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  • crystal
    08-03 06:09 PM
    Search the threads there is a link , if you entered to US in less than a year before filing I-485 they wil send a copy of G-325a to Consulate. If they dont get response in 6 months they move forward, they dont wait for the response. this does not cause backlog as far as i know. They keep consulate visa interview forms for an year , thats what i read in the link

    Ok . here is the link It is 60 days ( not 6 months which i said above)

    Do you really think they would send the G-325a to the consulate? Do the consulates keep all the records? For how long? I heard from immigrationportal, somebody said they only send G-325a to the consulate if one applied a visa within one year prior to AOS application. Can anyone confirm this?

    If they send everyone's G-325a form to the consulates, would that result in another backlog? Thanks.

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  • gcisadawg
    01-07 05:39 PM
    You lived in India and hate India, because of your wicked religion.
    Equating Bombay with Palastine is only a traitor can do.
    Even passive support is act of betrayel.
    Evil will be destoyed, it is God's will. They are preparing the kids for suicide bomber. So it is their fate to die little early, without harming any one.
    Any way your religion and its founder are blasphamy for real children of God.
    Only retard minded can follow it. Do suicide bomb to get 72 virgins. If any one of the virgin is a lesbian, what will do ?. If the guy is old, do he get viagara???They don't know in heaven no sex. No flesh, people in spiritual state.

    dude, that is gross! There are so many others who follow Islam and just because a minority is engaging in terrorism in the name of the religion, you can not paint all with the same brush. I hope sense prevails here. If you want, attack refugee's pioint of view not his religion.

    This is becoming crap. I request the moderators to throw this thread to where it belongs.

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-07 12:02 AM
    Poland�s worst air disaster ever occurred today . . .

    . . . When a two passenger Cessna 250 crashed into a large cemetery just outside of Warsaw.

    So far, 367 bodies have been found and authorities indicate the count could rise as digging continues.

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  • pitha
    09-26 06:24 PM
    Barack Obama the socialist with his protectionist\restrictionist measures will not create jobs but will destroy the capitalist america. In addition to "creating" jobs by stopping "JOBS BEING SHIPPED OVERSEAS", he will also "create" jobs by kicking you and me out of USA. Lookout for draconian H1b restrictions, points based system, removal of AC21 and amnesty for illegals by obama-kennedy-durbin CIR. Not sure MCcain would do anything for us but one thing for sure he wont be anti to eb folks. Just like Bush who might not have done anything for us but atleast during the july 2007 visa bulletin fiasco his administration (chertof, rice ) atleast reversed the July bulletin after the flower campaign. Durbin-obama would thrown the flowers on our face and kick us out.

    Just Kidding - reading your post i was feeling like I'm reading a comment from Fox News. However i do respect your opinion and thanks for expressing it.

    My Point is more long term - in the shorter term no major change can happen to economy even if Barack wins but eventually Economy would be stronger under Barack's leadership. He also stressed that he would stop "JOBS BEING SHIPPED OVERSEAS" which means companies like TATA or INFY or some Chinese company taking my Job ( or any American's Job ) away from US to INDIA or CHINA. If you are planning a future in US - you would not want your US job taken away by your brother at INDIA or CHINA and Barack will make sure that doesn't happen.

    The Bottonline is he will create tons of Jobs at US , so unemployment will be very low , average peoples will be happy and however loud ANTI-IMMIGRANTS scream and shout no AMERICAN will pay attention. Our EB reforms will Pass much easily and we will be able to able to lead a much happier and content life with GREEN CARD.

    Once again my Point is definitely Long Term - in the shorter duration Barack has to first fix the Mortgage Mess and do something with Iran by taking help from EUROPE.


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  • axp817
    03-26 05:57 PM
    Per my understanding, it absolutely is. An LCA amendment has to be filed each time there is a location change outside of commutable distance from the original location for which the H-1B was filed.

    Oops, I just saw UN's reply. His answer is more specific than mine, and mine is based on anecdotal evidence so please go with what he says since his is based on personal experience.

    UN, Thank you for following up on my question on the Baltimore case.

