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  • chanduv23
    03-24 03:15 PM

    Ganguteli, it seems you are confusing two things at the same time.

    What USCIS is now doing is going by the strict interpretation of the rule and when they start doing that lots of cases that fall in the gray area and were ignored in the past are now being looked into more closely. I read in one of the forums that an applicant�s 140 was rejected because in an H1 which he applied in early 2000 he had a different job description of an earlier job than the one he had on his 140 Petition. Who would have thought that USCIS would ever go back and pull out a resume from an application that was filled for H1-B in 2000 and compare the resume for 140 you are filling in 2009. In the last few years USCIS has spent a lot of money on technology. They I believe have scanned all the past applications, which can now be linked to all your immigration benefits you are filling for. It�s become a lot easier for an IO to pull out all the past information- like all your H1-B petitions, your 140 petitions today if they wish too when you apply say for an EAD renewal. The sad fact is that USCIS is a blackhole where they can sit on your application for years or decades while you suffer while you cannot do much. Yes you can go to a senator/Congressman or write letters, but if your application is pending with a smart IO who did not like your complaining to the Senator, he can make your life difficult by asking documents after documents before making a decision on your application, while the senator cannot interfere with the process. Welcome to the world of bureaucracy.

    It all depends on the IO who deals with your case.

    We can find tonnes of discrepancies if we want to with any case.

    Most of us here discuss consulting companies - but it is just not consulting companies that are suffering. Sometime back, TSC changed its original interpretation that MBBS is equivalent to masters degree and denied EB2 140s for Physicians from India. This has been or is being corrected.

    I had been doing some enquiring about h1b visas for physicians - and figured out that there are now a lot of issues - especially on interpretations of offer letter, type of institution, kind of work etc and a h1b petitions are also being denied for Physicians - and once again Attorneys are handling these issues.

    It is obvious that things are tightening up. So one must be potentially ready to face challenges and overcome them

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  • insbaby
    03-24 04:34 PM
    (my final thoughts ...)
    I am from bombay -- and actually we had more fun in the buildings / apartments because you end up spending more time outdoors with friends.

    I agree with you. But not all the people have the same luxury here as you may or may not see an apartment fills with people you look for and who can stay for a while at the same place, except bay area and couple of other areas filled up nationals of same countries. But surely not all over the country.

    So it is not a bad thing to move to a community if you find all in one place.

    Ofcourse, this is not to force everyone to buy a home and practically that is not possible.

    This is for someone who knows that he has plans to go with the current company for sometime and ready to buy a home, but just waiting, waiting and waiting........ for GC to do that.

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  • H1B-GC
    02-21 12:24 PM
    But this *****(offensive word deleted) has 800,000 Viewers on his Show.Gets $6 Million From CNN and lives in a 300 Acre Home in Sussex County, New Jersey.:eek:

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  • file485
    07-08 09:24 AM
    Please post URL of this file. Thanks!

    googled it and found the link..it might be helpful to many folks..



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  • mariner5555
    03-24 12:01 AM
    I live in NJ close to the cherry hill area and i am looking to buy only in Burlington county. I have been living here for about 9 years now and so far haven't thought of investing here. I invested in india and the investment appreciated 4 times or more so i am happy about the decision. I actually needed a bigger place now and i am not seeing that as a investment but if it turns out that way that's fine with me. I just wanted to find out what are people's experiences with the house escpecially for those who are under H1/EAD. well the experience that I gave above was as good as I could since it was told to me in person. it all depends on yr long term horizon .....do u think u will be in NJ for a long time ? if yes and if u are getting a good deal, then house makes sense - price of house would always go up by the cost of inflation + 1 percent (except during bubble burst ..like now) - and I guess RE in NJ will always be in demand ..but u would know better.
    house is definitely better in many many respects --
    if u don't see it as an investment -- then why not ..take the plunge !!
    The only problem that I have (in my case) is GC !! and the fact that prices went up by average of 10% during last 4 - 5 years - which is craziness (And as we know now - a bubble). I for one am not a sucker who wants to pay high for an asset than it is actually worth..in most areas in US atleast --land is plenty and time it takes to build infrastructure is less . demand is low and will be low -- and I don't think of renting as throwing money (did extensive research on the same) - as of now I am happy as I have lot more time on hand , commutes are shorter and the money that I save - I am investing aggresively in stocks etc. here is a latest article about home prices - I guess bottom in 2009 feb ?
    Even as sales have plunged, more supply has come on the market, from home builders, foreclosed homes, and from owners who need or want to sell. It'll take a year at least to work off the excess supply, which is driving prices lower.
    Falling home prices could be keeping some buyers on the sidelines, waiting for a better deal. But prices have already fallen significantly, which means more potential buyers can find an affordable house.
    The two major home price indexes will be released on Tuesday by Standard & Poor's and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. S&P's Case-Shiller index will probably see a decline of 11% in the 12 months ending in January, down from 9% through December, according to economists at UBS.
    Futures markets predict home prices will fall another 14% by next February, UBS said.


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  • delax
    07-13 12:13 PM
    I agree with that...spillover should have a releif to highly retrogressed also.Common 2001 EB3 is still hanging when will we get our solution.EAD is not a GC.This not relief.I understand unity is required here ,but how aboutEB3
    .Even we need required justice.
    Atleast we can address the problem.

    At the risk of differing with you and inviting unflattering comments from others, but to benefit a healthy debate, I beg to differ that spill over should go to the most retrogressed at the expense of a difference in skill, training and experience level. As you probably may know, EB2 does require a different and arguably more enhanced skill, traninig and experience level than EB3.

    If you beleive in the principle that in a land of meritocracy the higher skilled should have an easier path to immigrate then EB2 should always get a preference over EB3 regardless of country of birth so long as the ROW demand within the same category has been satisfied.

    Understand, that this definition of EB3 and EB2 is all on paper. I am not saying that all EB2 are 'smarter' than EB3 and vice versa, but the letter/intent of the law is what it is.

    Sounds harsh and heirarchical but is true. Obviously I have a vested interest in a favorable interpretation of the law and I welcome the spill over to EB2-I. This does have a flip side if you are EB3-I, but look at a few bulletins from last year/early this year where EB2-I was unavailable and EB3 still was current and/or had a cut off date for a ROW/retro country.


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  • CreatedToday
    01-07 07:11 PM
    From Forum Moderator

    We are forced to caution you that any use of profanity on the public forums, including when quoting others, will result in immediate ban from this forum without any further warning.

    Thank you for your understanding,



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  • dixie
    02-02 01:17 PM
    You seriously think Lou does not know that ? I would expect a former anchor of CNN Money to know the basics of US tax laws. Alas, he also knows the average americans who view his show are too lazy to do any research by themselves - all this is a deliberate misinformation campaign to make the middle class angry and believe immigrants are responsible for their perceived decline in standard of living. In the process his ratings are going through the roof, and of course CNN doesn't have a problem with that. What to expect from such a person ? We are lucky he is yet to blame immigrants for the mess in Iraq (he has even blamed them for the mess after hurricane katrina !!!!!).

    this info is for lou dobbs and he can search for this information in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (for all the middle-class that can get free information, most likey coded by an H1B)

    [edit] Taxation status of H-1B workers
    H-1B workers are legally required to pay the same taxes as any other US resident, including Social Security and Medicare.[2] Any person who spends more than 183 days in the US in a calendar year is a tax resident and is required to pay US taxes on their worldwide income. From the IRS perspective, it doesn't matter if that income is paid in the US or elsewhere. If an H-1B worker is given a living allowance, it is treated the same by the IRS as any other US resident. In some cases, H-1B workers pay higher taxes than a US citizen because they are not entitled to certain deductions (eg. head of household deduction amongst many others). Some H-1B workers are not eligible to receive any Social Security or Medicare benefits unless they are able to adjust status to that of permanent resident.[3] However, if their country of citizenship has a tax agreement with the United States, they are able to collect the Social Security they've earned even if they don't gain permanent residency there. Such agreements are negotiated between the United States and other countries, typically those which have comparable standards of living and public retirement systems


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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-23 02:19 PM
    hey buddy are they digging your case just because you worked for the top 5 indian IT and does it start with a "S*****" , just wondering are they digging up all those who worked for them?

    well..you hit nail..yes..I initially worked with that company that started with S**..but I changed them after 1 year after coming to US

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  • prolegalimmi
    07-11 02:44 PM
    Dear unitednations,

    If you are the same person that abounded the immigrationportal dot com website.....my sincere thanks to you again for helping me out a long time back...!

    Good to see you here...please stay on !!


    I'll tell you how I did it:

    1) USCIS administrative appeals office decisions (can be found by navigating around USCIS.GOV

    2) USCIS memos/interpretations/policies (can also be found on uscis)

    3) Go to department of state web-site. Navigate around it and you will find links to their procedures and interpretations

    4) monitor the forums and see postings

    5) immigration portal used to have links or summaries to AILA liaision minutes with service centers

    6) people used to send me their rfe's, denials and what they lawyers did to get them into the mess. Basically learning how people got into a mess and what uscis did to catch them or to deny their cases

    7) go to dol.gov and look for foreign labor certification; there are FAQ's on perm labors and h-1b

    8) go to uscis.gov and read the INA and CFR's


    If a person is used to reading laws and understanding the hierarchy and then intertwining uscis procedure along with the various service center procedure then you will start to get a clearer understanding.

