadily diminished.

    The program, which enables foreigners to work in the U.S. for three to six years, was created as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 to help U.S. companies overcome a shortage of workers in specialty occupations, such as computer programming. Recently, the program has been attacked by lawmakers who say it displaces American workers and depresses wages.

    Supporters and opponents made their cases at a congressional hearing held March 31, the day before the federal government began accepting H-1B applications.

    At the House Subcommittee on Immigration, a critic of the program, Ronil Hira, highlighted that Indian companies operating in the U.S., such as Infosys, Tata and Wipro, are among the biggest H-1B users, and that they're bringing in foreigners with ordinary skills.

    In an interview, Mr. Hira, a professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, said that "because of loopholes, employers can bring in cheaper foreign workers to substitute for American workers and undercut their wages."

    His research indicates only about a third of all H-1B visa holders are "really highly skilled or graduates of U.S. universities who would be eventually sponsored for green cards," or permanent U.S. residency, by their employers. Employers have said that the program enables them to tap top talent, whom they seek to hire permanently down the road.

    Supporters of the program, including high-tech firms and industry groups, say it attracts foreign talent that spawns innovation and creates jobs in the U.S. They cite former H-1B holders such as Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and Vinod Dham, an engineer behind Intel Corp.'s Pentium chip, as proof of its value.

    Vivek Wadhwa, a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley who studies immigrant entrepreneurs, said that an anti-immigrant climate had made it "a liability to hire H-1Bs," and that this will gradually chip away at U.S. global competitiveness, because the country has a dearth of homegrown engineers and scientists.

    Moreover, Mr. Wadhwa said that foreign nationals who obtain U.S. degrees were more likely than ever to return home. "Ten to 15 years ago, by default, you'd want to be in America, because you had more opportunities. Now, you can do much, much better at home," he said.

    In a survey of more than 250 Indian and Chinese entrepreneurs published last month, Mr. Wadhwa and co-researcher AnnaLee Saxenian, also of Berkeley, found that the majority of those who returned to their native countries believed they were faring better overall than they would have in the U.S.

    Nutan Kunduri, a software engineer who stayed in the U.S. on an H-1B visa after completing her studies, said she decided to accept a job offer in India less than a year into working in Silicon Valley.

    "Ten years back, I had this 'nothing will change in our country' attitude," she said. A recent visit to India made her realize that "for an IT professional like me, India is the place to be, with its booming tech industry."

    Abhinav Tripati, a software engineer with a U.S. company in Boston, also plans to return to India, where salaries are slightly lower but the cost of living is significantly cheaper. "I see my friends back home enjoying most of the comforts of Western life," he said, with the added bonus of being close to friends and aging parents. "We can't often bring our parents to the U.S., as it's getting difficult to obtain visas for them," he said.

    Some immigration attorneys believe companies are taking their time to file H-1B petitions because the 65,000 quota is unlikely to be exhausted soon. The cost and bureaucracy of applying is another deterrent. Last year, Congress passed a law that adds an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions that had cost $325. All told, lawyers' fees, filing fees and other expenses can reach $9,000 a applicant.

    "HR people are aware there's no rush on H-1Bs," said Julie Pearl, an immigration lawyer in San Francisco.



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  • gc_chahiye
    08-03 02:05 PM
    ... going from consulting companies to "permanent jobs"; .... all of these things add a lot of complexities.

    huh? another shocker (atleast for me): what is the issue with using AC21 to go from a consulting job to a permanent one? As long as title and duties say the same. If I am consulting at a client site, cant I use AC21 to join them fulltime 6 months down the line? My duties etc remain exactly the same.





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  • Keeme
    12-18 05:02 PM
    be it Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan Somalia,Darfur,Chechnya, Kashmir, Gujarat... everywhere muslims are killed for being muslims...noone goes to cuba,srilanka,north korea,zimbawe or whereever for watever reason...just imagine God forbid someone comes into your house, occupies it, kills your family, your brothers and sisters in front of you and kicks you out of your home and you are seeing no hope of justice... you wont stand outside your home sending flowers like munna bhai's gandhigiri.. trust me you will become a terrorist.


