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Copy of thread from Immigration...

Copy of thread from Immigration...

Old Sep 22nd 2004, 9:50 pm
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Default Copy of thread from Immigration...

Since there are a bunch of knowledgeable people over here too I figured it wouldn't do any harm to post this here also! Thanks

To those that don't know anything about my situation (I normally post on the USA forum) - I will outline briefly in the hope that someone can offer some advice... I am here on a J-1 visa which expires in October 2005. My employers want me to stay on beyond that and are willing to do whatever necessary to keep me here - I was diagnosed with MS earlier this year and am getting medication that is not available to me at home and since I started on it, I have been feeling "normal" for the first time in what seems like forever.. anyways... here's the situation.

Not eligible for H1B as I don't have a degree. I'm a real estate paralegal. I went to see an immigration attorney I was very impressed with, he was costly but I figured it would be worth it - my bosses urged me to consult with other attorneys also - all are steering me in the same direction but I am getting vastly different estimates on timescale. The initial atty, told me that my only option is to file for permanent residency through labor certification. My employer and I need to file ETA 750A and ETA 750B and submit both to the local office of the state employment service, it would then go to the regional office (both offices in Atlanta, for the region I live and work in, in TN). We would be filing these on an RIR (reduction in recruitment) basis because the job has been and still is being advertised and there have been no suitable responses etc - so it would not be a regular case but would be an RIR. ONce that is approved, my employer then has to file the I-140.

Also, he informed me about the PERM system which they are hoping is finaly going to come into play in October, but I cant seem to find any accurate information on this. That is going to supposedly drastically reduce the waiting time for Labor Certifcation Applications. Now the initial attorney told me that 1 year that we have to play with should be do-able - even if PERM doesnt come in - he mentioned hopefully having a work permit by Spring - perhaps a little later. He said there are 4 stages and that a work permit would be at the end of stage one I think, if successful - but this is just my interpreation of the many things I was told that day.

I go to attorney number 2, an older, highly respected guy also - and he tells me today not a hope in hell's chace. I checked the online processing times, and it would seem even on RIR cases, Atlanta regional office is still working on 2003 cases (and it has to go to State first, who are on June 04). So it would seem that it is not in fact feasbile, yet this other attorney is highly regarded and although he did not make me any promises he did think it was doable - so now I am really at a loss as to what to do - I am reluctant to commit to paying out a lump sum and $400 a month for a long time if I am totally wasting my time.

I guess my question is - does anyone know how accurate these timescales that the DOL post on the net really are? And, has anyone ever gone done this route and been successful?

Time is not on my side, as I need to get this going ASAP - either way - any advice would be gratefully appreciated!
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Old Sep 23rd 2004, 3:59 am
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

Originally Posted by Lesley1020
Since there are a bunch of knowledgeable people over here too I figured it wouldn't do any harm to post this here also! Thanks

To those that don't know anything about my situation (I normally post on the USA forum) - I will outline briefly in the hope that someone can offer some advice... I am here on a J-1 visa which expires in October 2005. My employers want me to stay on beyond that and are willing to do whatever necessary to keep me here - I was diagnosed with MS earlier this year and am getting medication that is not available to me at home and since I started on it, I have been feeling "normal" for the first time in what seems like forever.. anyways... here's the situation.

Not eligible for H1B as I don't have a degree. I'm a real estate paralegal. I went to see an immigration attorney I was very impressed with, he was costly but I figured it would be worth it - my bosses urged me to consult with other attorneys also - all are steering me in the same direction but I am getting vastly different estimates on timescale. The initial atty, told me that my only option is to file for permanent residency through labor certification. My employer and I need to file ETA 750A and ETA 750B and submit both to the local office of the state employment service, it would then go to the regional office (both offices in Atlanta, for the region I live and work in, in TN). We would be filing these on an RIR (reduction in recruitment) basis because the job has been and still is being advertised and there have been no suitable responses etc - so it would not be a regular case but would be an RIR. ONce that is approved, my employer then has to file the I-140.