    All of the information is public. Don't rely on what your friend told you as they usually only know what someone else told them.

    I had a non compete agreement when I left my employer and couldn't work for one year. During that year; I had nothing to do other then watch tv and watch the portal. No matter how small a question was asked/posted I researched it through all the sources I mentioned above.

    Finally; don't do what you think is right or "gut feeling"...

    Research it; research it and research it some more. Sometimes what you read at first glance; you make a conclusion to your own benefit without understanding all the other laws/policies/procedures that override it.


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  • pani_6
    07-14 08:13 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..


    That's exactly what I was wondering about! Did anybody get a rejection letter from *DOL* advising them to apply in EB3 instead? It's hard for me to believe DOL was ever that helpful!

    And if they did not hear it from DOL and did this on their attorney's/employer's advise sending out this letter may spell trouble for the sender. You are basically sending out a signed letter stating that you tried to get labor approved for one category, failed and then applied in a lower category for exactly same job to work your way around the rejection. I'm not sure on how solid legal ground we will be if this be the case. Job requirements are supposed to be what they are and not what is "approvable". Remember recent Fragomen audit?

    Now before labeling this as yet another FUD from EB2 please understand that I'm not saying that you should or shouldn't send out the letter. Just that we should consult someone qualified in immigration law to make sure we are not inviting more troubles than what we are already in.

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  • Macaca
    05-09 05:50 PM
    �Big Stick 306� and China�s Contempt for the Law (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/06/opinion/06fri3.html) New York Times Editorial

    China�s harassment of human rights activists and the lawyers who defend them is well known. But Beijing�s contempt for the law doesn�t stop there. It is increasingly harassing and jailing lawyers who represent criminal defendants. As a result, many have become too fearful to collect evidence or provide their clients a robust defense.

    Li Zhuang went on trial last month for allegedly fabricating evidence in support of one of his clients. As Ian Johnson reported in The Times, many in China believe the lawyer was framed for pushing back against corruption. Three days later, prosecutors dropped the charges, likely because the case had drawn so much attention at home and abroad. But Mr. Li remains in prison for a previous conviction on a similar made-up charge and Caixin, a Chinese news Web site, reported that a law firm where Mr. Li worked remains �under criminal investigation.�

    Criminal lawyers in China have long spoken of �Three Difficulties�: how hard it is for them to meet with clients, collect evidence about their cases and review the evidence gathered by the prosecution. Now, the phrase is used to describe how risky it is to do the work � period.

    They point in particular to article 306 of China�s Criminal Law � �Big Stick 306� � that they say gives prosecutors unlimited power to intimidate lawyers and derail defenses. Any defense lawyer accused of fabricating evidence or inducing a witness to change his testimony, as Mr. Li was, can be immediately detained, arrested and prosecuted for perjury. Although the majority of lawyers prosecuted have been acquitted, the long, demeaning process of investigation is severe punishment.

    Sida Liu and Terence Halliday, who study the Chinese legal system, estimate hundreds of defense lawyers have been prosecuted under �Big Stick 306.� They say it is why �the vast majority of Chinese lawyers do not collect their own evidence in criminal cases.�

    If lawyers don�t gather evidence to defend clients, they lack a critical tool for making sure the state applies its power fairly. China can make no claim to seriousness about the rule of law until it guarantees the rights of lawyers to do their job.

    Beijing Blames Foreigners for Its Fears of Unrest (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/09/world/asia/09china.html) By EDWARD WONG AND JONATHAN ANSFIELD | THE NEW YORK TIMES
    Two Chinese journalists missing, feared detained (http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3178&Itemid=206) By Committee to Protect Journalists | Asia Sentinel
    No spies and crime on TV, please. We�re Chinese (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/asia-pacific/no-spies-and-crime-on-tv-please-were-chinese/article2012273/) Globe and Mail
    China sets up agency to tighten grip on Internet (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/tech-news/china-sets-up-agency-to-tighten-grip-on-internet/article2009972/) Reuters
    The empty talk of Wen Jiabao (http://atimes.com/atimes/China/ME06Ad01.html) By Kent Ewing | Asia Times
    China should honor its own human rights laws (http://www.chinapost.com.tw/commentary/the-china-post/frank-ching/2011/05/04/301024/China-should.htm) By Frank Ching | China Post


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  • sumanitha
    01-07 06:23 PM
    Dear Rayyan..

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    One thing you need to know is there is no wrong to worship male's organ.. If that doesnt work.. no matter what.. your l(w)ife is sucked..

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  • vinabath
    03-26 09:59 AM
    If I make money from a due to a piece of information or knowledge directly obtained from biggerpockets, I'll buy you a beer! :D

    Atleast I could sqeeze a beer from you ;)


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  • alien2006
    08-11 12:55 PM
    dont know about lou's total viewership but every day his online polls have less than 15,000 respondents


    i m sure its basically everybody who is a member of numbersusa, fair and other nut job establishments

    The less we talk about his polls the better. Notice how every poll of his is swung to one end of the spectrum. His polls are the most ridiculous thing on the face of the planet.

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  • manub
    07-08 09:39 PM
    Thank You for all the support.
    I couldn`t reply any sooner.I was busy with Open house( a whole lot of scrubbing and cleaning).
    I cannot post the contents of the RFE`s as most of the info is private and not appropriate for the public forum.But the info I got from the forum so far has been helpful.
    What we are trying to do now is to get appointments with atleast 2 other attorneys(murthy and khanna) .our current Lawyer responded to our questions on a sunday .Not many lawyers do that. and we have only 2 weeks to respond Once we get some answers we`ll go from there.
    Our case is very complex.I don`t want other members be discouraged by the amount of papers uscis requested.Not every one gets this unlucky.They asked for all w2`s,first and last paystubs with each employer and federal tax returns.Rule of thumb don`t discard any paper that you ever submitted to uscis and all your employment records.
    I will keep you posted.
    thank you again.


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  • rsdang
    08-11 04:44 PM
    Lesson 1:

    A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.
    The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
    Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that towel, "
    After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.
    The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.
    When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, "Who was that?"
    "It was Bob the next door neighbor," she replies.
    "Great," the husband says, "did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"

    Moral of the story
    If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time,you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.


    Lesson 3:

    A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out.
    The Genie says, "I'll give each of you just one wish."
    "Me first! Me first!" says the admin clerk. "I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world."
    Puff! She's gone.
    "Me next! Me next!" says the sales rep. "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.."
    Puff! He's gone.
    "OK, you're up," the Genie says to the manager.
    The manager says, "I want those two back in the office after lunch."

    Moral of the story
    Always let your boss have the first say.


    Lesson 4:

    An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing?"
    The eagle answered: "Sure , why not."
    So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

    Moral of the story
    To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.


    Lesson 5:

    A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey,"but I haven't got the energy."
    "Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull.
    They're packed with nutrients."
    The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
    The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.
    Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

    Moral of the story
    BullShit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.


    Lesson 6:

    A little bird was flying south for the Winter.It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was.
    The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
    A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.
    Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him..

    Morals of this story

    (1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.

    (2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend..

    (3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth

    Where is lesson 2?

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  • Macaca
    03-07 10:16 AM
    Some paras from Fundraising Comes at Van Hollen Fast (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR2007030601907.html)
    By Matthew Mosk (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/matthew+mosk/), Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, March 7, 2007

    Last year, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) sat in the minority, with little seniority, calling for lobbyists to disclose when they're gathering stacks of campaign checks for members.

    Now, his party is in power, he heads the Democrats' key fundraising arm, and he'll be judged in part by his ability to collect those bundles of checks from lobbyists.

    The Democratic takeover last fall fostered change across Capitol Hill, but few are feeling the effects as directly as Van Hollen, the third-term congressman from Bethesda who will guide his party's 2008 House election efforts.

    Van Hollen took over the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in December, and the next month he distributed a four-page memo outlining his plans for protecting newly elected lawmakers. Central to that plan is the goal of raising $650,000 to $1 million for those "front line" lawmakers by June 30.

    Typically, about a third of the money raised by the DCCC comes from member contributions, a third flows from direct mail and Internet solicitations and a third comes from individual donors, records show.

    In many instances, that money comes from lobbyists tasked with collecting checks from colleagues, clients, family and friends -- bundlers. It's the same crowd Van Hollen took a crack at last year, when he attached his disclosure proposal to legislation in committee.

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  • sledge_hammer
    12-17 04:14 PM
    I too will post something funny :)

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    12-30 11:05 PM
    Why should we waste our resources when Pakistanis are doing the damage by themselves??? The joke is Pak blaming some poor Indian for a bomb blast which was quickly owned up by a domestic terrorist organization!!
    Pakistan is a begging bowl which is trying to blackmail US by threatening to pull out troops from Afgan border..so US and UK are trying to pacify India telling them that they will put pressure on Pak to do something.
    And you know what a bigger joke is? your slum dog cum president who told Larry King that no one from "his part of the country" were involved in the attack!!! What is his part of the country? his toilet seat??? It has not been 1 year since he killed his wife he was jumping all over Sarah Palin like a horny dog!! Barking dogs seldom bite, so don't just thump your chest just yet. When the fox has to die it runs towards the lion. That is what Pakistan is doing by pretending to pose as if it will go to war with India. If India attacks Pak will fold it's tail between its legs and run to US, like Nawaz sherif did during the Kargil war. We have beaten you in 4 wars, how may more beatings will it take for it to sink into your thick skull that Pakistan can NEVER beat India. Period!!

