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  • mariner5555
    04-15 04:18 PM
    I just want to list the difference in your home purchase decision when you have GC vs. you are in H1B/EAD.

    GC - You can splurge a little. Even if you have to move, you are almost certain that you are able to move within the US, or will be able to come back to the US. You will get better interest rates on a mortgage and a higher percentage of financing (upto 97%). You can buy your dream home (this usually means a nice community, big house etc. etc.) Even if the value of your purchase comes down, you can afford to wait for a longer period of time.

    H1/EAD - Think 10 times before purchasing a home. Take a conservative approach. If you think you can really afford a $400,000 house, purchase only a $350,000 house. Prepare to pay around 8% down-payment (some times even 20%) and you may not get the best interest rate. Plan very well for the possibility that you may have to move within the US or even out of the country. And prepare some plans considering that you may have to go out of the US and may not be able to come back. Consider the possibility of renting a town home or a single family home. In this market, you can even find homes by paying a rent which could be some times lower than the mortgage on the home. I agree with what h1tech has said ..and that is good advice. I guess there is enough info on this thread and hopefully people will take right decisions (so I will stop for the time being). btw ..nobody said bigger house is not better if everything else is constant .. maybe people are misreading things.
    and I guess inspite of all these arguments ..people will rush to buy ..which is good too it helps the economy.. ( I guess some like to shoot themselves in the foot ..).
    note - ARMS will reset in may / june (the batch that is referred below) ..which means many of these will foreclose in early 2009.
    The onslaught of homes facing foreclosures has yet to ebb, a research report showed Tuesday, with bank repossessions skyrocketing last month as more troubled homeowners mailed in their keys and walked away.

    And the worst isn't over: the wave of adjustable-rate loans resetting to higher rates will crest in May and June. And that's expected to push more homeowners into default and foreclosure in the third and fourth quarters of this year, according to RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine, Calif.

    "Once we're through that batch of loans, the worst will have been worked through the system," said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's vice president of marketing.
    He estimates between 750,000 and 1 million bank-owned properties will hit the market this year, or about a quarter of the homes up for sale. In some areas, these properties will continue to slow sales and depress prices further.

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  • Ramba
    08-05 02:28 PM
    Good points, but let me put a counter argument. Two people , one is named SunnySurya and the other is named Mr XYZ. Both came to the USA at the same time in 1999. The difference was SunnySurya came here for his masters and the other guy came here through shady means.

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

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

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

    Agree. Like labor subsitution scandal/abuse, you should have a documenterly evidence to go after this scam (creating duplicate EB2 job just to cut-short the line). If it is a USCIS rule, they may ripoff this ( like labor sub.). It is long way to go. The nut shell-- as long us GC is in high demand, people abuse the system. DOL, USCIS, knows this. Thatswhy DOL is auditing most EB2 labor certification. In my view, who ever filed EB2 between 2000 to 2004 (when EB3 was current) are true-EB2. After 2005, most of the EB2 filings are cut-short the EB3 que. Most of the cases not based on actual MINIMUM requirements for the job. Everyone knows this..

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  • ArkBird
    01-06 05:32 PM
    I am not supporting Hamas or their core belief. I am not going that far. What i'm saying is, how can one country kill school kids and go scot-free???

    When we cried for terror victims, why don't we do the same for palestinians who are victims of state sponsored terrorism???

    If we want to discuss about Ideology of other faiths and different groups, we can open one more thread. You wouldn't want to open another thread. Because you know how nasty those ideologies are? Every religion/group have their own ideology and they are nothing but brutal.

    I don't know of any religion which touts killing on innocent people just because they don't believe in your ideology which for me is the biggest crime against humanity.

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  • Macaca
    12-23 10:55 AM
    Pelosi's first year

    San Francisco Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi made history as the nation's first female House speaker in January, but she's had a bumpy first year marked by successes and failures.

    Biggest successes

    Passed an energy bill raising fuel economy standards for the first time in 30 years, the equivalent today of taking 28 million cars off the road by 2020.

    Approved a major cut in interest rates on student loans to make college more affordable.

    Passed the strongest ethics reforms since Watergate, banning gifts from lobbyists and making earmarks more transparent.