    Palestine -
    Iraq - Aren't you glad to see people are free from dictatorship of Saddam ?
    Afghanistan - Can you name a place on earth which is worst than this country ?Have you seen video how they treat woman ? Have you seen how school girls were thrown acid for attending a school ? Help Nato/ US/ other country to help those poor souls.

    Somalia
    Darfur - Do you really know what is going there ? I wonder why not Middle-east country has come forward to stop that killing so far.
    Chechnya
    Kashmir - More, (may be 1000:1 ratio) pundits/Hindus have been killed there. As I have heard, they had cut 100s Hindu women's **** and hanged in line in main street ! Can you imagine being refugees in your home country !

    Gujarat... - Get your facts clear.Muslims are much safer/prosperous in this state. Riots were normal for all of you till the killed Hindus numbers were higher than killed Muslims. some 1000 local were killed in 2002 including 400 + Hindus. People do not mention what happened before in that burning train and 100 + pilgrims were burnt alive.

    Accept that there is a problem and fight how you can change it. Today some one is become victim, tomorrow it will be your turn. Doesn't matter where you are from/which religion follow.



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  • xyzgc
    01-03 06:20 PM
    Smash terror hideouts says Abdul Kalam.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Smash_terror_hideouts_Kalam_/articleshow/3931768.cms





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  • unitednations
    07-09 10:55 AM
    Must an H-1B alien be working at all times? (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=a62bec897643f010VgnVCM1000000ecd190aRCR D&vgnextchannel=1847c9ee2f82b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1 RCRD)

    As long as the employer/employee relationship exists, an H-1B alien is still in status. An H-1B alien may work in full or part-time employment and remain in status. An H-1B alien may also be on vacation, sick/maternity/paternity leave, on strike, or otherwise inactive without affecting his or her status.

    Honestly; uscis/dos don't care much for this. Maternity is a pretty good reason and is verifiable.

    Other then that; department of state; uscis don't care for it much. They have enough data on companies that if it happened to a person in one quarter then ok. However, if there are a number of people who fit the profile then it gives less credibility.

    I'll give you an example: DOL comes to investigate a particular person whom DOS has referred. Now; they go through the whole list of people (they actually do this); and see that every person who arrived into the country was on bench for three months...gives less credibility to the person's argument.



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  • texcan
    08-05 01:27 PM
    And if you feel your esteemed queue is getting bigger you are more than welcome to leave this place.

    And Sir dontcareanymore, who are you to show people out.

    Please calm down, its ok if someone has ideas that donot match 100% to your ideas; your decency is in letting people speak and hear them still.

    friend.....Donot get angry, please.

    what a pity, we donot let anyone talk, speak unless they agree with us and we call ourselves educated, democratic....voice of immigration....
    may i dare say ...."we are not even close"..

    lets not fight, please. I am not blaming you sir, but the action. so please
    donot blast me, i know you are a wonderful person; i am blaming the action not you.





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  • mrane1
    04-07 02:45 AM
    :p

    I had no idea my two humble posts would stir up such a hornets' nest among the desi junta here. I certainly see more "bears" coming out of their hibernation now that spring is here :).

    OK, I admit that I am also in the camp that really wants to buy a house and "settle down" in a good area with good schools for my kids. The mythical "nesting instinct" is alive and well here. I am obsessed with the real estate market, and am constantly watching real estate porn as my wife calls it, i.e., surfing on ziprealty.com and redfin.com trying to spot good deals.

    However, the reality is that I am scared sh*tless of the market right now. I do not want to burn my hard earned equity in the form of a good 20% plus downpayment. If you are in the same situation as I am, then I would offer the following practical suggestions to help you cope with the situation:

    1. Rent a house/townhouse/condo from private parties instead of an apartment complex to help you understand the responsibilities and expenses of homeownership.

    2. If renting an apartment in an area with moderate schools, and have school age kids, instead of trying to chase the dream of building equity in a house in an area with good public schools, in the short run, consider sending your kids to a decent private school. The cost of added property taxes in case of home purchase would alone balance out the high monthly payments of private schooling, with probably better "return on investment" at a private school.