    Pakistan will disintegrate with in the next few years if they don't seek India's support in whacking them Jehadi SOB's. Baluchitan, NWFP, Sindh are all going to be independent countries and the Pak president can easily rule " his part of the country"

    Buddyinsfo you might try to bring friction among Indians by pitting people from different states against each other, but remember when it comes to any outside force we are all Indians first and we will Kick your Ass...

    This is like an ant taking on an elephant, if half the men in Punjab, Guj and Rajastan stand on the border and Pee; Pakistan will be washed away in a flood of Urine...If you poor people want to get killed, there are better painless ways than enrage India. So it is in Paks best interest to request India to come in clean up the terrorist camps which are now turning against Pakistan itself!!

    smisachu, if you use this kind of language, the tender, sensitive minds of the other IVians will get bruised.You'll be branded as a out-of-control maniac, who's lost his mental balance.

    Benazir was one of the level-headed politicians in Pakistan like her father, but she was deemed pro-western. Her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was charged with false conspiracies and hanged because he was one of the few secular leaders and held peace talks with India. She was ruthlessly murdered, what a loss!

    Good leaders don't stand a chance in Pakistan and the country is sure to disintegrate - its just a matter of time!!

    However, what buddysinfo says is right. India is not Israel. Its a land of weaklings and this Gandhi-Nehru doctrine is somewhere deep down in our DNA. Nenru was still chanting his favorite Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai and reading the Panchsheel and romancing with Lady Mountbatten, when the Chinese back-stabbed India. I have nothing against the Chinese - they are progressive people, thousand times better than these bankrupt Pakistanis (who can't look beyond terrorism and bloodshed) and they have made gigantic industrial progress! This just goes to show how useless Nehru-Gandhi leadership has historically been!!

    On the other hand, his daughter Indira was a loose cannon, a dictator but being a lady - she had balls! What a shame!
    Rajiv Gandhi was another strong leader. I have always disliked the congress for its vote bank politics but I grant it to Rajiv Gandhi for catapulting India into the information age.
    The same Bofors gun over which everybody raised a big hue and cry (Bofors kickbacks) came to our rescue during Kargil.
    After Rajiv, the leadership has completely collapsed - no absolute majority, coalition goverments, hung parliaments, its a chaos.

    Look at buddysinfo and look at the dirty,hateful offline messages he has left people. Pure, unadulterated hatred. Some Indians are more interested in Thakre driving out North Indians, others are beating up Laloo for giving some jobs to Biharis (are Biharis not Indians??), the South vs the North, Tamil vs Hindi - rather than bandying together as Indians.

    And to top it all, some one starts some idiotic thread as to how America is going to disintegrate! We need to learn a lot from America and Israel, when it comes to nationalism!
    Everyone was united after 9/11, everyone supported war and if there is another attack on American soil, there will be another war in the middle east, make no mistake. The war comes first, the questions and the regrets come later..that is America! Its not a nation of Nehru and Gandhi, its a nation of Roosevelt, Truman and General Eisenhower!

    On the other hand we will argue till doomsday - whether India should go on war with Pakistan or not, create some Bollywood style drama , while the islamic savages come and violate our land at will. Its been happening since 1600 A.D, nothing new here. It will happen again, who cares!


    05-15 08:37 PM
    If consultant companies are not suppose to body shop most of us will be jobless. Please look back how you came to this country in the past.
    Body shopping in not a new concept for H1-B, don't know why they are concered now.

    I do grasp the concept of consultancy, thanks. You know as well as I that we are not dealing with a 'narrow group' of people misusing the current H-1B system to enter the United States as 'consultants'. The concept of consultancy businesses is great. Most of the consultant companies in the U.S. in general are well respected companies. They can even be great companies when H-1B status employees are involved. That is, WHEN THE H-1B VISA HOLDERS ARE EMPLOYED FULL-TIME, RECEIVING A FULL PAYCHECK FOR A JOB THEY APPLIED FOR WITH THE COMPANY BEFORE FILING THE H-1B APPLICATION. If a consultancy firm is not able to do that, they shouldn't plan on hiring people on H-1Bs. Likewise, people shouldn't (mis-)use H-1Bs as a means of access to the U.S. using body shops, resulting in multiple law violations such as bench time and accepting below average wages.

    In your examples you suggest that I say consultancy in general is not a good thing. Of course it is a good thing. But consultants should be EMPLOYED ON A FULL-TIME BASIS TO ADHER WITH H-1B VISA REGULATIONS.

    I think the H-1B visa program is a great one! It is simply sad to see it abused to the point it is today. What congress is doing is closing a very exploited loophole. Kudos to congress for seeing the real issue instead of, say, shutting the H-1B program down entirely!

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  • unitednations
    07-08 04:47 PM
    thanks UN..

    we don't mean to bug you..!!

    but sometimes these r so scary..it feels we r better off being illegal in this country..

    all this is just plain BS..when we r paying so much in taxes and SS in this country..we r still chopped and diced like vegetables ...

    btw..on the same note since you r here..does the 'out of status' count only after the last entry in to thr country..or it is still scrutinised right from the time you land into the US..

    pls post..

    Unlawful presence; overstaying i-94 card and not filing a timely extension before expiry of non immigrant status. Very serious issue; especially if someone overstays y more then six months.

    Out of status; legally here (unexpired I-94 card) but not complying with terms and conditions of the I-94 card.

    In both situations; everything is wiped out upon exit and re-entry. However; if someone has unlawful presence of more then six months then it is fatal if you leave as the 3 and 10 year bars apply to re-entry.

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  • unitednations
    08-02 12:03 PM
    Actually, USCIS does nothing with the Consulate copy of G-325 if applicant has been in the USA for more than one year. You can find this fact in the I-485 Adjudicator's manual.


    However; there are many things that uscis asks for that they are hinging on the grayest of gray areas to get at other things.


    You don't need to submit tax returns with 485. However, they ask in RFE sometimes. Why do they do that?

    USCIS asks for photos of office in h-1b rfe's. There is nothing in the law/regulations stating they are supposed to ask for it.

    There is many examples where uscis/dos ask for things that are not required in the law/regulations. However; a lot of these types of evidence they ask for is for "intent", looking for inconsistencies, trying to look at the resonability of information...

    Long back when I used to just read memos/laws; it looked pretty straightforward. However; uscis uses the grayest of gray areas to their benefit, not your's.

    Department of state for every visa except h and L assume by default that a person has intention of immigrating. The onus is on us to show that we are not going to do that. Unfortunately, uscis is turning the same way in adjudicating of benefits. They seem to think that everyone is playing with the system and they in turn are becoming very difficult.

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  • WaitingYaar
    04-05 05:12 PM

    The analysis is interesting, but this much amount has already been written off considering 100% of option ARM, and alt-ARM will fail. Furthermore, it is worth noting that if one is buying the property for personal consumption or for invetment. If for invetment, then I agree with your assesment, but if you are buying for yourself, it always a good time :-) Home sweet home!! Also always wise to pay your own mortgage than anyone else's.

    Also, if the housing goes down further, you would see a much broader threat to the economy, so i feel that all will be done to contain it. We are currently at 2004 prices, and in some areas escalations on the foreclosed properties are are being seen.... So it tells something, that buyers who have been holding the cash are started to look around. But the inventory being so high that it may some sometime. However, the interest rates may not be friendly for long because of the inflation threat and considering the risks associated with the mortgages. So, this time with low rates, and low house pricess may not last long since these two things are generally inversly proportional!!

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  • nojoke
    04-15 11:59 AM
    Agreed, but then you have no way of knowing if you would have been less happier growing up in a bigger home. For all you know, you may have been more happier.

    That is the general line of thinking everyone has including all the people who are posting on this forum. If more money does not equate to a better life, then why are all these people taking the trouble to desert their home land and live in a foreign country? If more money => better lifestyle, then it follows a home can provide a relatively better environment to a child than an apartment.

    If all Americans live in rented apartments, drive only used Japanese cars (resale value), furnished their homes with scant used furniture and were focussed on investing their money than spending it, then the American economy will go down to the level of a third world country in less than 10 years.

    This does not mean everyone has to run out and buy a home. The point as I said earlier is to see a home as a home and not as an investment.

    No. It is not the general line of thinking. Let it go and don't defend the indefensible. You don't buy everything your kid wants. You get what you can and what you think is best for your kid.
    I have lived in apartment when I was a kid and so has so many others here. We were happy and never regretted living in apartments. More money doesn't always imply happy life. Less money doesn't mean sad life. This year alone 6 of my friends are going back to India because they choose to live in their homeland. They have greencard etc.
    And renting people are not poor either. They choose to rent for various reasons. The question is - is it a good time to buy? Having 485 or green card has less significance in this economy. The housing market is crashing and will fall for another 2 years. So rent save money and when time is right buy a house. For those of you who are not convinced then atleast hold on till you get greencard, so that you will atleast be able to comeback when you visit your parents. We are talking about recession and depression and you never know when your company is going out of business and when there is going to be a layoff.
    If you disagree and think it is a good time to buy, then show me the reason.