    Secured the largest increase in veterans' benefits in history.

    Increased the minimum wage for the first time in a decade, from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 over three years.

    Biggest failures

    Despite repeated votes, failed to enact any major changes in Iraq war policy.

    Tried to expand the state children's health insurance program to cover 4 million more children, but was blocked by President Bush and House Republicans.

    Sparked a diplomatic fight with Turkey by pushing a resolution condemning the country's mass killing of Armenians during World War I.

    Abandoned the party's "pay-as-you-go" budget rules to avoid letting the alternative minimum tax hit 20 million Americans.

    Accepted Bush's spending limits in the end-of-the-year budget fight to avoid shutting down the federal government.


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  • paskal
    07-08 08:46 PM
    I have been here 11 years. 4 different employers.
    I have all my returns and W2's
    why in the world would i keep every paystub?
    makes no sense. of course little does.

    UN thanks for the comments.
    any predictions on where we are headed? my vested interest is in EB2 india...

    btw why is everyone presuming that the 60,000 approvals went to India and China? EB3 ROW is retrogressed- all the extra numbers could have gone there. that would in any case be all the better for india/china in the longer term- the faster that backlog is finished, the greater the chance india/china lines will show meaningful movement.

    also did you notice the cantwell-kyl compromise amendment in the failed CIR 2007 had a provision for 485 filing w/o visa numbers current?

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  • xyzgc
    12-28 12:35 AM
    As much as terrorism is an evil thing, surgical strikes and stuff won't do crap. It will further alienate and give fodder to the mullahs to create more Kasab's. Really, do you think we can stop 20 yr old guys who are willing to kill themselves, think again? These guys are just washed out completely, there is no retribution, pain, all they see is a target and blow themselves out.

    Instead, we should concentrate on the war within that we face. Be it from communal/political/socio-economic violence or lack of regard for the common man's life. By no means I am saying inaction but war is certainly not the solution. Pakistan will meet its fate sooner than later if they continue the path they have chosen. We don't have to hasten it.

    200 Indians dying is painful but look at these figures to put things into perspective.

    Accidents in India:


    Infant Mortality:


    These are all staggering numbers and something none of us have to depend on a third country to seek the cure.

    I hope India continues to apply diplomatic pressure and show the world the parasite Pakistan it has become. As Zardari today acknowledged, they have a cancer within the country, its eating up. If they don't, its just a matter of time. To cure that, if they find mullahs as their doctors, time will be up pretty soon..

    Do you mean we should spend the $26 billion on defence budgets (yearly) just to make hollow noises and allow terrorists to run amok in our cities and attack our senate?How many years your folks in India have paid taxes to the central govt? Have you tracked the tax money that goes out of your family's pockets?

    Or are you saying that we should donate our arsenal to Pakistan and stop spending on defence, henceforth?

    Children are blinded to make beggars in Bombay, women get raped in Delhi, sex workers have AIDS all over the metros, so you are saying we should divert all our defence budgets towards humanitarian causes?
    Why don't you suggest this to Honorable Mr. Manmohan Singh and Honorable P Chidambaram and see if your Utopian proposal will be ever accepted?


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  • Macaca
    02-21 04:18 PM
    we are targeting him because he is saying things which are inaccurate if not ludicrous regarding immigration.

    Is it posible to post these inaccuracies about us. I want to post them here (

    I want to post the general apathy of media towards us. However, all I have is no one reports about us. Any more ideas? Thanks.

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  • django.stone
    09-26 07:03 PM
    I agree with 485Mbe4001 and many other folks on this thread that have talked about the results of Obama victory - USA would face socialist policies and personally our GCs could be affected by protectionist agenda. I have never understood why Indians (even 2nd generation) by default support Democrats, when all the values and rational reasons point us towards Republicans. I am libertarian in my views and a staunch supporter of republicans.