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  • Macaca
    03-06 09:03 PM
    Labor Certification for the Permanent Employment of Aliens in the United States; Implementation of New System; Final Rule ( 20 CFR Parts 655 and 656 | Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, December 27, 2004
    U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions (,0122-crs.pdf), CRS Report for Congress, Updated December 13, 2006
    U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions (,0425-crs.pdf), Updated April 17, 2006
    Immigration Policy in the United States ( CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, February 2006
    CRS Reports (
    Immigration through Employment ( D&vgnextchannel=4f719c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1 RCRD)
    EXTRAORDINARY, EXCEPTIONAL AND OUTSTANDING: What does it take to make it to the top? ( by Sherry L. Neal, Attorney
    Damaris Del Valle, Law Clerk
    Legal Immigrants: waiting forever (

    Adjudicator's Field Manual - Redacted Public Version ( 0e2) Updated Through June 18, 2007, Posted July, 2007
    AFM Update: Chapter 22: Employment-based Petitions (AD03-01) (
    Transferring Section 245 Adjustment Applications to New or Subsequent Family or Employment-Based Visa Petitions (
    I-485 Standard Operating Procedure (
    Interim Guidance for Processing Form I-140 Employment-Based Immigrant Petitions and Form I-485 and H-1B Petitions Affected by the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21) (Public Law 106-313) (

    Revised Interview Waiver Criteria for Form I-485 Application to Register permanent residence or adjust status (


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  • nat23
    11-15 06:52 AM
    Yesterday Lou Dobb said on his show that he wants the borders and ports to be secured first and then talk about illegal immigration.

    It seems that he acknowledges that 11 million people will have to be given some sort of visa or they will remain in the country and no one will be able to do anything about it without spending billions of dollars.

    Thats an interesting change in his strategy.

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  • learning01
    05-24 01:00 PM
    It's a request.


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  • Macaca
    08-01 08:15 PM
    Lobbying Reform, at Last ( Congress should finish it before going home, July 31, 2007

    IT WASN'T EASY, it took too long, and it's not done yet -- but before Congress leaves for its August recess, it should have completed a lobbying reform bill that would, for the first time, require disclosure of the bundles of campaign checks that lobbyists bring in for politicians. We say "should have" because the measure -- having not gone through the normal conference committee process -- needs to clear significant hurdles in both the House and Senate. Lawmakers of both parties, in both houses, must ensure that that happens before going home to face constituents who appear increasingly unhappy about a Congress they perceive as looking after its own interests, not theirs.

    The lobbying package makes important changes, some of which were written into House rules in January. It would prohibit lawmakers and staff members from accepting gifts or travel from lobbyists and their clients. It would end lawmakers' ability to fly on corporate aircraft at cut-rate prices; senators and White House candidates would have to pay regular charter rates for such flights, while House members would simply be barred from accepting travel on private jets. It would lengthen, from one year to two, the revolving-door prohibition on senators and Senate staff members; the House limit would remain at one year.

    It would require that senators pushing pet projects known as earmarks make that information available at least 48 hours in advance of a vote and certify that they and their immediate family members have no financial stake in the items; earmarks added in conference could be challenged and would have to receive 60 votes to survive. Lobbyists would also have to report gifts made to presidential libraries, now a financial disclosure black hole.

    Most important, the measure would require lawmakers to include on their campaign finance reports the identities of lobbyists who raise $15,000 or more for them during a six-month period -- shining a needed light on an important source of influence. Keeping this requirement part of the bill was a difficult, and important, achievement.

    This agreement will be brought up on the House floor today, under rules allowing it to pass quickly with two-thirds support. Then it goes to the Senate, where it is expected to run into opposition from Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) over whether the earmarking rules are strict enough; because it involves a change in Senate rules, 67 votes will be needed for passage. Leadership from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) will be critical to ensure that the complaints of a few senators are not allowed to derail a change that is badly needed and long overdue.

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  • obviously
    08-05 09:48 AM
    ... and dont forget that you drink from it too.

    Take the $500 or $1000 and contribute to IV so that we can get a solid resolution.