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  • bfadlia
    01-10 02:56 AM
    Again I beg to differ. Britishers gave land to Israel, Egypt and Jordan. Why should only Israel be responsible? Where will they go? Why not Egypt and Jordan? Secondly, I have children and I am also terrified by the pictures of brutal massacre but think about this. If those who want to kill my children is hiding among women and children what choices do I have? be "civil" and let them kill our children or attack and kill them?

    man, what r u talking about?!!!
    Britain didn't give any land to Egypt or Jordan.. After half a century of enabling jewish migration to palestine (not out of its kind heart, but an anti-semetic european plan to rid europe of them), Britain suddenly pulled out of the region in 1947 and Israeli gangs started going village to village massacring palestinians and throwing them off their lands. egypt managed to protect the palestinians who fled to gaza, about 1.5 million refugees now crammed in that very tiny city, jordan protected the ones who fled to the west bank, but again Israel attacked and occupied both of these since 1967 Imagine being kicked off your prosperous home and put in a refugee camp nearby while others enjoy your home, then them complaining that you should be pleased they allow you to live in the refugee camp and you should let them live in peace..
    at least get some basics about gaza here if you want to discuss it http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/opinion/08khalidi.html

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  • mariner5555
    04-15 04:26 PM
    one last addition ..I guess builders are normally the optimistic lot even when things are bad ..and they seem unhappy now (which means happier days are ahead for fence sitters like me (who are waiting for a GC by the way before looking)
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/24129427 ..

    Fitch Ratings said in a conference call Tuesday that the housing sector is likely to continue to contract throughout 2008, and could worsen further in 2009 if the economy slides into a sharp recession. The ratings agency said low mortgage rates, cheaper home prices and government proposals to aid the ailing industry will not be enough to spark a turnaround.

    "Despite a few steps in the right direction, U.S. housing remains mired in a steep cyclical decline, with more pain likely for U.S. homebuilders through 2008," said Fitch homebuilding analyst Robert Curran


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  • unitednations
    08-09 01:38 PM

    Did you face any questions about "Same or Similar" in the interview particularly for the time period when you were self employed?

    Can you throw some light on how to handle the scenarios where the proferred wage is much lower than the current wage and once someone invokes AC21 the offered wage can be much higher . I understand that this scenario can be problematic in case of "future job" GCs.

    My understanding of AC21 is this .. Dont invoke AC21 unless otherwise absolutely necessary?

    This has been written about to many times. You need to research this on immigration.com.

    As I said in the law while 485 is pending you do not have to do anything; you can do something totally irrelevant to what your employment is going to be upon greencard approval.

    However; uscis starts digging into intent. I wasn't porting to self employment. I was porting to a different company upon greencard approval.

    they were going to try to assess that if I was making too much money then how would i take another job with lower salary.

    I personally don't agree with porting to self employment upon greencard approval (many have but we'll see if they should tighten it up). If you are a one person company; then how can the job be same/similar. You would have been doing the finance, marketing and the software engineer work. That in itself wouldn't make it a same/similar job.

    My labor wasn't broad. if they were looking at same/similar; it would have been impossible for me to meet it. The position I had and the job duties were probably only available in maybe less then 25 companies. (one of the job duties was administering offshore investment companies).

    Now; keep in mind; greencard meant absolutely nothing to me. I got into this because of what happened to my 140 and i took it as a challenge from uscis.

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  • bfadlia
    01-07 02:44 PM
    You say romans converted egyptions to christianity. If it is true, romans follow catholic church. Coptic is Othodox christians, started during the period of apostole. Romans may ruled them, but every one is coptic. Not changed the religion by force. You contradit your statement.
    Mohamed copy bible and make his own version and misled the people. It is like a cult. Like Mormon in USA. It is written in the bible. 'Those who change any word from the bible will be punished'. Mohamed's fate decided by God.

    Buddy.. I'm not trying to argue with you.. just hope you get more information about what you are talking about.
    1- Coptic tradition claims that St. Mark brought Christianity to Egypt around 50 CE. A small community of Christians developed in Alexandria in the late first century, and became more numerous by the end of the second century. Some similarities in beliefs helped Christianity to be accepted by Egyptians, including the beliefs that the Egyptian god Osiris was both human and god, the resurrection of Osiris, and the godly triad of Osiris, Isis, and Horus.
    During the third and fourth centuries, the Romans persecuted various religious dissidents, especially Christians. The emperor Diocletian attempted to restructure and unify the Empire, and instigated some harsh reforms which led to rebellion among the Egyptians. Diocletian then began extensive persecutions of Christians, which was referred to by Copts as the Era of Martyrs. The year of Diocletian's accession (284 CE) was designated Year One in the Coptic Christian calendar in order to observe the tragedies. Christianity was threatening to the Roman Empire because its strong monotheistic belief "made it impossible for its serious adherents to acknowledge the Roman emperor as a deity" (Carroll 1988). Also, many important leadership positions in Egyptian society and the military were held by Christians.
    2- According to Jews, god would never change the commandments of the old testament which jesus did.. so for them he was blasphemous.. you just shrug this off as a christian.. by the same token why do u think muslims would care what u think of Mohamed?
    Speak for yourself and stop talking on behalf of god.


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  • number30
    03-24 11:37 AM
    UN - I don't think people who indulge in fraud or use wrong route, go to Senators or Congressmen - rather they want to stay unnoticed. Most people who lobby - lobby for a better system.

    No one is taking on or poking at USCIS.

    On another note - what is permanent job? There is absolutely no such thing called future job - ie job that will come into place after 5 or 10 years. A permanent job is a job which is permanent at the time of employment.

    When we talk about good faith employment - it is the relationship that exists during the terms of employment.

    While your analysis makes sense - we really never know what is happening behind the scenes.

    What the consulting companies( Including Mine) are working like placement cell holding the stock of consultants. This is being questioned by the USCIS. They are understanding the mode of the operations. These stock does not have any usage unless they get some order. This is question was getting raised in H1B RFEs since last two-three years. With H1B you can escape with contracts between companies. But the concern with green card is will they accept such kind of agreements as proof of an permanent job? It will come to nature of the business of the company.

    (sorry for the Language )

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  • Macaca
    05-18 05:36 PM
    Moving back to America
    The dwindling allure of building factories offshore (http://www.economist.com/node/18682182)
    The Economist

    �WHEN clients are considering opening another manufacturing plant in China, I�ve started to urge them to consider alternative locations,� says Hal Sirkin of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). �Have they thought about Vietnam, say? Or maybe [they could] even try Made in USA?� When clients are American firms looking to build factories to serve American customers, Mr Sirkin is increasingly likely to suggest they stay at home, not for patriotic reasons but because the economics of globalisation are changing fast.

    Labour arbitrage�taking advantage of lower wages abroad, especially in poor countries�has never been the only force pushing multinationals to locate offshore, but it has certainly played a big part. Now, however, as emerging economies boom, wages there are rising. Pay for factory workers in China, for example, soared by 69% between 2005 and 2010. So the gains from labour arbitrage are starting to shrink, in some cases to the point of irrelevance, according to a new study by BCG.

    �Sometime around 2015, manufacturers will be indifferent between locating in America or China for production for consumption in America,� says Mr Sirkin. That calculation assumes that wage growth will continue at around 17% a year in China but remain relatively slow in America, and that productivity growth will continue on current trends in both countries. It also assumes a modest appreciation of the yuan against the dollar.

    The year 2015 is not far off. Factories take time to build, and can carry on cranking out widgets for years. So firms planning today for production tomorrow are increasingly looking close to home. BCG lists several examples of companies that have already brought plants and jobs back to America. Caterpillar, a maker of vehicles that dig, pull or plough, is shifting some of its excavator production from abroad to Texas. Sauder, an American furniture-maker, is moving production back home from low-wage countries. NCR has returned production of cash machines to Georgia (the American state, not the country that is occasionally invaded by Russia). Wham-O last year restored half of its Frisbee and Hula Hoop production to America from China and Mexico.

    BCG predicts a �manufacturing renaissance� in America. There are reasons to be sceptical. The surge of manufacturing output in the past year or so has largely been about recovering ground lost during the downturn. Moreover, some of the new factories in America have been wooed by subsidies that may soon dry up. But still, the new economics of labour arbitrage will make a difference.

    Rather than a stampede of plants coming home, �higher wages in China may cause some firms that were going to scale back in the US to keep their options open by continuing to operate a plant in America,� says Gary Pisano of Harvard Business School. The announcement on May 10th by General Motors (GM) that it will invest $2 billion to add up to 4,000 jobs at 17 American plants supports Mr Pisano�s point. GM is probably not creating many new jobs but keeping in America jobs that it might otherwise have exported.

    Even if wages in China explode, some multinationals will find it hard to bring many jobs back to America, argues Mr Pisano. In some areas, such as consumer electronics, America no longer has the necessary supplier base or infrastructure. Firms did not realise when they shifted operations to low-wage countries that some moves �would be almost irreversible�, says Mr Pisano.

    Many multinationals will continue to build most of their new factories in emerging markets, not to export stuff back home but because that is where demand is growing fastest. And companies from other rich countries will probably continue to enjoy the opportunity for labour arbitrage for longer than American ones, says Mr Sirkin. Their labour costs are higher than America�s and will remain so unless the euro falls sharply against the yuan.

    There�s no place like home

    The opportunity for labour arbitrage is disappearing fastest in basic manufacturing and in China. Other sectors and countries are less affected. As Pankaj Ghemawat, the author of �World 3.0�, points out, despite rapidly rising wages in India, its software and back-office offshoring industry is likely to retain its cost advantage for the foreseeable future, not least because of its rapid productivity growth.