    Reasons for Indians to support Democrats -

    1. Generally religion neutral and not influenced by christian right wing
    2. Generally tolerant of people from other cultures rather than being a party of white folks run by white men
    3. Tendency to help human/environment suffering
    4. Afraid of military draft that could recruit our kids

    Reasons for Indians to support Republicans -

    1. Supportive of outsourcing which is one of the many reasons our home country is flourishing these days
    2. Supportive of entrepreneurship, which many if not all Indians plan to pursue at some point in their life time in USA
    3. Lower taxes so you can spend your money rather than have govt spend it for you in things you don't need (such as bear research in Montana for $3MM)
    4. Privatize social security so you can keep you own contributions rather than throw it into the common pool. Let me explain this a bit here. Indians contribute to SS all their life until 65, but never get to enjoy it as rarely we live past 65. Life expectancy of Indian women is around 60 and men is around 55, rarely we live up to 75+ like Caucasians. What happens to the money we contribute to the common pot? It is enjoyed by somebody else, if we had private accounts, you can retire around 55 and enjoy your contribution till you live.
    5. Family values of Indians very much like the value system of middle-america's republican base - religious, hard working, humility, respect for elders, american dream of owning a 3bed-2bath house with a yard, cul-de-sac and basketball etc.
    6. Aligned with Indian govt's views on fighting terrorism
    7. Allow your kid to go to private school of your choice with your tax dollars, rather than force you to send your kid to public school in your area


    Now coming to the issue on hand, overall roughly 60% to 80% of americans do not want any kind of immigration (check wikipedia). That is the unfortunate truth! We should all be lucky to be here due to generally business friendly laws that allows for H1B visas and EB GCs for skilled labor. If left to public, immigration would be banned. Hence, I believe both parties use this as a posturing issue during elections to their favor. khodalmd in the previous thread explained the breakdown of republicans/democrats accurately. Logically speaking, republicans can be convinced about its need to sustain economy and generate taxes as more baby boomers retire, but this logic is these days trumped by mix up with illegals.

    If Obama wins, economy/stock market would tank, more jobs would be outsourced. My fear is that during those times, any kind of immigration law would not pass. If god forbid, layoffs start to roll, then many of us may have to start from scratch, hence I call it perfect storm.


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  • unseenguy
    06-26 05:07 PM
    Again where are you getting that 550K value for a house from . The houses that were 500K two years back are now 400 - 450K ( exclude the extremes ). Why the HOA - can't the house be a single family home like most of US .

    Taxes - well I was not saying you get the whole money back but are taxes the only reason one should not buy a house ?

    Housing price correction has already happened in most of the good areas. If you think that they are going to go down 20% more that is never going to happen. People are not going to sell. They will just say put rather than take a 40% loss.

    pandeyji, please dont jump to conclusion. The "kind" of house I want to live in is 550K now. I dont know how much was it 2 years back. I live in Seattle, where prices started to fall only late last year and this year when MSFT , Boeing and Starbucks announced layoffs.

    I agree that there are some places now such as : NC, SC, FL, MI , OH, TX, MN etc are good places to buy. CA , OR, NV, AZ and WA have vast supply of inventories.

    When I say I am expecting 20% correction, I am not speculating in blind. I have seen the data on where they tell you last price the house was sold for, the date and current price. Zillow also tells you what is their estimate you should offer in current market conditions and how much correction, upward or downward have they seen in last 3 months.

    Now for eg: I see houses from 1999 where they sold for 250-300 K and owners of the same property now expect 550-600K in 2009.

    Now if I do a rent vs buy, I must offer this guy 400K-420K (max) for it to be profitable for me in 5-7 years against the current rent. Also majority of the houses have HOAs here in WA metro areas. Some are high and some are low.

    Again if I have any realistic chance for this guy to take my offer in good faith, he must bring down the cost to 450K. Then 400-420K is a doable deal.

    If the seller is serious, there is no reason why he will not accept a 420K offer because there is abundant oversupply in the market. He can hold out for 2 years but a distressed or needful seller will have to sell home for that price because he might get only 1-2 offers in a month or few months.

    Even in my own community, people are expecting 350 K for a condo with 280 HOA, do you think, I can offer them 270K? Only then the rent/buy will make sense for me in next 5 years (and to be honest I dont plan to live in a town home for 30 years).

    I have given you enough numbers, do the math, lets not bring emotional sentiment into this.

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  • Macaca
    03-06 08:57 PM
    Some paras from Lobbying Bill Sparks Populist Uprising -- on Both Sides (

    The National Right to Life Committee and Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) are locking horns -- not over abortion, but over whether thousands of top executive branch officials should have to disclose the names of people who lobby them.