    No wonder illegals are so strong. United they stand. Pity 'highly educated' workers use their 'intelligence' for matters nefarious and counter-productive. No wonder we are in this situation to start with.

    If there were a collective voice with strong bargaining power, we would have not been in this situation.

    Law breakers are feared. Law abiding folks are derided.

    Go on, feed Loo Dogs for yet another sensational story on why ALL immigrants need to go back.

    Dont forget, for the average Joe anyone that does not 'look like them' can be a target for hate crime and resentment. PR about a case like this can only make the entire community weaker. If you happen to be Indian, what is to stop someone that is upset about immigrants not targeting you or your family? They wont know that YOU are their protector in chief, with the lawsuit stuck in your backpocket. You are but a symbol of the problem that you make out to be.

    Seriously. I have been involved in very key discussions with very senior public figures. Their number one pet peeve: You guys are so divided, even if we wanted to help, we are unable to.

    You just go on to prove their point.

    It is understandable that you are upset about what you see as being 'unfair'... just extrapolate that to the Ron Hiras of the world and NumberUSAs of the world ... you are feeding the larger cause of hatred towards highly skilled workers ... by creating a false impression that highly skilled workers abuse the system...

    Dont make your pillow peeves an issue that comes back to hurt ALL, including you. On many dimensions. This is serious stuff. Think about it.


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  • jkays94
    06-01 01:28 PM

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

    Its all about the $$ and competition with other networks which are giving CNN a run for its money. So much so it makes sense for CNN not to talk about money matters but topics that appeal to ultra conservative audiences. Dobbs in particular appears willing to go to any lower level to get his points across. And yes, you are right he does use FAIR, NumbersUSA and the Heritage Foundation as his sources for "statistics" and guests on his show.

    Dobbs's immigration reporting marked by misinformation, extreme rhetoric, attacks on Mexican president, and data from organization linked to white supremacists (

    Additional links on the supremacist ( citation as a source by Dobbs :
    Link 1 (, Link 2 (

    CNN's Dobbs, Christian Science Monitor cited dubious Heritage Foundation study on immigration ( - This is the same study that Jeff Sessions presented to the Senate.

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  • ujjwal_p
    01-07 03:17 PM
    Those who said, Hamas was hiding inside school and firing rockets, go check the fact in CNN.

    U.N. 'sure' no militants at school hit by Israeli troops

    Human sheild, hiding in hospital, hiding in mosques, hiding in school - All are big lie and bullshit. Just to justify the killing of innocent lives.

    hey dude. just a few posts back, you mentioned that cnn and fox are mouthpieces of a vast jewish conspriacy. and now you have no qualms in using CNN to justify another argument you are making. so i guess it's ok to switch sides in the middle of an argument? i'm not trying to demean you, but you sure have me confused now.


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  • GCapplicant
    07-14 09:28 AM
    send the damn letter, nothing happens, and then come back here and vent your frustration again. as you said, buddy, HARD LUCK indeed !!

    I cannot believe the nerve that you EB-3 India guys have. You are begging for a GC based on your length of wait!!! laughable at best...........go wait a decade or so more, then come back here and start this useless BS again.

    one good thing happens for the EB-2 folks, and the EB-3 community cannot stomach it. pure freaking jealousy.

    Who are you?from where did you fall all of a sudden?-your comments are silly-

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  • panky72
    08-06 03:20 PM
    A man dies and goes to hell. There he finds that there is a different hell for each country. He goes to the German hell and asks, "What do they do here?" He told," First they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour. Then the German devil comes in and beats you for the rest of the day."

    The man does not like the sound of that at all, so he moves on. He checks out the USA hell as well as the Russian hell and many more. He discovers that they are all more or less the same as the German hell.

    Then he comes to the Indian hell and finds that there is a long line of people waiting to get in. Amazed, he asks, "What do they do here?" He told, "First they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour. Then the Indian devil comes in and beats you for the rest of the day." "But that is exactly the same as all the other hells - why are there so many people waiting to get in?"

    "Because maintenance is so bad that the electric chair does not work, someone has stolen all the nails from the bed, and the devil is a Software Engineer , so he comes in, signs the register and then goes to the Cafeteria!!! !!