    Nonetheless, a growing number of multinationals, especially from rich countries, are starting to see the benefits of keeping more of their operations close to home. For many products, labour is a small and diminishing fraction of total costs. And long, complex supply chains turn out to be riskier than many firms realised. When oil prices soar, transport grows dearer. When an epidemic such as SARS hits Asia or when an earthquake hits Japan, supply chains are disrupted. �There has been a definite shortening of supply chains, especially of those that had 30 or 40 processing steps,� says Mr Ghemawat.

    Firms are also trying to reduce their inventory costs. Importing from China to the United States may require a company to hold 100 days of inventory. That burden can be handily reduced if the goods are made nearer home (though that could be in Mexico rather than in America).

    Companies are thinking in more sophisticated ways about their supply chains. Bosses no longer assume that they should always make things in the country with the lowest wages. Increasingly, it makes sense to make things in a variety of places, including America.

    Fair Trade Revealed As Feel-Good Hoax (http://mungowitzend.blogspot.com/2011/05/fair-trade-revealed-as-feel-good-hoax.html) By Mungowitz | Kids Prefer Cheese
    Digging Deeper Into What Caused Job Losses (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/digging-deeper-into-what-caused-job-losses/) By CASEY B. MULLIGAN | Economix
    What's Wrong With Tech CEOs? (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703509104576329112614004894.html) By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR. | Wall Street Journal
    In Hiring, Firms Shine Images (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704810504576307210092435484.html) By JOE LIGHT | Wall Street Journal
    The Great Recession's lost generation (http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/17/news/economy/recession_lost_generation/index.htm) By Chris Isidore | CNNMoney
    Top 10 Thriving Industries (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/05/16/top-10-thriving-industries/) By Phil Izzo | Wall Street Journal


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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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  • gg_ny
    02-21 09:07 PM
    I am no fan of Dobbs and haven't watched his show longer than 15 min. in total. I didn't want to eloborate on something in that posting but would rather do now: by fanning of the mass hysteria, you do get attention- let it be Dobbs or Tancredo. Last year, because of the media and the politicians, many normally centric Americans listened to anti immigration propaganda, in particular, Dobbsian ones. No/not much American tears were shed when CIR was stalled in the Congress last year. The reason: people would tune to anyone-sentinent or nonsense persons- if those creatures speak what those people want to hear at that time. Now the Congress seems to be centric or stuck at the center due to gridlock but how long this will last?
    I believe that the average American civic sense is moving towards what is seen in European countries - discourage immigration in any form. Dobbs may not be an agent but definitely an instrument that keeps this feeling alive. It sells CNN and also keeps the base happy. How else would you explain a plain propaganda being catered via a network like CNN which claims to be different from - for example right-oriented Fox. Dobbs does it, there would be more louder Dobbsians in the future if anti immigration gets established inteh general psyche of Americans as it has already in many, many, many european nations.

    He is not questioned, ridiculed or targeted because he is a nobody. His viewership is not in millions but in hundred thousands. 762,000 to be precise. With such viewership numbers nobody targets him because its not worth it. Even "SpongeBob SquarePants" a carton show on Nickelodeon manages to get higher viewership than Lou Dobbs even though "SpongeBob SquarePants" is targeted at children.

    we are targeting him because he is saying things which are inaccurate if not ludicrous regarding immigration. He is similar to tancredo. Did anybody know there was a xenophobe called tancredo before he started riling against CIR. Lou Dobbs and Tancredo realized they have stuck gold with there diatribe against immigration and they are riding this xenophobic wave for it full worth.


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  • inskrish
    01-07 01:41 AM
    Recently during Diwali celebration, one boy fired a rocket and it killed more than six people in Tamil Nadu. Offcourse this rocket was made in Sivakasi and it was an accident. It was a fire cracker. A simple fire cracker can make big accidents like this.

    But whole world is crying that Hamas fired 7000 rockets and killed innocent civilians and Isrealis are defending thier nation by killing thousands. What a crap man.

    If you are comparing the Sivakasi rocket with the Hamas's rocket, I can only sympathize with you. You certainly need to learn a lot--atleast the definition of 'Rocket' or 'Terrorists'.

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  • xyzgc
    12-28 01:56 AM
    I am begining to beleive that WAR is not the answer, even though for the past 20 odd years, they have bled Kashmir, driven certain relegion members out, making them penniless, killing some of them and their family members mercilessly, doing the same in punjab (thanks to KPS Gill that was eradicated from the core), and using India's peace meaures in the last 7 odd years to infilitrate members who have created havoc in India.
    What India needs to do is strengthen internal security ('our sardar.....the chief...respectfully meant as i am a admirer of him, has done the right think by bringing in his most trusted man, PC to run home ministry....that man has been an asset in which ever position he has held....man of v.v. high integrity and honesty like our chief)
    Secondly as i said before,...... the super powers also are pretty much behind India and will not make the same mistake as they have done in the past as they know that this is universal/global problem...and the doublespeak will not work...the worry is....who to talk to there...(neighbouring country)....there are so many power centres....its total chaos....so i agree we should not go for war as that could be disastrous and open a exit strategy for all the dangerous elements and give them a longer/extended life to survive..........and continue with their nonsense......globally....WHY because once the war breaks out these dangerous elements will use their deadly toys that they have been provided with thanks to some of the regional powers....who....will then step in and insist on a dialogure....peace...etc etc..
    I am also surprised how sri lanka has agreed to go ahead with their cricket tour...i mean come on such a huge incident....in India....clear evidence...and to think and we sacrified a leader(possible PM) for them....STRANGE Behaviour....

    Without doubt, the internal security needs to be strenghtened. That is absolutely necessary. But is that sufficient?

    Why spend $26 billion yearly on defence budgets, if we are not to fire a single missile, worrying about the repercussions and what the dangerous elements will do?
    Is this only to be used in another Kargil-like war? WIf the answer is yes, that at least we should reduce our defence spending and divert it to make our nation secure. There is no possibility of that happening either.

    What is the probablity of another Kargil when a single terrorist attack is sufficient to throw the country into chaos?
    The whole idea is to destroy these terrorist outfits. Pakistan is not doing it. Should we not do it using our own arms?


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  • HawaldarNaik
    12-29 12:19 AM
    Well comparing India to Israel is not going to be justified at this time cause Israel has had a offensive stance right from its inception whereas India has always been reactive, and in the long run, i beleive that has paid off.

    However at this point we have to make sure our neighbours take corrective action though to be frank, i am not sure they are capable or have the potency of bringing about the changes cause at the ground level all those dangerous elements (some who have gone and taken refuge from India), enjoy not just support from the intelligence and the army but also from some locals and roam around freely

    So in short it is a rogue country, frankly even the super powers are not in control of the situation there ........as some factions are loyal to the superpowers, some to the dangerous elements and some to regional powers, and each one of them is being used by these powers to carry out attacks to various countries around the world...and implment their respective agendas which are contrary to one another.....

    What is the strategy for India

    In the short term i would say 'Our Sardar' (chieftain...i firmly think this time 'The Sardar' is leading from the front...and not being remote controlled by the lady ) is doing the right thing, he is garnering global support (he first tried the super powers and now is in touch with the regional powers also, and has got PC a highly efficient resource to strengthen internal security), at the same time watching the response from our neighbour, who are talking of war but are trying and i am saying trying to bring about some positive change (how much of that is possible i am pretty pessimestic due to reasons specified above...no single control or point of contact).
    In the long term there has to be a solution to the neighbouring country problem either they revamp and reform (after 60 years of being the bad guys...hit men.... for various powers world over), or look at the possiblity of breaking down the wall cause then we can try and clear up the mess......

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  • gcbikari
    08-11 02:53 PM
    Keep more lessons coming...don't worry about the #2 that you forgot
    Thought #2 was a dirty lesson and intentionally removed.


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  • Macaca
    10-02 11:02 AM
    As China Opens, U.S. Lobbyists Get Ready to Move In (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/01/AR2007100101672.html?hpid=sec-business) By Ariana Eunjung Cha | Washington Post Foreign Service, October 2, 2007

    BEIJING -- It's almost 8 a.m., and former U.S. commerce secretary Donald L. Evans and his team are standing in front of the St. Regis Hotel, preparing for their day of meetings with Chinese finance officials.

    Small but meaningful gifts in Tiffany's signature baby-blue boxes? Check. Briefing books with the pronunciation of everyone's names? Check. Black Audi A6s to whisk the group to the meetings? Check.

    Evans was in town representing the Financial Services Forum, which is made up of chief executives of 20 multinational banks. His goal was to convince Chinese regulators that opening their financial sector to more foreign investment would be good for China's economy.

    Armies of lobbyists are descending on the Chinese capital in anticipation of the 17th Communist Party Congress beginning in mid-October. The gathering will choose a new generation of leaders, setting the political agenda for the next five years.

    But the dark-suited Western lobbyists are an odd spectacle given that in China, policy and legislative decisions are still made behind closed doors. Lobbying exists in a gray area; because there are no laws specifically pertaining to it, it isn't even supposed to exist.

    Nevertheless, some of Washington's marquee lobbying firms -- including Jones Day, Hogan & Hartson, DLA Piper and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld -- have set up offices in China. Officially, they are just investment advisory and communications firms. Chinese companies mostly work through government-affiliated industry associations, although some have also hired Western-style lobbying firms.