    Driven by the over-the-top, clandestine lobbying of Bush administration officials by now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Waxman's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has unanimously approved the Executive Branch Reform Act. A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that she backs the measure, which would require senior bureaucrats to report quarterly whom they speak to about government actions, and that she expects it to get a vote in the House.

    The legislation's advocates are also preparing to fight and they hope eventually to expand reporting to include lobbyists' meetings with lawmakers. Liberal watchdog groups such as Public Citizen, Common Cause and Democracy 21 yearn to give the public a clearer picture of who asks what from government officials all over the nation's capital.


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  • hopefulgc
    07-13 09:56 PM
    eligibility comes for having gained the requisite experience in another job.. not the current one.

    One of the qualifying criteria for EB2 is 5 years of experience. Right????

    If your I-485 application is stuck since July 2003 or prior, you are automatically EB2 by that rule. Are you not? You have been working for 5 years atleast.

    The revised rule should be

    EB2 eligibile = Anybody with experience on labor > 5 years (this would not impact current EB2 folks) or whose labor is older than 5 years (this will make EB3 folks happier).


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  • ganguteli
    03-25 12:40 PM
    UN I think you are hyping up the current situation too much.

    Yes there are raids and arrests,

    But it is not so bad. You are saying as if everyone in consulting is getting denied. If it was so bad, all immigration forums would have been filled up with denial posts and cries for help. Maybe you have encountered people who only faced denials and not the entire spectrum. Thus your judgement may be influenced.


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  • chintu25
    08-05 10:07 AM
    :DGuys ,
    The "mahaul"(environment) seems so Tense around the IV forums that I thought of making a thread to share some light humor / Jokes etc

    Here are some funny quotes to start with

    I don't think President fully understands this immigration thing.
    Like today, when they asked him about amnesty, he said it's horrible
    when anyone loses their memory." --Jay Leno

    "As you know, today was Don't Take Your Immigrant To Work Day
    here in Los Angeles. No, all across the nation they had a Day Without
    Immigrants, is what they call it. Or, as Native Americans call it, the
    good ol' days." --Jay Leno

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  • singhsa3
    08-05 09:09 AM
    Obviously you pissed of lot of people. So what is you plan? How would you approach this. Please explain the steps including your source of funding...

    I need to find out how many people are interested in pursuing this option, since the whole interfiling/PD porting business (based on a year 2000 memo) can seriously undermine the EB2 category.

    I am currently pursuing some initial draft plans with some legal representation, so that a sweeping case may be filed to end this unfair practice. We need to plug this EB3-to-EB2 loophole, if there is any chance to be had for filers who have originally been EB2.

    More than any other initiative, the removal of just this one unfair provision will greatly aid all original EB2 filers. Else, it can be clearly deduced that the massively backlogged EB3 filers will flock over to EB2 and backlog it by 8 years or more.

    I also want to make this issue an action item for all EB2 folks volunteering for IV activities.



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  • Rolling_Flood
    08-05 09:27 PM
    As usual, if the EB3 (i.e. majority) folks here do not like a subject, it gets banned. If something is unpopular, it gets swept under the carpet.

    Go ahead and close the thread, it's in your nature. Plus i already know which members to contact to make this go forward. I said before and i will say it again, i was NOT looking for monetary contributions.

    I was just reading all the posts which i did not get to read since morning when i left for work.

    To answer some people who called me an asshole, a hater, an anti-immigrant, a bodyshop employee, and a number of other things:

    1.) I graduated from one of the IITs in India, came to pursue my Masters in the same field in the 4th ranked university (for that field) in the US.
    2.) Finished my Masters in 1.5 years and got 2 jobs through on-campus placements (one in my field, one not).
    3.) Took the job that pertained to my field of study, been here ever since, company is the number 2 company in its area, and is a US establishment.
    4.) I never paid a dime for my H1-B or my GC processing till date, it was all paid by the company.
    5.) My company is very strict regarding the letter of the law, and so my GC processing was by the rule book, each and every detail (no fake resumes here).
    6.) I get paid the same (actually about 2% more) compared to a US citizen at the same level/position in my organization.
    7.) I have exactly the same medical/vacation/retirement benefits as a US citizen.