Also, he informed me about the PERM system which they are hoping is finaly going to come into play in October, but I cant seem to find any accurate information on this. That is going to supposedly drastically reduce the waiting time for Labor Certifcation Applications. Now the initial attorney told me that 1 year that we have to play with should be do-able - even if PERM doesnt come in - he mentioned hopefully having a work permit by Spring - perhaps a little later. He said there are 4 stages and that a work permit would be at the end of stage one I think, if successful - but this is just my interpreation of the many things I was told that day.

I go to attorney number 2, an older, highly respected guy also - and he tells me today not a hope in hell's chace. I checked the online processing times, and it would seem even on RIR cases, Atlanta regional office is still working on 2003 cases (and it has to go to State first, who are on June 04). So it would seem that it is not in fact feasbile, yet this other attorney is highly regarded and although he did not make me any promises he did think it was doable - so now I am really at a loss as to what to do - I am reluctant to commit to paying out a lump sum and $400 a month for a long time if I am totally wasting my time.

I guess my question is - does anyone know how accurate these timescales that the DOL post on the net really are? And, has anyone ever gone done this route and been successful?

Time is not on my side, as I need to get this going ASAP - either way - any advice would be gratefully appreciated!
The first lawyer is telling you anything you need to hear in order to pay him $400 per month (?!? - you're kidding, right?) and the second lawyer is telling you the truth.

I have 3 years left on my H1-B and I'm going through labor certificatio now. My lawyer, who is only charging my employer about $3,000 and is one of the most highly recommended in the country, tells me it will take at least 2 years, possibly 2.5, to get through labor certification.

My lawyer has nothing to gain by telling me anything but the truth. Your first lawyer stands to gain $400 per month until he drops the bomb that somehow your labor certification won't go through in time. He sounds like a crook.

Before everyone starts shouting, I KNOW that processing times are different around the country... but the fact that one lawyer tells you you'll have certification by the Spring, and the other says no chance by October 2005 should be rining alarm bells.

What did the second lawyer think of your chances of actually GETTING labor certification? In order to get certified, your employer needs to prove that they can't hire someone of equivalent experience from the local US population. Any "loophole" you've been told about involving claims that all qualified job applicants were rejected for not being available instantly for work is more dishones crap if you ask me ... snip...

I wrote a bunch of angry stuff then about how the advice you'd been given regarding your chances of getting labor certification was giving you false hope, but you don't deserve that so I'll end by saying that I believe the first lawyer is simply lying to you in order to get paid. If you choose to take that chance and go with the lawyer who tells you what you want to hear then go for it (you've nothing to lose in a sense, since he's your only chance of staying in the US) but at least go into it with your eyes open.

Good luck!
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Old Sep 23rd 2004, 4:27 am
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

Looks like you need to marry a 'Murrikan










I'm sorry Lesley, I'm not a citizen and am already married.........

















but what a year it would have been

Last edited by Manc; Sep 23rd 2004 at 4:36 am.
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Old Sep 23rd 2004, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

Thanks for your comments... I have contacted yet more lawyers today and all talked about this new "PERM" system about to go into place - have you heard about it, because it will affect your labor certifiction already underway also.

Basically, it is going to drastically reduce the waiting times and they are hoping to get LCAs done within 21 days!!! It has been postponed several times in the last 3 years but the general consensus seems to be that it is going to go live around October this year. Of every attorney I spoke with - none seemed to think getting labor cert would be a problem - although they all seemed to have different routes to go down - 2nd atty said he would do an ad and say no one replied!!! The first guy would do the ads, scan the resumes, put people forward for interview etc and had a huge list of reasons accepted by the INS for turning people down. He also said to place the ads for the 2nd time around Christmas. In any event, there are tons of ads for real estate paralegals - I was 1 of 2 applications the last time!!!