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  • Macaca
    10-14 11:06 AM
    Getting Around Rules on Lobbying: Despite New Law, Firms Find Ways To Ply Politicians ( By Elizabeth Williamson | Washington Post Staff Writer, October 14, 2007

    In recent days, about 100 members of Congress and hundreds of Hill staffers attended two black-tie galas, many of them as guests of corporations and lobbyists that paid as much as $2,500 per ticket.

    Because accepting such gifts from special interests is now illegal, the companies did not hand the tickets directly to lawmakers or staffers. Instead, the companies donated the tickets back to the charity sponsors, with the names of recipients they wanted to see and sit with at the galas.

    The arrangement was one of the most visible efforts, but hardly the only one, to get around new rules passed by Congress this summer limiting meals, travel, gifts and campaign contributions from lobbyists and companies that employ them.

    Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) found bipartisan agreement on maintaining one special privilege. Together they put language into a defense appropriations bill that would keep legal the practice of some senators of booking several flights on days they return home, keeping the most convenient reservation and dumping the rest without paying cancellation fees -- a practice some airlines say could violate the new law.

    Senators also have granted themselves a grace period on requirements that they pay pricey charter rates for private jet travel. Lobbyists continue to bundle political contributions to lawmakers but are now making sure the totals do not trigger new public reporting rules. And with presidential nominating conventions coming next summer, lawmakers and lobbyists are working together to save another tradition endangered by the new rules: the convention party feting one lawmaker.

    "You can't have a party honoring a specific member. It's clear to me -- but it's not clear to everybody," said Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate ethics committee. She said the committee is getting "these questions that surround the edges -- 'If it's midnight the night before,' 'If I wear one shoe and not the other.' "

    Democrats touted the new ethics law as the most thorough housecleaning since Watergate, and needed after a host of scandals during 12 years of Republican rule. Prompted by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff's wheeling and dealing and the jailing of three members of Congress on corruption charges in recent years, the law, signed by President Bush on Sept. 14, was heralded by congressional leaders as a real change in Washington's influence game.

    But the changes have prompted anxiety about what perks are still permissible. In recent months, the House and Senate ethics committees have fielded more than 1,000 questions from lobbyists and congressional staffers seeking guidance -- or an outright waiver -- for rules banning weekend trips and pricey wedding gifts, five-course dinners and backstage passes.

    Looking for ways to keep spreading freebies legally, hundreds of lobbyists have been attending seminars at Washington law firms to learn the ins and outs of the new law.

    At a recent American League of Lobbyists briefing, Cleta Mitchell of the Foley & Lardner law firm said that while the law bans lobbyists from buying lawmakers or staffers a meal, it is silent on picking up bar tabs. A woman in the third row asked hopefully, "You can buy them as many drinks as you want, as often as you want?"

    No, Mitchell said, not unless the drinkers are the lobbyist's personal friends, and she pays from her own pocket.

    If that rule was clear to some, two charity dinners allowed hazier interpretations.

    Most of the 40 lawmakers dining on red snapper ceviche and beef tenderloin at the recent Hispanic Caucus Institute gala at the Washington Convention Center got their tickets from corporations, said Paul Brathwaite, a principal with the Podesta Group lobbying firm.

    Brathwaite said about a dozen of Podesta's corporate clients bought tables of 10 for $5,000 to $25,000 for the Hispanic dinner and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala over the past three weeks. The companies then gave the tickets back to the foundations -- along with lists of lawmakers and staff members they wanted to invite. Some lawmakers did buy their own tickets, Brathwaite said, but many did not.

    The rules require that charity sponsors do the inviting and decide who sits where. But "at the end of the night, everyone is happy," said Hispanic Caucus Institute spokesman Scott Gunderson Rosa.

    "The corporate folks want us at their tables, of course," said Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who sat at a Fannie Mae-sponsored table at the Hispanic dinner.

    Another provision of the new ethics law bans House members from flying on corporate jets. But senators, including the half-dozen presidential candidates among them, can still do so. Previously they were required to reimburse plane owners the equivalent of a first-class ticket, but now they must pay charter rates, which can increase travel costs tenfold.