    I did not get a chance to read my PMs but will do that shortly after supper. Yes, i am EB2, but a VALID one. I hope, in moments of clarity, people who are shouting and abusing can see that.

    Yes, i do have an attorney and a paralegal i am talking to, and i will file this case in the proper arena. I am fed up and will do what i think is right. Meanwhile, for those who think porting is right, you are welcome to it. No one stopped you from challenging the law either.

    You can talk here all you like, but i pray that your "bring it on" attitude survives till the point where this porting mess is banned by law.

    Thanks for your attention (or the lack thereof).

    Can someone note the

    - Best funny post on this thread
    - Best post of the thread
    - Worse post of the thread

    for the 3 awards and I will go through just those 3 posts and close the thread. :D

    I will open the thread once Rollling_flood files the lawsuit:D.

    What do you say?

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  • nojoke
    04-21 03:43 PM
    I suggest you stop looking at national level figures if you are seeking accurate information. Look at the specific neighborhood you have mind and you may find that the situation there is not exactly what is shown on CNN.

    As an example the DFW area is doing alright inspite of the gloomy picture painted by the media at the national level. Used homes will take longer to sell, but it is nowhere as bad as Florida or CA. And we are not discussing selling here anyway...we are discussing buying.

    The Dallas Morning News. �The housing downturn is hitting almost every neighborhood in the Dallas area. Even affluent close-in residential areas that had previously avoided declines, including the Park Cities and North Dallas, are seeing falling prices and significant drops in home sales.�

    �And sales of high-end homes no matter where they are � until recently a bright spot � are sliding, too. Economists and other experts blame a large inventory of recently built speculative homes, higher interest rates for large mortgages and sellers who have not lowered unrealistically high prices.�

    ��We are definitely seeing a deterioration in sales across price ranges,� said D�Ann Petersen, business economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. �The high end did hold up quite well until recently.��

    �Preowned home sales dropped 25 percent in the Park Cities. And prices were down 1 percent from a year ago � the first such decline in more than five years, according to North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.�

    �In North Dallas, sales in the first quarter were down a staggering 40 percent. Prices were also off by 1 percent from a year ago. Median home sales prices dropped by 4 percent in Far North Dallas, and sales in that area fell by 26 percent.�

    �Sales prices fell in almost two dozen of the 46 residential districts The Dallas Morning News tracks each quarter.�

    �Even the most blue chip neighborhoods are having some problems. �I talked with a leading appraiser who said he was working on 16 or 17 foreclosures in Preston Hollow � they were all builders,� said longtime Dallas residential agent David Nichols. He said there are �plenty of buyers out there,� but with so much to look at, they are taking longer to decide on a house.�

    �Sales of $1 million-plus homes fell by 19 percent in the first quarter in North Texas. The sharp decline follows several years of double-digit gains at the top of the local market. Sales of homes priced between $600,000 and $1 million fell by between 20 and 38 percent in the first three months of 2008 compared with the same period last year.�

    ��People who have a lot of money and are looking to buy the very expensive properties aren�t stupid with their money � they don�t like paying the higher cost and may be waiting for the market to respond,� Mr. Gaines said.�

    �Veteran Dallas appraiser D.W. Skelton isn�t surprised to hear that the first-quarter preowned home sales statistics look a bit bleak. �We�ve seen it for a while,� he said. �The numbers are not as optimistic as some would lead you to believe.��

    ��Most of it is the result of builders running up values in some neighborhoods and now they have come down,� Mr. Skelton said. �It�s more a problem of price point � no matter what the location. They need to come off those prices. Their expectations were unrealistic because our market was so robust for so long.��

    �All the publicity about so-called rescue plans to help troubled homeowners isn�t having an impact so far on Dallas-Fort Worth foreclosures. The number of homes facing foreclosure in the area next month is up almost 40 percent from a year ago.�

    �Mr. Roddy said the number of D-FW foreclosure postings is the second-highest on record. �Back in February, we were over 5,000,� he said. �But the percentage gain this year is unbelievable when you consider that last year was unbelievable.��

    �Almost 43,000 homes were posted for foreclosure here in 2007 � a record and up 10 percent from 2006. The number of home foreclosure postings has risen by 24 percent from the first five months of 2007.�

    �He said he doesn�t expect to see much change in home foreclosures over the next 18 to 24 months.�


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  • Mahatma
    10-02 09:10 AM
    Dear Ivians,

    I have not read all the mails. However, I want to express very naive thoughts (without a reading bias from previous mails) for now. I might reconsider some notions by the weekend until I am satisfied.