Anyways, long story short - the original attorney only wanted a $750 retainer and 18 monthly payments of $400. The others want $3,000 up front and $3,000 during the course. I called back the first guy today (who, btw, is highly regarded, has a national company, writes for highbrow publications etc and has written books) and explained my concerns. Basically he was referring during our dicussions to the PERM system. He acknowledges that without that system I wouldn't have time - but could perhaps switch to a visitor visa while it is pending - or apparnetly there is no penalty if you overstay by up to 6 months. In any event he is hoping that wont be the case, as the PERM system should be in soon. He wants me to wait, and see if the PERM system comes in next month, as another few weeks at this stage isn't going to make much of a difference.

I am really confused as to what to do now - this guy (1st one) is much more affordable because of the instalments - it just seems that you get so much conflicting information no matter what you do




Originally Posted by dbj1000
The first lawyer is telling you anything you need to hear in order to pay him $400 per month (?!? - you're kidding, right?) and the second lawyer is telling you the truth.

I have 3 years left on my H1-B and I'm going through labor certificatio now. My lawyer, who is only charging my employer about $3,000 and is one of the most highly recommended in the country, tells me it will take at least 2 years, possibly 2.5, to get through labor certification.

My lawyer has nothing to gain by telling me anything but the truth. Your first lawyer stands to gain $400 per month until he drops the bomb that somehow your labor certification won't go through in time. He sounds like a crook.

Before everyone starts shouting, I KNOW that processing times are different around the country... but the fact that one lawyer tells you you'll have certification by the Spring, and the other says no chance by October 2005 should be rining alarm bells.

What did the second lawyer think of your chances of actually GETTING labor certification? In order to get certified, your employer needs to prove that they can't hire someone of equivalent experience from the local US population. Any "loophole" you've been told about involving claims that all qualified job applicants were rejected for not being available instantly for work is more dishones crap if you ask me ... snip...

I wrote a bunch of angry stuff then about how the advice you'd been given regarding your chances of getting labor certification was giving you false hope, but you don't deserve that so I'll end by saying that I believe the first lawyer is simply lying to you in order to get paid. If you choose to take that chance and go with the lawyer who tells you what you want to hear then go for it (you've nothing to lose in a sense, since he's your only chance of staying in the US) but at least go into it with your eyes open.

Good luck!
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Old Sep 23rd 2004, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

Originally Posted by Manc
Looks like you need to marry a 'Murrikan

I'm sorry Lesley, I'm not a citizen and am already married.........

but what a year it would have been
ROFLMAO!

Hey you - don't go giving me ideas! My b/f said to me today "well why dont you find out about it - oh and would I save on taxes" LOL

I tell ya - its a darn sight more attractive proposition than shelling out $400 a month for a gamble! :scared:
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Old Sep 23rd 2004, 8:06 pm
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This is the most up to date stuff I can find... anyone knowing any more info, please let me know!


June 25, 2004

The PERM program regulations are still under review with the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB�).

The Chief of Foreign Labor Certification, William Carlson, confirmed that the PERM program will be implemented no sooner than 120 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register.

October 31, 2004 is the earliest date on which the PERM program could be implemented.

PERM Regulation Not Expected Until 2004:

The Department of Labor (“DOL�) has announced that the Program Electronic Review Management System(“PERM�) regulation will not be published until early 2004.

The PERM program, once implemented, will replace traditional and Reduction in Recruitment (“RIR�) labor certification processing.

The DOL expects that the regulation will take effect 120 days after its publication.

What this means:

Employers should consider filing a traditional or RIR application prior to implementation of the PERM program as PERM regulations may be very restrictive.

The proposed rule issued in May 2002 to describe how the DOL plans to implement the PERM program may no longer provide a useful guide to PERM implementation, since many of the provisions contained in this proposed rule have apparently been abandoned by the DOL.
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Old Sep 23rd 2004, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

I meant to tell you earlier: I have no idea with your current question but wanted to tell you that the lighting in that picture of yours is spectacular! I mean, the picture is!
b/f?!
I *did* miss some posts!
Hope all's well other than this attorney question & let us know if you need to know about AOS
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Old Sep 23rd 2004, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

Originally Posted by Lesley1020
Thanks for your comments... I have contacted yet more lawyers today and all talked about this new "PERM" system about to go into place - have you heard about it, because it will affect your labor certifiction already underway also.