    In June, foreign companies successfully lobbied Chinese officials to remove conditions on hiring temporary workers in a new labor law that they said would make it prohibitively expensive to do business in China. Likewise in August, they were able persuade China to remove some language in early drafts of the anti-monopoly law that seemed to discriminate against foreign companies, according to Chinese and foreign academics.

    The Chinese government has said it took input from domestic and foreign interests into account but has not been specific.

    Foreign companies are interested in what happens in China, as its economy is becoming the world's third-largest as well as a capitalist instead of planned one. There's concern that the legal framework for business that China's legislators are writing today could affect the fate of multinational businesses for decades.

    Evans said that the degree to which Chinese officials are interested in hearing foreign perspectives on business issues has increased dramatically. In the past, he said, he would go into government meetings and recite a set of bullet points, and the meeting would end. These days, he said, there's real discussion and debate.

    "They are very proactive in wanting to engage and share with the business community," Evans said.

    Scott Kennedy, director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business at Indiana University and author of "The Business of Lobbying in China," said that as recently as a few years ago foreign companies would grumble that they heard about new policies only after they were announced.

    "That is increasingly no longer the case. Today, even if they don't agree with the final result, they know it's on the horizon," Kennedy said.

    But China's laws have been slow to respond to the influx of lobbyists seeking to take advantage of the closer ties. Zhao Kejin, an associate professor at Shanghai's Fudan University who studies government-business relations and has written a book on lobbying in China, argues that because lobbyists do not need to register or file disclosure forms, the system is vulnerable to abuse.

    "There is lots of lobbying money flowing to individual officials' pockets," Zhao said. In addition to straight-up bribery, some lobbying firms keep friends of high-placed officials on the payroll or pay for officials to take luxury "training" trips abroad.

    In 2004, Lucent Technologies fired four executives who were part of its Chinese operations for violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribing foreign government officials and politicians. Last November, a U.S. software maker, Fidelity National Information Services, was accused of paying for luxury vacations for Chinese banking officials and their families in places such as Rome and Las Vegas. Fidelity has denied the charges.

    Lobbying is not only less of an institution in China than it is in the United States, but the people being lobbied are different.

    For instance, Murray King, head of the Shanghai office of APCO Worldwide, one of the oldest government relations firms operating in China, said that Chinese academics are among the key players that companies should reach out to. The most important members of that group are those who work with the think tanks affiliated with various state ministries, because they play an important role in the drafting of legislation.

    Another crucial part of high-profile lobbying efforts are "guanxi brokers," well-connected individuals who can give introductions to important officials, or "rainmakers," people who are so famous that many Chinese officials might be happy to meet and shake hands.

    "Because China is a country that respects authority, former politicians of the United States, when they come to China, can always play a very important role," said Steven Dong, a Tsinghua University public relations professor who studies the reputations of corporations.

    A former U.S. official will almost always be greeted by a Chinese official of the same rank, Dong said.

    Former officials with star power in China include Henry Kissinger, probably the most sought-after because of the role he played in establishing diplomatic relations with the Communist Party during the Nixon administration. Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Reed Hundt, who routinely visits China on behalf of Silicon Valley companies to talk about opening up China's Internet and telecommunications sector, is also a regular in the halls of Chinese ministries. Gary Locke, a former governor of Washington whose consulting firm represents Microsoft and Starbucks, is celebrated for being the first Chinese American governor and is so well known that school girls run up to him to take his picture.

    Evans, who was commerce secretary from 2001 to 2004, has been working for the Financial Services Forum since 2005. This was his second trip to China on behalf of the group.

    Evans was received by the Chinese government this month with all the pomp and circumstance of a state visit.

    His schedule, which included all key financial ministries and regulators, was almost identical to that of Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. during his visit in July. Evans even had a private diner with Vice Premier Wu Yi.

    There was lobbying on both sides.

    Jiang Jianqing, chairman of the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a rank similar to that of minister, pummeled Evans with questions about the subprime lending crisis and trade protectionism in Congress. ICBC has recently been ranked the second- or third-largest bank in the world by market capitalization.

    Evans said the Chinese must make sure that U.S. legislators understand they are open to foreign investment. He said it's important for the Chinese to make sure the U.S. government understands "your view as an important trader, to make sure they understand your commitment to moving your economy toward an ultimate market economy."

    The total foreign ownership in a Chinese bank cannot exceed 25 percent. But even as Evans began to lay out his case for why China should raise or do away with foreign ownership caps for banking, securities and insurance firms, Jiang took the opportunity to point out his frustration that his bank's application to open a single branch in the United States has not been approved, while U.S. banks, including some that Evans represents, already have significant operations in China.

    Evans said he'd be happy to look into the holdup.

    Near the end of the one-hour meeting, the two turned to a less-tense topic: the development of China's countryside. Evans talked about his visits to western China, where he met two blind brothers with whom he has kept in touch, and how much their lives had changed over the years. Jiang said he, too, was concerned about bridging the gap between the rich and the poor in China.

    The two men smiled and shook hands. That was considered progress.

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  • jaocanada
    07-17 02:08 PM
    Our prayers are with God to get you and your family out of this difficult period. I know of a close friend who went thru a similar situation regarding distress sale of the house but finally it all worked out. So keep the faith and be strong. Good luck.

    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.

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  • 485Mbe4001
    09-29 07:55 PM
    its ok, you misunderstood my point. I dont want to divert OP of this thread.

    Anyways the fact of the matter is that we are in a limbo, all indications point to Obama becoming the next president of US. if CIR 2008 was any indication , we as EB applicants are royally screwed if Sen Durbin dictates his immigration policy. What is the use of talking about wars and innocent people when chances are that the advocate of his immigration policy is opposed to my main issue of EB reform. high low Taxes, 401k's, houses, Medicare etc will matter if you get to stay here in the first place. A average 6-9 years of paying taxes, supporting medicare and Social Security and we now need to think about moving to different countries where skilled immigrants are welcome....think about it. Just look at the CIR 2008 discussion to understand what i am talking about. Read the senators transcripts.

    Ramayan was an epic written long time ago. It is a story(like stories in bibble). Creationism evolved just to oppose evolution theory and cause confusion to the evolution theory. They say it is based on science, when it is not. BTW evolution is also a fact, it is not just theory.

    Spending on needless wars are not helping economy. With this economy there is little chance for GC. If everybody wants tax cut, who will pay the debt. Keep borrowing? Some one has to pay the interest at the least..
    Clinton balanced the budget, while taxing the rich. McCain is for the 'trickle down economy' which we now see what it really is(DOW down 800 points). Obama is for tax cut for the average guys and not for the 'trickle down economy' scam.

    09-30 01:44 AM
    Folks, it is indeed sad that perfect is turning out to be the enemy of good here, metaphorically speaking.

    Surely if the powers-that-maybe turn out to be antagonistic to highly skilled legal foreign workers in this country, it is a given that they are likely to turn this country into a place where none of us ever wanted to be.

    America has always been about opportunity for the smart and hard workers regardless of their background. It has attracted people because they saw their future brighter here. Take that away and not much else gets left behind.

    I have been in this country for 6 years now and still do not have more than a toehold here despite having put in my tax dollars which in some small fraction have helped pay for what some (who knows) people born here required help with getting. Moreover, if allowed to remain here, my project will yield for this country and the world a device that will help people save their eyesight.

    "The highly skilled legal working community is an asset, Mr Obama and Mr Durbin. We carry tremendous calorific value for this country. You will make a smart move by promoting and encouraging what has already been legal in this country of yours: immigration of skilled foreigners.

    As you might have noticed, a huge chunk of your support base is made up of young and energetic students and professionals. They are with you only because they trust you to remain sincere to the welfare of this country. I am positive that you will not let myopic opinions and interests cloud your long-term vision and will reach out to embrace new partners for further advancement of this country, for really, it is not about wealth preservation but about wealth creation."

    04-15 04:18 PM
    Yes I have been reading some pretty bizarre responses. Apparently if you own a bigger house, you suddenly become incapable of giving your child love. Well, you learn something new everyday.

    It would look bizarre if you take the statements out of context. That statement is made to show that bigger house doesn't always give happiness. Because you would need to work harder to pay for the mortgage that you may not have quality time to spend with your kids. This is the context. Again I qualified the statement with "always".

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  • msp1976
    04-08 09:00 AM
    Would you???
    of course not....
    The provision defeats the purpose of whole whistle blower clause...

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  • crystal
    07-07 10:18 PM
    related article on murthy for the Inadvertent Unauthorized Employment



    Actually ..I had even read somewhere in these forums, that 'out of status' etc will be considered since the last entry into the country..

    in your case, if he re entered into the country in 2002, the previous status should not be considered...but we can never argue with the immigration officers,once it gets into their head,they can be the most 'sanki' guys..

    take appt with Rajiv Khanna/Murthy without wasting any minute further..

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  • Macaca
    02-22 11:49 AM
    Hey Chinese! can we have more of the following here (http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/110_SN_9.html#commentform).

    I am almost 7 years in this country and have paid hundred of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes, and now stuck with the EB priority date.

    I want to say there are many good things going on in the world. Many people take the technology advancement and good life for granted, but behind the scene, there are many people who are doing the real hard work, and we are part of them.

    The reason I came here is I thought this country can turn my talent into fortune and create opportunities for many people. My college roommate in China created the Linux Virtual Server in his PhD thesis and still leads the LVS project. The government covers their 100% medical + 100% housing + 80%-100% pension. But if he did that in the States, he would be very rich and can achieve more goals.