    3. Feel good about renting an apartment: You should not succumb to peer pressure and try to keep up with the Janardhan's (OK, bad joke, "Joneses") and buy a house just because other people took the plunge at the wrong time. Your time will come. Just be patient. Not to be taken lightly is the fact that in the month of April we celebrate Earth Day - think positively about all the energy you are saving living in an apartment with shared utilities with other people living in the complex. A house is a big energy guzzler (although I am sure an enjoyable one!) in all respects - more heating and cooling costs, more water used (esp. in summer with lawn watering), more greenhouse gas emissions from your individual lawn mower, leaf blower, and snow blower (can you picture yourself mowing your lawn or riding the snow blower in your lungi :D- OK this joke is getting old)...

    4. More quality time spent at home with the kids - when you are not having to do chores around a big house. A house seems to take up a lot of maintenance time, not to mention time spent cleaning/vacuuming /dusting the entire 3000 sq ft area and otherwise maintaining the 1/4 acre yard. You could instead spend a lot of quality time with your kids doing projects/homework/art work with them and being a kid again yourself. In a house it is more likely that unless you have kids big enough to help you do those chores for some incentive, your kids will be watching Dora and Diego while you are cleaning up.

    All in all, I think there are many positives to look forward to while you save money renting, and like I said before, when the time is nigh, you will have your turn. You will also by then, hopefully have your green cards in hand and may even be able to move to a more desirable city or other states looking for better work opportunities and where your downpayment savings will take you farther in getting you more for your buck.

    Cheers!

    "Real estate porn".... I just burst out laughing... Yeah I am a hardcore RE porn lover! I have been studying the market since 2004... I even got my GC in sept (although my wife is still stuck in name check... hopefully now that she is current again we might get the news!). So anywho, I completely agree with you junglee. Something tells me that you are an old timer who saw the 2001 crash unfold. I currently live in BA and I am shocked to see even desis spread so thin its really hard for me to fathom how they sleep at night. Many are just a few paychecks away from foreclosure... So did you invest in any of the inverse ETFs such as SRS, SKF, DXD, SDS?



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  • waitnwatch
    06-01 09:16 AM
    jkays

    my comment was all tongue in cheek. My only point is that Lou comes off as more conservative than Shaun Hannity and isn't that something.

    Even then, in his previous avatar, wasn't Lou licking the boots of the corporates! How come he has gone off in a diametrically opposite direction.





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  • satishku_2000
    05-16 06:30 PM
    It is very simple -- the 'consulting on the bench' business is ILLEGAL. You can have any opinion on it you wan't, but the bottom line is it is against the law. If you can't meet the legal requirements, you shouldn't be here in the first place.

    And what do you think about the skilled and HONEST people in this world, finding a job and having an H-1B petition submitted on their behalf, only to see all the H-1Bs go in a single day due to the consultants? My sympathy goes to these people instead of any 'consultant'.

    It is amazing that people don't seem to grasp the concept of something being ILLEGAL, and instead seem to rely on some self-perceived logic as to what they can and can't do. Let us focus on the illegal clogging of the system and restore it to the otherwise great visa program it was meant to be.

    What are the SKILLS that are so unique to you in the world? What makes you think everyone is less HONEST and less SKILLED than you are?

    I have seen in many cases why companies wants consultants is because consultants are much more skilled than their regular employees and companies are willing to pay a premium for consulting services.



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  • ca_immigrant
    06-23 03:55 PM
    I'm surprised nobody is even considering the other aspect i.e. the pleasure to live in your own house. We people are living in US in a small sized appt. while we bought houses in India, which is on rent. You will never know the pleasure of living in your own space...

    in agreement.....there is definately pleasure in living in your own house....





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  • transpass
    03-26 07:01 PM
    Does this mean that H1B is also location specific?

    As far as I know, yes it is...I remember doing H1 myself few years ago and the LCA form has prevailing wage rate section. As we know, the wage rates differ from place to place and so since H1 is based on prevailing wage rate on LCA, then H1 is also location specific. Even though LCA form has been changed since then, I think it still holds true...



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  • validIV
    06-26 10:32 AM
    I have only one sentence to say ..watch the movie "pacific heights" ..I was watching it now and that is a perfect movie for those who intend to rent their homes.