    The Senate ethics committee decided not to enforce that rule for at least 60 days after it took effect Sept. 14, citing "the lack of experience in many offices in determining 'charter rates.' "

    The decision surprised some Senate staffers, Mitchell said, one of whom e-mailed her to say, "Welcome to the world of skirting around the rules we pass."

    "Breathtaking. . . . In my view, they're not complying with the plain language of the law," Mitchell said. "I think it should be easier for members of Congress to travel, not harder. But what I don't appreciate as a citizen is Congress passing something but then interpreting it so it doesn't mean what the law clearly says."

    The law has dragged into view several such perks that members long enjoyed but didn't reveal -- until they sought exemptions to the new rules.

    Lawmakers for years have booked several flights for a day when they plan to leave town. When they finish work, they take the most convenient flight and cancel the rest without paying fees, a privilege denied others. But after the new law passed, some airlines stopped the practice, worried that it violates the gift ban.

    Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah) appealed to the Senate ethics committee to allow multiple bookings. Then Reid and McConnell added language to the defense bill that, if it passes, would extend the perk to staffers, too.

    New bans on corporate-paid fun could hit hardest at the 2008 presidential nominating conventions. The law prohibits parties honoring a lawmaker on convention days; some lobbyists say the wording means such parties before or after those days are okay. House and Senate members have asked the ethics committees for guidance.

    "That's one of the issues that's going to need some clarification," said Senate ethics panelist Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), whose home state will host the Democrats in August.

    Meanwhile, lobbyists are booking up Denver's trendy warehouse district and Minnesota's Mall of America, near the GOP convention site in Minneapolis-St. Paul, for the pre-convention weekends. Host committees for both conventions say they will honor state delegations, including members of Congress who take part.

    "I think you'll see a lot of umbrella invitations," said Patrick Murphy, lobbyist for mCapitol Management, who is planning Democratic convention parties. "Invite 'Friends of Montana' and see who shows up."

    One of the most fought-over parts of the law requires that lobbyists who bundle multiple campaign contributions totaling more than $15,000 file reports every six months. But lawyers say that a fundraiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton signals a way to avoid public reporting when that rule kicks in Jan. 1.

    Female politicos have been e-mailing each other a slick online invitation to "Make History With Hillary," a summit and fundraiser on Wednesday. The invitation encourages women to bundle for Clinton by promising them online credit for each ticket they sell. Women who have already donated their legal individual limit of $2,300 cannot attend unless they bring in another $4,000.

    "It's a universe of junior bundlers under the radar screen," said Kenneth Gross, a campaign finance lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. For the lobbyists among them, the amounts are so small that "you don't have to worry about tracking them, and it would add up to a material sum over time" -- but less than the $15,000 limit.

    If a lobbyist asked his advice on the practice, Gross said, "I'd say 'Go for it.' "

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  • Green_Always
    03-28 11:42 AM
    This Thread is UN's -- :-)


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  • sledge_hammer
    06-25 02:56 PM
    If you have only been reading all the doomsday articles on the net about another nosedive in the realestate market, then I must suggest you to step out and smell the coffee. Other than in a few areas like Detroit and Miami, the home prices are close to stable and are not heading to fall another 10%. When people write articles they want to sensationalize thier reports. What's happening in Detriot will not be happening everywhere in the nation. Real estate markets are very local and cannot be generalized. So anyone that is thinking that there is going to be another HUGE drop in home prices are mistaken.

    Yes, you are right, absolutely no one can time the market. That is why it is a great strategy not to speculate, but go by the fact that real estate prices are affordable now and interest rates are the lowest in recent history. Don't think that just because there was a bubble you'll now get good homes for anything more than 5% discount.

    Remember that you probably have a job in the city you live in, and that you are continually employed, means that there are other people around you with jobs. They are ready to snap up homes even before you get to see it from the inside. I see homes that are in bad shape in my county (Fairfax, VA) sitting in the market for months. But the ones that are good goes under contract in less than a week.

    Nobody is saying that the world is coming to and end in 2 years.IMHO myself and many others would agree that long term buying a house makes sense. The question is does buying now if you haven't already bought your primary residential home make any sense.