    The current immigration system is neither pro- nor anti-immigration. It is just a limbo system. Everything getting in is just stuck there. Some of my friends have gone back China because they don�t want to wait.

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  • ksr
    08-09 05:26 PM
    Hi UN,

    Sorry to post here. I have posted in some other thread but no response.

    I just got my FP notice for Aug 23rd for myself,spouse and 8yrs old son.My wife and son is in India, we cancelled our trip back in May for my 485.We waited till we got our receipts,they went to India for some important work.At this point they cann't make it by Aug 23rd. They both have valid H4 I797 with them.

    Can you please advice, what is the best procedure to follow here.

    1. Can I take my FP and request to postpone of my wife & son ?
    2. Postpone for all three members, and request for a later date ?
    3. Can we go after Sep3rd with the old receipts dated for Aug 23rd 2007?

    Thanks In Advance,


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  • manub
    07-08 09:39 PM
    Thank You for all the support.
    I couldn`t reply any sooner.I was busy with Open house( a whole lot of scrubbing and cleaning).
    I cannot post the contents of the RFE`s as most of the info is private and not appropriate for the public forum.But the info I got from the forum so far has been helpful.
    What we are trying to do now is to get appointments with atleast 2 other attorneys(murthy and khanna) .our current Lawyer responded to our questions on a sunday .Not many lawyers do that. and we have only 2 weeks to respond Once we get some answers we`ll go from there.
    Our case is very complex.I don`t want other members be discouraged by the amount of papers uscis requested.Not every one gets this unlucky.They asked for all w2`s,first and last paystubs with each employer and federal tax returns.Rule of thumb don`t discard any paper that you ever submitted to uscis and all your employment records.
    I will keep you posted.
    thank you again.

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  • dealsnet
    01-07 10:52 PM
    See the link. Palestine TV teaches the kids to be a terrorist. Through micky mouse.

    See this poor boy.


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  • gcdreamer05
    03-24 08:06 AM

    I had similar calls two times from IO so far...first to ask for documents (which I sent last month) and second on past Saturday to ask if I could come to the office to give new fingerprints (as the old ones have expired).

    It is nice to see USCIS becoming more proactive...all the best!

    Pagal did they ask you too for client contract letters ?

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  • Marphad
    12-22 04:43 PM
    I attended one meeting lectured by Mr. Arun Shourie. He gave a classic example of people's mentality:

    In West Bengal, in early 90s Banks wanted to introduce computerized system. Union opposed heavily keep saying this is "Inhuman" and against the labor. And to the surprise, union won. They had to postpone plans to introduce computers on lower level.

    Meanwhile, private banks came in. Their services were much better and faster and nationalized banks started facing serious customer satisfaction problems consequeted to business loss. Then the same union came on road against nationalized banks - actually broke couple of them like a riot saying that these people are stealing our breads.

    Isn't this the same some religious organizations are doing? They are not training kids for professional world. And then they teach people like Kasab that other side of border is rich and we are poor.

    Think over this.


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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 12:38 PM
    It is very sad but please post it on the relevant site.

    I think we discuss these kind of news in IV. Don't you know that? In the same forum i have heard people saying Isreal is a peace loving nation and they never commit crime.

    Look at what is happening now. Can we justify killing innocent kids? Who would kill kids? How evil one should be in order to kill school kids?

    How evil this world is, watching these attrocities silently. While pakistani terrorists committed attrocities in India, whole world blamed the entire Muslim communities.

    Now where are those peace loving people have gone while Muslims are brutally murdered and innocent kids are brutally killed by missles?

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  • nojoke
    04-21 04:19 PM
    The trillion-dollar mortgage time bomb



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  • rsdang
    08-11 04:55 PM
    :D1) Did you fart? Cuz you just blew me away.

    2) Are yer parents retarded? Cuz ya sure are special.

    3) My Love fer you is like diarrhea, I can't hold it in!

    4) Do you have a library card? Cuz I'd like to check you out.

    5) Is there a mirror in yer pants? Cuz I can see myself in em.

    6) If you was a tree and I were a Squirrel, I'd store my nuts in yer hole.

    7) You might not be the best lookin girl here, but beauty's only a light switch away.

    8) Fat Penguin................... Sorry, I just wanted to say something that would break the ice.

    9) I know I'm not no Fred Flintstone, but I bet I can make yer bed-rock.

    10) I can't find my puppy , can you help me find him? I Think he went into this cheap motel room.

    11) Yer eyes are as blue as window cleaner.

    12) If yer gunna regret this in the mornin', we kin sleep Til afternoon.

    13) Yer face reminds me of a wrench, every time I think of it my nuts tighten up

    And.... The best for last!

    14) I may not be Mr. Right, but I'll damn sure hump ya' till he comes along...

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  • gc28262
    09-26 11:42 AM
    -DId cir have stem exemption? answer no
    -Did cir have visa recapture? answer no
    -Did cir increase the eb quota to reduce the backlog? answer no
    -Did cir exempt the existing EB applicants from the new "points based
    system", answer this seems to be a gray area, no clear answer (there is a
    debate about this)
    -Did cir have draconian restrictions on H1, answer yes
    if there are any more nagatives please add to the list.

    I think these provisions were included in CIR to get a bipartisan support from republicans. By including such anti-EB provisions in CIR, McCain, Ted Kennedy etc hoped to get some support from ant-immigrant republicans.

    Yes they were trying to save illegals at our expense :mad:
    With democrats in full control of both senate and house and a democratic president in the office, democrats would come up with a cleaner CIR ( beneficial to both legals and illegals )

    Remember president alone cannot do anything. Democrats are pro-immigrants. Maybe they lean a little bit towards FB.


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  • alisa
    12-27 02:09 AM
    The world is more worried about Militants getting their hands on Nukes and has some confidence in India's caution. Madeline Albright recently said pakistan is like a migraine for the world. How many times we have seen stories where leaders after leader, strategists after strategists express concerns that Militants may get the nuke trigger.
    I believe the world has a stake in neutralizing Pak's Nukes. Do you believe the Nukes are partially controlled by US at present? Or is it Zardari who has the complete control?
    I am ambivalent about eliminating Pakistan's nuclear program. On the one hand, you are right that nukes in the hands of militants is a scary scenario. (Ironically, you increase the probability of the nukes falling into wrong hands by having a destabilizing war between Pakistan and India.)
    But then equally scary is a defenseless Pakistan against India. Atleast, thats our perception.
    I don't know who all controls the nukes. The army is certainly one part of it.

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  • acecupid
    08-06 06:17 PM
    A young man walked into a jewelry store one Friday evening with a
    beautiful young gal at his side.

    He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his
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    $5,000 ring and showed it to him.

    The young man said, "I don't think you understand, I want something
    special. "

    At that statement, the jeweler went to his special stock and brought
    another ring over. " Here's a stunning ring at only $40,000, " the
    jeweler said.

    The young lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with

    The young man seeing this said, "We'll take it. "

    The jeweler asked how payment would be made and the young man stated, "
    by cheque."

    "I know you need to make sure my cheque is good, so I'll write it now
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    Monday morning, a very teed-off jeweler phoned the young man. " There's
    no money in that account."

    "I know ", said the young man, "but can you imagine the weekend I had?


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  • srikondoji
    08-14 09:11 AM
    On TV, when someone barks without any research backing it up, there is no one to counter him.

    Only few shows have a chance to counter, but again the anchor is so smart that he will make sure that his guest receives little time to attack the host.

    Guys the world is all about who is powerfull.

    It is time to go to gym.

    How the hell did he arrive at that figure ? the whole trouble with lou is he fabricates "research" such as the above statement with absolutely nothing to back it up. So much for the Harvard educated economist in him.

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  • zshakyaz
    03-25 11:43 PM
    ok..People its been more than 6 months since some adventure in my case :D

    OK..today morning I got a call from a lady voice saying she is from Immigration services..

    The call ended by the time I realized my senses..here is the short story

    Immig: We are verifying your details and need from information to process
    Me: sure.

    Immig: WHo do you work for
    Me: Blah Blah employer

    Immig : Where do you work and who is your client
    Me: Blah Blah

    Immig: When did you first came to US. Where is Port of entry..
    Me: blah blah

    Immig: Do you have all of your IT contracts details.
    Me: COntracts? Since they are property of my employer..I dont have.

    Immig: We need to see your contracts with the clients..
    Me: hmm...I can try but I dont know if I can get them

    Immig: Well...It will help process your application..How fast we can process depends on how fast you can get those..
    Me: OK..I will try..

    Immig: Give me your email..I will drop in email with all info..you can reply back with copy of contracts
    Me: Ok..blah..blah email

    Immig: I need All phone numbers and all supervisors of all clients you worked with in US
    Me: I gave all of the details..told her that I cannot vouch for the validity of phone numbers or emails, as I dont know if they work for the same company

    Immig: Ok..done..I will send email..
    Me: thank you

    I this power play, I forgot to tell her that I already went through interview in aug08 and officer found everything correct. :confused:
    Nevertheles..does anyone know what this is all about?
    Why would they need this kind of information..I am not worried as such since I was never on bench or anything and have all LCAs all blah blah details.