    LOL. Why dont you throw in Armageddon, Knowing and Deep Impact. Those are also valid points since thats what can happen to the earth tommorow or the day after.

    Investment carries risk. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. I have lost money on other investments before, but that is what makes u grow smarter. You fall and you get back up and you know better the next time round.

    If you spend the rest of your life renting, the risk is 100%�you end up with nothing. I will take my chances investing my money in buying a home because its certainly better than losing 100%.





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  • nojoke
    04-16 12:03 PM
    hi NKR,
    if you went for a townhome and you are happy then it is fine. I am sure you are a smart person and the main point is that you are happy where you are.
    personally I am looking for a bigger place in alpharetta (where prices did go up a lot and is coming down ..websites show that there are foreclosures and my view is that I will find better deals in a year or so). at the same time I am happy with my decision and am having a great time.
    I was giving examples of some of my friends who rushed to buy. atleast 2 of them are repenting now (since they bought it far away at v.high prices) ..and one of them is about to sell it after staying there for a year.
    the point that nojoke and myself were making is that speculators (and careless people - those who could not afford but bought it, realtors, brokers etc etc) have pushed the prices to bubble territory. things are going to get much worse before it becomes better in most locations. there is no doubt about this. The other reason that I (and I guess nojoke) posted so many links was in good faith. i.e. we didn't want the hardworking immigrant to throw his/her money in a rush. this would only help the speculators and the other irresponsible speculators.
    let me make one last point since this is immi / GC forum. I was trying to get more support for the idea to have a plan B (and I failed ..which is fine since I may get GC soon and I have a plan B for myself).
    I agree (And hope) that IV has a good plan A (writing to senators, fasting , flowers etc) ..what I tried to say was that we should work on plan B (and maybe plan C too). if I was a core IV member then at the very least plan B would have meant ..meeting (or emailing - wherever and whenever it is legal) realtors, brokers or even senators etc etc ...and in turn use their lobby to lobby for our cause. if all the IV members were to do this at their local level --then who knows ..this may work. it is certainly worth trying.
    from what I have read builders are big contributors to congress ..

    I have debated this with myself. I don't know if this is practical. How many of us are there who wants to buy a house? 500K at the most? For the first 3 months alone, this year, there are 500K foreclosures. I know every bit helps. But the problem is not that there are not people to buy. The price is too high. We probably can influence the local realtors. Just go to them and then back off saying that you are uncomfortable buying without green card. If a lot of us does that, the message will go up and maybe they will talk to law makers. Realtors are desperate...
    I don't know how we execute this.





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  • Macaca
    12-29 07:52 PM
    Foreign dignitaries chafe at TSA policies (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/22/AR2010122205461.html) By Colum Lynch | Washington Post

    Hardeep Singh Puri, India's ambassador to the United Nations, last month ran headfirst into a controversial new Transportation Security Administration inspection policy for many foreign travelers.

    At the airport in Austin, TSA agents demanded to inspect his turban. Puri is a Sikh, whose religion requires that the turban, or dastar, be worn in public to cover uncut hair. Puri refused the TSA order, citing an agency exception that allows Sikhs to pat down their own turbans to avoid intrusive searches and then have their hands tested for possible explosives.

    The situation escalated when TSA agents initially ignored Puri's protestations and said they would decide what the rules are, according to an official traveling with the ambassador.

    Puri told an Indian newspaper that the issue was resolved in about 20 minutes after he asked a supervisor to intervene.

    The incident underscores the sometimes bumpy relationship between the TSA and foreign delegations traveling to the United States in an era of heightened security.

    Diplomats are required to submit to searches, which intensified for many foreign travelers to the United States in January. The TSA put in place special procedures for greater scrutiny of individuals from 14 countries, most of them Muslim, prompting complaints from Muslim governments. (India was not on the list.)

    In April, "enhanced random security measures" for all passengers were put into effect - including pat-downs, sniffing dogs and more rigorous explosives testing. And last month, the TSA approved even more invasive body searches, which posed particularly sensitive issues for passengers with certain religious beliefs and medical issues.