    I have studied Obama, CIR and immigrants plights all these years. Here is what I think could be positive:

    Obama is the kind of leader whao gets at the bottom the issues and tries to do the right thing (Watch Clinton's Florida speech, Oct 01, 2008 as to why he likes Obama!). He has the leadership skills and the strength of character to sway enough votes for any legislation including CIR. To me, so far he has shown Lincolnian charm. He is a serious guy who wants to do the right thing.

    He would try to balance middle class american families and unemployment situation. When close to half a millions jobs are lost, it is illconceivable for anybody to push for immigration reform eventhough we may be on the right side of justice and victim of broken system.

    There may be some tough situations for immigrants such as less outsourcing, american worker priority and other programs to promote STEM within the company. However, he will be the person to stand up for plights of tech workers. He understands the need and benefits of tech-immigration. As far as I know, his voting for H1 and CIR has been positive. It will be Obama and not someone elase whao will decide the policy. Durbin might tie the loose ends.

    My feeling is this: Let us trust this man. Explain to him through IV and any other channels our problems and how it impacts present and future of America. If we could successfully argue (by all pure means) for a "A business model where tech-immigrants bring benefits and rate of returns in a much higher and assured fashion than the stock market", we could win this debate.

    We are dealing with reasonable, smart and patriotic people. We need to continue to explore better methods to effectively communicate and win the deal. It is all about intellectual exercise to win a deal....

    It is always prudent to have back up plans, however, it should not distract us too much.

    haven't we agreed that GC is only worth so much and we do not want to have our life hostage to GC. At the same time, timely GC status gives better control of our career and discharging our family obliations. Sooner is better. However, we could do only so much.

    Let us continue to do our best and hopefully with a new administration, we would learn new equations.

    I trust in the ability of IV and IV-sympathetic constituencies to bring us deserved reward and recognition sooner rather than later.

    Staying positive, continuing to learn (lobbying and swaying), adapting to the environment (what are the business needs of main street and wall street and how leaders perceive those) and doing our best (use best of our minds and achess game of life.....a special gift of God to Indians and others) and learn to be happy.

    Remember, this is the first stroke of my pen.... I might revisit and reconsider some thoughts based on what most others are thinking.

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  • pthoko
    07-11 10:10 AM

    wait for UN's reply

    but I think it is better to be honest on the G328 form and not lie as it mentions in coconut sized letters that we r mentioning the facts and signing the forms. Later on they will have all the rights to ask proof documents thru RFE for paystubs,w2 etc, after that we cannot lie anymore and might land in further mess. we submit all the H1/L1 approvals at the time of 485 filing..they can just enter the case# and get the whole history of the case...

    AFAIK..I don't think yours is a violation of status, you were eligible to work on L1 until 2006 and also eligible to work on H1 since Oct 2005. In a H1 scenario,if I extend my H1 with current employer until next July, meanwhile find another employer and file a H1 with new employer until next July, after 4 months with new employer, you change your mind and want to go back to old can work with old employer until July as long as the old employer does not cancel your old H1..

    * i140 stage,only the companies financial records r checked,you even need not be employed with them when you r filing the i140.
    * 1st time stamping in Canada/Mexico for H1b is not possible I think as it has to be done in home country,unless you have a US Masters.

    btw...I have a question, does your H1b approval have an i94 attached with it...? hopefully ..yes..

    YES my H1B approval had an I-94 attached with it. Same no: as my L1 I-94.


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  • Macaca
    12-27 07:15 PM
    In �Daily Show� Role on 9/11 Bill, Echoes of Murrow ( By BILL CARTER and BRIAN STELTER | New York Times

    Did the bill pledging federal funds for the health care of 9/11 responders become law in the waning hours of the 111th Congress only because a comedian took it up as a personal cause?