Basically, it is going to drastically reduce the waiting times and they are hoping to get LCAs done within 21 days!!! It has been postponed several times in the last 3 years but the general consensus seems to be that it is going to go live around October this year. Of every attorney I spoke with - none seemed to think getting labor cert would be a problem - although they all seemed to have different routes to go down - 2nd atty said he would do an ad and say no one replied!!! The first guy would do the ads, scan the resumes, put people forward for interview etc and had a huge list of reasons accepted by the INS for turning people down. He also said to place the ads for the 2nd time around Christmas. In any event, there are tons of ads for real estate paralegals - I was 1 of 2 applications the last time!!!

Anyways, long story short - the original attorney only wanted a $750 retainer and 18 monthly payments of $400. The others want $3,000 up front and $3,000 during the course. I called back the first guy today (who, btw, is highly regarded, has a national company, writes for highbrow publications etc and has written books) and explained my concerns. Basically he was referring during our dicussions to the PERM system. He acknowledges that without that system I wouldn't have time - but could perhaps switch to a visitor visa while it is pending - or apparnetly there is no penalty if you overstay by up to 6 months. In any event he is hoping that wont be the case, as the PERM system should be in soon. He wants me to wait, and see if the PERM system comes in next month, as another few weeks at this stage isn't going to make much of a difference.

I am really confused as to what to do now - this guy (1st one) is much more affordable because of the instalments - it just seems that you get so much conflicting information no matter what you do
Please be very careful and make sure your attorneys are doing the right thing with regards to the labour dept and interviewing candidates etc. The labour department actually calls up the people who apply for these psuedo jobs and talks to them about their qualifications etc and about the interview. It happened to my husband. His Co did the ad specifically aimed at him, applications came in and the Co did not interview everyone who applied. The labour dept got the names of the applicants and interviewed them over the phone asking them about their experience of being interviewed, they even went so far as calling one guy in Canada. The Co had broken the law by not interviewing all the applicants even though some of them were in no way qualified and were told by INS either you stop the process or we shall stop it and if we stop it, it will take 6 months to get it re-started. Needless to say the Company stopped the process for my husband there and then. That involved them having to start from the beginning and cost them another $10,000. Just because an attorney says it is right, does not automatically make it so. Get informed and know what questions to ask.
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Old Sep 24th 2004, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

Don't have any knowledge to input but would be surprised if you could get labour certification so quickly, as several of our friends are currently going through this process with a big multinational company and they are still waiting 2yrs later (they are all engineers with degrees). Also doesn't a J1 visa have the provision that you must return to your home country for 2 yrs before can apply for any kind of work visa unless you are in certain professions. Must admit I find it hard to believe in this, the country of lawyers and legal assistants, (which is basically your title according the information I have read on the web), your company cannot find a suitably qualified college graduate. Maybe they aren't paying enough to get the right people.
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Old Sep 24th 2004, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

Originally Posted by jjmb
Don't have any knowledge to input but would be surprised if you could get labour certification so quickly, as several of our friends are currently going through this process with a big multinational company and they are still waiting 2yrs later (they are all engineers with degrees). Also doesn't a J1 visa have the provision that you must return to your home country for 2 yrs before can apply for any kind of work visa unless you are in certain professions. Must admit I find it hard to believe in this, the country of lawyers and legal assistants, (which is basically your title according the information I have read on the web), your company cannot find a suitably qualified college graduate. Maybe they aren't paying enough to get the right people.
Have checked into the J1 2 year home residency requirement and I am not subject to it - it's stated clearly on my DS2019.

And yep, you're right its taking upwards of 2 + yrs for LCAs - that is why all the attorneys are telling that the PERM system is my only hope - they all say the same thing that as soon as it is implemented its going to turn the LCA procedure around. For anyone interested, this is a pretty informative link.