    Just curious :confused::confused:

    (:this is all true regarding Immigration Services calling then)
    Hey guys I also got a call from Immigration Services today on March 25 2009 .
    this is what happened
    First he started confiming he was talking to the right person
    And told My g-28 hasn't been properly signed and completed.
    Caller didn't ask me for my personal i nformation
    he confirmed my name, dob ,my last entry . address, wifes name address dob
    my parents name , my in laws name. He even told g28 it was signed by my HR manager.
    He had all the information, he didn't ask for any personal information.
    He asked if there was any other names used.
    He joked about me not smiling on the picture, he confirmed when the finger prints were completed
    After about 10 minutes of conversation he congratualed me on the approval and my wifes approval said the card should be mailed from kentucky with a week and even mentioned that USCIS online system isn't working.

    I am taking infopass tommorrow and confirming and if true I am going have it stamped

    I hope this is all true.


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  • santb1975
    06-08 12:37 AM
    but I don't see the price coming down anytime soon either. Whoever invested in gold about 5-6 years ago made good money. Commodities are definately a good buy in this economy but any investments these days comes only after building up a 8-12 month emergency fund. This thread is getting interesting.

    Thread gets more interesting...way of life..love the way it transformed from home buying good/bad to sound investment advice...here is my bit:

    With all the $$ spending by government, inflation is inevitable. FED can try to fight it by increasing interest rates, but that will open another box of worms. In a hurry now and will post a detailed discussion later about interest rates, fed and inflation..very interesting indeed

    my take is gold...solid investment in these times and a proven hedge against inflation

    goodluck guys..more later

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  • hiralal
    06-24 08:13 AM
    one of the main reason that I stopped looking for a home is GC. the reason I was hunting around was to get advantage of tax credit ..but when I read articles like this ..I feel waiting for some more time has advantages too !! (so even if you take best case scenario of 10% drop in your area ..a house which costs 250K will drop by 25K ??? which is 3 times the tax credit).
    Searching for a bottom in the housing market
    Sales look like they could rebound soon, but you can't say the same for prices.

    See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
    By Janet Morrissey, contributor
    June 19, 2009: 4:23 AM ET

    FORTUNE 500
    Current Issue
    Subscribe to Fortune

    NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Sales in the decimated housing market may finally be bottoming, but don't expect home prices to stop dropping before mid-2010 at the earliest, analysts and economists say.

    Indeed, prices in the battered housing market could get a lot worse before they get better as an avalanche of specialized adjustable rate mortgages, known as option ARMs and Alt-A mortgages, are slated to reset over the next 18 to 24 months, and rising unemployment causes a surge in the number of prime mortgages going into default. All of this is expected to trigger another round of foreclosures and cause home prices to tumble at least another 20% before the market rebounds, according to market analysts and economists.

    Market bulls believe home prices could bottom in the second half of 2010, but the bears warn it could be 2013 before they finally trough. And once prices do reach a low, it could be years before they significantly rebound.
    0:00 /4:19Housing market's false hope

    "This is clearly the worst housing crisis since the Depression," says John Burns, president of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Losses from the housing meltdown totaled $3.6 trillion at the end of 2008, and will likely approach $5 trillion by the time the crisis ends, predicts Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors.

    Bob Curran, managing director at Fitch Ratings, is a lot more cautious, noting that one month of gains doesn't make a trend -- existing home sales are still off 3.5% from a year ago. "You'd want to see a string of months -- ideally three months -- to say with confidence that a bottom has been reached," he says.

    "We're about two-thirds of the way through the pricing correction on a percentage basis," says Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist with MFR Inc., an economic consulting and analysis firm. He expects prices to slide at least another 20% over the next 18 months.

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  • chanduv23
    03-24 04:32 PM
    I think it is mainly for graduate students who are researchers or professors right?

    I know my brother went this route and the graduate students/post doctorate students don't get paid much. I thought that was changing though.

    it can be for Physicians, professors, reseaerch, teaching etc..

    08-01 08:24 PM
    House Votes 411-8 to Pass Ethics Overhaul (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/31/AR2007073100200.html) Far-Reaching Measure Faces Senate Hurdles By Jonathan Weisman Washington Post Staff Writer, August 1, 2007

    The House gave final and overwhelming approval yesterday to a landmark bill that would tighten ethics and lobbying rules for Congress, forcing lawmakers to more fully detail how their campaigns are funded and how they direct government spending.

    The new lobbying bill would, for the first time, require lawmakers to disclose small campaign contributions that are "bundled" into large packages by lobbyists. It would require lobbyists to detail their own campaign contributions, as well as payments to presidential libraries, inaugural committees and charities controlled by lawmakers. The proposal would also put new disclosure requirements on special spending measures for pet projects, known as "earmarks."

    "What we did today was momentous," declared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "It's historic."

    The bill is the most far-reaching attempt at ethics reform since Watergate, although it is not as aggressive as some legislators wanted in restricting the use of earmarks and in requiring the disclosure of donation bundling. The legislation, which had been stalled until negotiators worked out a deal in recent days to get it passed before the August recess, is a priority for Democrats, who won control of Congress in part because they had decried what they called "a culture of corruption" under Republicans.

    Although it passed the House 411 to 8, the bill could face hurdles in the Senate, which is under a new ethics cloud after the FBI raid Monday on Sen. Ted Stevens's house. Last night, a group of Republican senators prevented Democrats from bringing up the bill, forcing the scheduling of a vote tomorrow to break the filibuster. Still, senators from both parties predicted easy passage by week's end.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) all but dared Republicans to try to block the proposal when it comes to a vote as early as tomorrow. "With that resounding vote in the House, 411-8, I think people ought to be concerned about voting against it," he said yesterday.

    But in a closed-door lunch with fellow Republican senators yesterday, Stevens (R-Alaska) himself threatened to block the measure, objecting that the legislation's new restrictions on lawmakers' use of corporate jets would unfairly penalize members of Congress who live in distant states, such as himself.

    The legislation would end secret "holds" in the Senate, which allow a single senator to block action without disclosing that he or she has done so. Members of Congress would no longer be allowed to attend lavish parties thrown in their honor at political conventions. Gifts, meals and travel funded by lobbyists would be banned, and travel on corporate jets would be restricted. Lobbyists would have to disclose their activities more often and on the Internet. And lawmakers convicted of bribery, perjury and other crimes would be denied their congressional pensions.

    "These are big-time fundamental reforms," said Fred Wertheimer, president of the open-government group Democracy 21.

    Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.), who failed to get ethics legislation enacted last year, noted that the final bill's disclosure rules are considerably less tough on the "bundling" of small campaign contributions into large donations by lobbyists. The original ethics bill would have required the disclosure of bundled contributions over $5,000 every three months. Under the final bill, lawmakers would have to report every six months any bundled contributions from lobbyists totaling more than $15,000. In one year, a single lobbyist could funnel nearly $30,000 to a candidate or campaign committee without any of those actions having to be disclosed.

    House negotiators also refused to lengthen the current one-year "cooling-off" period, during which former House members are prohibited from becoming lobbyists.

    Some conservatives latched on to the weakening of earmark disclosure rules that had passed the Senate in January. An explicit prohibition on trading earmarks for votes was dropped by House and Senate Democratic negotiators. A prohibition on any earmark that would financially benefit lawmakers, their immediate families, their staff or their staff's immediate families was altered to say that the ban would apply to any earmark that advances a lawmaker's "pecuniary interest." Critics say that would mean the benefit would have to be direct for the measure to be prohibited, and that the ban would not apply to a project that would benefit a larger community, including the lawmaker.

    House members are covered by earmark rules, passed earlier this year, that are tougher than the legislation, which would apply only to senators.

    "Earmarks have been the currency of corruption and, unfortunately, this lobbying reform bill does not adequately address that problem," declared Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a longtime critic of earmarks.

    Reform groups and Democrats accused opponents of using the earmark issue as a pretext to block the other rule changes. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who has blocked the legislation in the past, confirmed that he remains uncomfortable with the broader bill's mandates on lobbying disclosures and gift bans.

    "You could've done nothing, or some staff member could have made an innocent mistake, and now you're defending yourself in a court of law," he said. "It's nuts."

    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), another critic, had single-handedly blocked the calling of a formal House-Senate conference to negotiate the final deal, forcing Democrats to hammer out the compromise on their own. The House passed it under fast-track procedures that prohibit amendments but require a two-thirds majority for approval -- a threshold that was easily met.

    Now, Reid must get the bill through the Senate without any amendment, using a parliamentary tactic that has been roundly criticized by Republicans in the past as strong-arming. But in this case, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has given his tacit assent, laying the blame squarely on his own conservative hard-liners.

    "In a sense, we made it difficult on ourselves," McConnell said.

    It may be even more difficult for Republicans to block the measure while their senior senator, Stevens, is under a cloud of suspicion. FBI agents raided the powerful lawmaker's house Monday, looking for evidence in a long-running investigation of an Alaska energy firm, Veco, and its alleged efforts to bribe Alaska lawmakers.

    And yesterday, the House ethics committee indicated that it may consider an inquiry into whether Rep. Heather A. Wilson (R-N.M.) violated rules by calling a federal prosecutor about a pending investigation. The committee's staff interviewed the prosecutor, former U.S. attorney David C. Iglesias, yesterday.

    At least eight lawmakers -- six Republicans and two Democrats -- are under federal investigation. Earlier this year, the homes and business interests of Reps. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) and John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.) were searched, and Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) was indicted on corruption charges.

    04-08 02:17 AM
    I was discussing the same with a friend of mine...

    what will be done next is ...

    Have 49 employees and start a sister concern ( New firm ) after that ..