    And does that make that comedian, Jon Stewart � despite all his protestations that what he does has nothing to do with journalism � the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow?

    Certainly many supporters, including New York�s two senators, as well as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, played critical roles in turning around what looked like a hopeless situation after a filibuster by Republican senators on Dec. 10 seemed to derail the bill.

    But some of those who stand to benefit from the bill have no doubt about what � and who � turned the momentum around.

    �I don�t even know if there was a deal, to be honest with you, before his show,� said Kenny Specht, the founder of the New York City Firefighter Brotherhood Foundation, who was interviewed by Mr. Stewart on Dec. 16.

    That show was devoted to the bill and the comedian�s effort to right what he called �an outrageous abdication of our responsibility to those who were most heroic on 9/11.�

    Mr. Specht said in an interview, �I�ll forever be indebted to Jon because of what he did.�

    Mr. Bloomberg, a frequent guest on �The Daily Show,� also recognized Mr. Stewart�s role.

    �Success always has a thousand fathers,� the mayor said in an e-mail. �But Jon shining such a big, bright spotlight on Washington�s potentially tragic failure to put aside differences and get this done for America was, without a doubt, one of the biggest factors that led to the final agreement.�

    Though he might prefer a description like �advocacy satire,� what Mr. Stewart engaged in that night � and on earlier occasions when he campaigned openly for passage of the bill � usually goes by the name �advocacy journalism.�

    There have been other instances when an advocate on a television show turned around public policy almost immediately by concerted focus on an issue � but not recently, and in much different circumstances.

    �The two that come instantly to mind are Murrow and Cronkite,� said Robert J. Thompson, a professor of television at Syracuse University.

    Edward R. Murrow turned public opinion against the excesses of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. Mr. Thompson noted that Mr. Murrow had an even more direct effect when he reported on the case of Milo Radulovich, an Air Force lieutenant who was stripped of his commission after he was charged with associating with communists. Mr. Murrow�s broadcast resulted in Mr. Radulovich�s reinstatement.

    Walter Cronkite�s editorial about the stalemate in the war in Vietnam after the Tet Offensive in 1968 convinced President Lyndon B. Johnson that he had lost public support and influenced his decision a month later to decline to run for re-election.

    Though the scale of the impact of Mr. Stewart�s telecast on public policy may not measure up to the roles that Mr. Murrow and Mr. Cronkite played, Mr. Thompson said, the comparison is legitimate because the law almost surely would not have moved forward without him. �He so pithily articulated the argument that once it was made, it was really hard to do anything else,� Mr. Thompson said.

    The Dec. 16 show focused on two targets. One was the Republicans who were blocking the bill; Mr. Stewart, in a clear effort to shame them for hypocrisy, accused them of belonging to �the party that turned 9/11 into a catchphrase.� The other was the broadcast networks (one of them being CBS, the former home of Mr. Murrow and Mr. Cronkite), which, he charged, had not reported on the bill for more than two months.

    �Though, to be fair,� Mr. Stewart said, �it�s not every day that Beatles songs come to iTunes.� (Each of the network newscasts had covered the story of the deal between the Beatles and Apple for their music catalog.) Each network subsequently covered the progress of the bill, sometimes citing Mr. Stewart by name. The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, credited Mr. Stewart with raising awareness of the Republican blockade.

    Eric Ortner, a former ABC News senior producer who worked as a medic at the World Trade Center site on 9/11, expressed dismay that Mr. Stewart had been virtually alone in expressing outrage early on.

    �In just nine months� time, my skilled colleagues will be jockeying to outdo one another on 10th anniversary coverage� of the attacks, Mr. Ortner wrote in an e-mail. �It�s when the press was needed most, when sunlight truly could disinfect,� he said, that the news networks were not there.

    Brian Williams, the anchor of �NBC Nightly News� and another frequent Stewart guest, did not comment on his network�s news judgment in how it covered the bill, but he did offer a comment about Mr. Stewart�s role.