    For globe-trotting diplomats, the U.S. government has offered since 2007 a list of "tips" to help them get through "the screening process easily and efficiently." It advises foreign dignitaries to carry two sets of credentials and warns that "screening may include a hand-wanding procedure and pat-down inspection." Searches, the memo says, will be conducted out of public view.

    The episode involving Puri has roiled sensibilities in India, where Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna complained this month about the TSA's pat-downs of Meera Shankar, the country's ambassador to the United States. Krishna said Shankar was frisked twice in three months, most recently when she was pulled aside at the Jackson, Miss., airport and subjected to a body search by a female TSA agent.

    "Let me be very frank that this is unacceptable," Krishna said.

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the State Department would look into the matter and try to take steps to avoid such international incidents.

    State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a statement: "The threat to aviation is a global challenge and every airport in the world is wrestling with how to best protect the flying public with as little friction as possible. We are all in this together. Our citizens are affected and those of other countries. Our diplomats are impacted, so are the diplomats of other countries. These situations in this country are certainly not unique."

    A TSA spokesman defended the treatment of Puri and Shankar. The overwhelming majority of 2 million U.S. air travelers, the official said, have had a positive experience using the nation's airports.

    Puri "was not required to remove his turban, and our officers worked with him to complete screening according to established procedures," said spokesman Nicholas Kimball. "We will continue working with our officers to reinforce all established policies, including those pertaining to the respectful screening of religious headwear and clothing."

    Kimball also said that a review of Shankar's pat-down in Jackson demonstrated that the TSA agents "followed proper procedure."

    "United States airport security policies accommodate those individuals with religious, medical or other reasons for which the passenger cannot or wishes not to remove a certain item of clothing," Kimball added. "For religious headwear, a passenger can pat the item down themselves and then have their hand tested for traces of explosive residue."

    In March, a State Department goodwill tour of the United States for a delegation of Pakistani lawmakers backfired after the group was asked to submit to additional screening on a flight from Washington to New Orleans. The lawmakers refused to board. The Pakistani army recalled a military delegation from Washington after the officers were subjected to what it called "unwarranted" searches.

    Many of the incidents involve domestic flights at airports where TSA agents may have less exposure to foreign fliers than those at major international airports. One U.N. official, an American citizen of South Asian extraction, traveling with his American wife and children, said he often gets pulled aside for pat-downs and "random searches."

    He said his youngest daughter recently recalled her memories of a flight: "I remember, we go on the airplane, and I take my shoes off, and you take your shoes off, and the men take Papa away and touch him everywhere," the girl told her mother.

    But other diplomats from South Asia say they have had no trouble with the TSA.

    Anwarul Chowdhury, a former Bangladeshi ambassador to the United Nations, said he has traveled without problems for more than a decade as a foreign and U.N. official. He recently returned from a trip to Spain without incident. "We had smooth sailing," he said. "My wife also wears a sari all the time. I don't wear a turban, but I think they were extremely courteous, very nice."





    nixstor
    11-12 08:26 PM
    Amen, brother/sister! Where are these half million people? 500,000 divided by 50 states makes for 10000 in each state (on an average; although I doubt that Alaska and Hawaii have that many, while states like NY, CA, NJ, IL, FL, TX, PA must beat the mean for sure, but still). 6500 ain't enough!


    Ha haa.. I tell you what.. It could be either of these

    1) Its not their preference RIGHT NOW, It will become their preference after some time 2 yrs, 3yrs

    2) They are complacent with what they do RIGHT NOW. H1B worker life style in their native country compared to life style in America. Yeaa.. I am happpy happpy.. 2 or 3 yrs

    3) They live on a day to day basis. Why bother about tommorow?

    4) Whatever! some one will do some thing. If some thing were to happen it will happen.

    Its the last one that I hate, c mon folks.. wake up and do something for your self. I feel that most of the people in these forums have already spent enough time (on avg 3.5 yrs??) waiting and the people not on here are the ones who havent spent that considerable wait of 3 to 4 yrs. Most of the people I see every day are in group 4. They consider IV forums as a great resource to get suggestions for their situation, nothing more unfortunately.





    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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