    From the current data, Do you think a guy who buys a house in 2009 would come ahead of somebody who would buys in 2011 when the housing market may have fully bottomed out ? I know its impossible to time the market. But all indicators to name a few below point that home prices should continue to decline.

    Unemployment is still on the way up. We will cross 10% anytime soon is a given.
    Excess housing inventory
    Home prices are still above the trend line. Historically its common for the correction to swing even below the trend line before it stabilizes.

    Again IMHO, If you haven't bought a home yet, Save so that you can make a bigger down payment (Own more of the house when you buy one) and check the market again mid 2010.

    Giving your example.
    Lets say guy buys in 2009, and another guy buys in 2011 (Assuming home prices would have further gone down using existing data points).. Who do you think would come ahead in 2019.

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  • chintu25
    08-06 11:12 AM
    "It looks like the Senate and the president have finally agreed on an immigration bill. ... This one looks like it could become law and, of course, nobody likes it. The conservatives say the bill gives amnesty to the illegals. The liberals say it doesn't go far enough to protect the hardworking immigrants here in America. And the L.A.P.D. doesn't know who to beat up." --Bill Maher

    "The liberals are saying that this guest worker program ... is really just a way to depress wages and create a permanent underclass of exploited labor. To which the president said, 'And the problem is?'" --Bill Maher

    "President said in his speech that immigrants have to learn English. The immigrants said, 'Hey, you first.'" --Jay Leno

    "President is down in Mexico right now. Again, I don't think President gets it. As soon as he stepped off Air Force Once, he looked around and said, 'Wow, you got a big problem with Mexican immigrants down here, too.'" --Jay Leno


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  • unitednations
    03-26 08:41 PM
    So then lets take an example

    1. Company Files H1b from NJ
    2. Consultant gets a job in NY or OH or xyz state. Employer files 'amend location' each time. The work and keep on moving like that
    3. Time comes up for renewal of H1, if the employer gives the current client's contract in a different location, it will definitely trigger USICS to possibly deny the extension? Since the original H1 petition did not mention this place or since they filed amend its ok?
    4. When they file for amend, do they need to give a contract/client letter to justify the amend? If yes then will it trigger an RFE?

    According to you anything is possible with USCIS these days.

    My original request still stays. I want some advise, I will definitely use an attorney but wanted your opinion on it..


    Every time you amend the petition; it technically would be another h-1b; when you come up for extension (assuming when you amend the petitoin that you are not requesting for more time); you would be extending the latest h-1b that has been approved. You would have been complying with the terms and conditions of that particular h-1b so you shouldn't have any issues.

    California service center when adjudicating person B's H-1b asks for payroll reports of all employees. They will cross reference the h-1b's filed for other employees from the list and if they see even one person who has been paid lower then what their h-1b was filed for then they will deny person b's h-1b. California service center is relying on a case precedent that if a petitioner has not complied with a previous petition (even if it is a different persons petition) then they can't rely on their certification in the instant petition and deny it. Funny thing is that when I looked up that case precedent that they continually site; it is a marriage base case when a person tried to file a second petition. Another example of uscis doing what it wants to do.

    Now; I think everyone will start to understand why so many companies are cancelling h-1b's; revoking h-1b's for people on bench and generally not filing many h-1b's in this year quota or filing h-1b transfers for people without projects. I wans't too vocal when some members on the forums were trying to gather support for lifting country quotas; contacting media; etc., because I was well aware of what was going on behind the scenes and we are definitely in a defensive mode right now.

    08-07 12:42 AM

    12-30 08:20 AM
    2007: Democrats in Control, but Thwarted ( By LAURIE KELLMAN | Associated Press, Dec 30, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- It's a painful irony for Democrats: In the space of a year, the Iraq war that was the source of party's resurgence in Congress became the measure of its impotence.

    By the end of the 2007, a Congress controlled by Democrats for the first time since 1994 had an approval rating of only 25 percent, down from 40 percent last spring. Then the debate over the war split the party and cast shadows over other issues, spawning a series of legislative failures and losing confrontations with President Bush.