    �Jon gets to decide the rules governing his own activism and the causes he supports,� Mr. Williams said, �and how often he does it � and his audience gets to decide if they like the serious Jon as much as they do the satirical Jon.�

    Mr. Stewart is usually extremely careful about taking serious positions for which he might be accused of trying to exert influence. He went to great lengths to avoid commenting about the intentions of his Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington in October, and the rally itself emphasized such less-than-impassioned virtues as open-minded debate and moderation.

    In this case, Mr. Stewart, who is on vacation, declined to comment at all on the passage of the bill. He also ordered his staff not to comment or even offer any details on how the show was put together.

    But Mr. Specht, the show guest, described how personally involved Mr. Stewart was in constructing the segment.

    After the news of the Republican filibuster broke, �The Daily Show� contacted John Feal, an advocate for 9/11 victims, who then referred the show producers to Mr. Specht and the other guests.

    Mr. Stewart met with the show�s panel of first responders in advance and briefed them on how the conversation would go. He even decided which seat each of the four men should sit in for the broadcast.

    For Mr. Stewart, the topic of the 9/11 attacks has long been intensely personal. He lives in the TriBeCa area and has noted that in the past, he was able to see the World Trade Center from his apartment. Like other late-night comedians, he returned to the air shaken by the events and found performing comedy difficult for some time.

    But comedy on television, more than journalism on television, may be the most effective outlet for stirring debate and effecting change in public policy, Mr. Thompson of Syracuse said. �Comedy has the potential to have an important role in framing the way we think about civic life,� he said.

    And Mr. Stewart has thrust himself into the middle of that potential, he said.

    �I have to think about how many kids are watching Jon Stewart right now and dreaming of growing up and doing what Jon Stewart does,� Mr. Thompson said. �Just like kids two generations ago watched Murrow or Cronkite and dreamed of doing that. Some of these ambitious appetites and callings that have brought people into journalism in the past may now manifest themselves in these other arenas, like comedy.�

    03-24 10:12 AM
    Dude ask your employer to mail it himself to USCIS. You are not asking these documents for your timepass these are requested by USCIS so forward this mail to him and ask him to respond any ways its his responsiblity to support this GC application since it is his company that is asking for green card. current employer got email from dhs and he is sending out all details..but what about my previous employers..??

    06-23 03:38 PM
    Here is one calculation that might give you one more reason to buy...

    This is taking into consideration bay area good school district ....

    say you are currently in a 2 bedroom paying around $1900 rent (say cupertino school district)

    you buy a townhome for around $500k putting down 20%
    so loan amount is 400k
    @ 5% instrest your annual intrest is $ 20k.
    Say 3k HOA anually...
    Property a rule of thumb, I believe (and have heard from others) whatever poperty tax you pay comes back as your mortgage intrest and property tax is deductable.
    So not taking property tax into account....your annual expense is 23k.

    now here is the nice part....
    you get 8k (or is it 7.5k ?) from FED for buying a house (first time buyer)

    If you get a real estate agent who is ready to give you 50% back on the comission you can get back around 7.5k (assuming the agent gets 3% comission)...I know those kind of agent exist for sure !!

    There is something I have heard about CA also giving you 10k for buying new homes...but I am not sure of this so will leave it out of the calculations...

    so total amount u get back....8k+ 7.5k = 15k approx..

    1st year expense = 23k
    1st year actual expense = 23-15 = 8 k

    which mean monthly rent = 8k/12 = $666 per month (it is like paying $666 rent for a 2 bedroom in cupertino school district)

    Will the property value go up ? I do not know (I wish I knew)...

    Is there a risk ? I would think yes....

    Percentage of risk ? I would think keeping in mind current prices the risk is low...

    I am not telling that you should buy or not buy....just provided one piece of the calculation....-;)

    All the best !

    All these calculations don't play out if the house price keeps dropping. It has gone down in value for the last couple of years. It will go down more until housing is affordable. Right now a million $ for a 3 bedroom in bay area is too much. It has to go down a lot and it will go down. So the question is not about rent vs owning cost. It is a question of how severe the housing price crash is going to be. One can convince themselves playing with numbers. But the fact is that the Alt-A loans are going to get hit in another year and all those shadow inventory that banks are hiding will be forced into the market eventually. By then these rent vs mortgage numbers would mean so little...

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