    What to do about Iraq has turned into a dissing match so far-reaching and nasty that Congress's accomplishments are seen, even by some who run it, through the lens of their failure to override Bush and start bringing the troops home.

    "There is no question that the war in Iraq has eclipsed much of what we have done," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters. "If you asked me in a phone call, as ardent a Democrat as I am, I would disapprove of Congress as well."

    It's not as if the new Democrat-controlled Congress did nothing during 2007.

    It gave the nation's lowest paid workers their first raise in a decade, raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $5.85 an hour in July. It will rise to $7.25 an hour in 2009.

    Congress also cut in half the interest rates on federal student loans and boosted annual Pell grants for post high-school education by $260 to $4,310 in July, rising to $5,400 for the 2012-2013 school year. Bush signed the bill after initially threatening to veto it.

    And just before Congress turned out the lights for the year on Dec. 19, Bush signed into law a sweeping new energy policy that requires automakers to achieve an industrywide average fuel efficiency for cars, SUVs and small trucks of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, a 40 percent jump. Some analysts said the new law will render gas guzzlers relics of the past and make farmers rivals of oil companies in producing motor fuels.

    "All of us deserve credit for getting some things done," Bush said in his year-end news conference, insisting that he doesn't keep score.

    But on the eve of an election year with the presidency and control of Congress at stake, many others do.

    In the year's firmest push-back against the Bush administration, Congress for the first time overrode one of Bush's vetoes, on a $23 billion bill for restoring hurricane-ravaged wetlands along the Gulf Coast and other water projects. The president had protested it was filled with unnecessary projects, but 34 Senate Republicans defied him.

    Democrats scored other political victories as well. Most significantly, a Democrat-led investigation revealed a troubled Justice Department and forced Alberto Gonzales, a longtime presidential friend, from the attorney general's office. Democrats also played a big role in selecting his successor, Michael Mukasey.

    But the story of Congress in 2007 is more about what it failed to accomplish during a war that the public opposes and that Democrats had vowed _ but did not _ to end.

    On that, they found themselves repeatedly outmaneuvered, unable to break bill-killing GOP filibusters with 60 votes in a Senate where Democrats held only what effectively is a 51-49 majority.

    Plans to expand health care for 10 million children stalled. And a fragile compromise put together by Bush and liberal Democrats to provide a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants buckled with only lukewarm support from all sides.

    Perhaps the most bitter pill came toward the end of the year. Democrats were forced to acknowledge that the decrease in violence in Iraq might mean that Bush's much-criticized surge buildup of troops was working.

    Simultaneously, they found themselves on the defensive against Republican charges that they squandered time on the war that could have been spent getting agency budgets passed on time. As usual, what has become an annual fix to the tax code to save 20 million families an average $2,000 in extra taxes was put off until the final days before Christmas.

    Predictably, Democrats and Republicans blamed each other.

    Majority Leader Harry Reid called Bush's "stubbornness" and Republicans' filibuster threats "obstruction on steroids."

    Republicans suggested Democrats could have accomplished big reforms on Social Security and immigration _ or even just speedy passage of the federal budget _ had it been in their election-year interests.

    "I just don't think the new majority wanted to do anything significant," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

    By most accounts, the window for accomplishing broad new reforms was quickly closing as the nation's political machinery rumbled into position for the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. On the ballot will be all 435 House seats and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate.

    At stake is a wider Democratic majority, big enough to govern. A cascade of retirements by Republicans in the Senate made that goal achievable. Democrats hoped gain seats in the House, as well.

    So they labored to tout what they had accomplished in the majority. They suggested that what failed this year might pass with more Democrats elected next year.

    Bush has signed into law other initiatives of the Democratic-led Congress, such as $3 billion in funding for Louisiana's Road Home program to rebuild housing stock destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

    Procedural and institutional reforms became law as well, such as changes in ethics and lobbying rules.

    Behind the scenes, Democrats and their aides debated which fights to pick next year with a lame duck president. Most likely, they said: the children's health care bill.

    Immigration reform, however, appears dead until the new Congress takes its seats in 2009.

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