Re my company not finding anyone else - I am sure they could if they wanted to advertise again and stuff, but the honest truth is that they are trying to help me stay here to keep getting the medicine and they want me to work here too - and they seem to think that they never had a great show of applicants ever previously, and for Memphis, they ARE paying good money.
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Old Sep 24th 2004, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

Originally Posted by jjmb
Don't have any knowledge to input but would be surprised if you could get labour certification so quickly, as several of our friends are currently going through this process with a big multinational company and they are still waiting 2yrs later (they are all engineers with degrees). Also doesn't a J1 visa have the provision that you must return to your home country for 2 yrs before can apply for any kind of work visa unless you are in certain professions. Must admit I find it hard to believe in this, the country of lawyers and legal assistants, (which is basically your title according the information I have read on the web), your company cannot find a suitably qualified college graduate. Maybe they aren't paying enough to get the right people.
Have checked into the J1 2 year home residency requirement and I am not subject to it - it's stated clearly on my DS2019.

And yep, you're right its taking upwards of 2 + yrs for LCAs - that is why all the attorneys are telling that the PERM system is my only hope - they all say the same thing that as soon as it is implemented its going to turn the LCA procedure around. For anyone interested, this is a pretty informative link. http://www.schulzlaw.com/mschulz_perm.php

Re my company not finding anyone else - I am sure they could if they wanted to advertise again and stuff, but the honest truth is that they are trying to help me stay here to keep getting the medicine and they want me to work here too - and they seem to think that they never had a great show of applicants ever previously, and for Memphis, they ARE paying good money.
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Old Sep 27th 2004, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

Hi lesley, I spoke to my husband about this new PERM procedure as I hadn't heard about it and it seemed to me that if was coming into effect,that would mean things would be made a lot easier for some of our friends and us if my husband's AOS (L1b-L1A) doesn't come through.

Apparently at a meeting the company organised with its lawyers here in Austin and then Phoenix, in the last couple of weeks, they mentioned PERM and how in theory it would indeed be a benefit to the company as currently as I mentioned getting LC is very slow. However, apparently, they said they have no idea of when this programme will come into effect as although it, as you mentioned, is due to be operational on Oct 31st, the government still does not have the software in place to actually implement it, and there appears to be no effort in that direction at the moment.

It might be worth investigating more before you commit to anything, as $400 seems a lot for what might be fruitless exercise. I hope things do pan out for you but with the anti foreign worker attitude at the moment and the cutbacks on H1B's, it seems a long slog might be the order of the day.

Also your company will have to readvertise your job and interview anyone who remotely fits the bill.

"The employer must provide evidence to show that the foreign national was found to be more qualified for the position than any of the other candidates and that s/he will not displace a U.S. worker.

If the foreign employee is already in the position being advertised, DOL regulations do not permit him/her to use experience gained on the job to satisfy job requirements.

The DOL will review the "recruitment report" and accompanying documentation and, if satisfied that the employer has complied with all of the requirements, it will be Certified. However, the District Office has the right to deny the application, request more information, require additional interviews, or request an additional period of advertisement if it feels that the employer has not fulfilled its obligations under the law or proved that there were no "qualified U.S. workers" available for the position."

I also came across this in my trawl of the internet

"
PERM Regulation Still Pending
Posted Sep 24, 2004
©MurthyDotCom

The PERM regulation is still pending with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The generally-held belief is that the final PERM regulation will not be published before the elections in November 2004. Regular MurthyDotCom and the MurthyBulletin readers who are following the progress of the PERM labor certification program know it has repeatedly been delayed over the past two years. Those interested in learning more about PERM can review the many articles available on this topic in the PERM section of MurthyDotCom.
©MurthyDotCom

Should I Wait for PERM or File Now?
©MurthyDotCom
We continue to receive many inquiries as to whether it is wise to wait for PERM before starting a green card case. Our general advice on this matter is that it is best not to wait, especially for those who do not have at least 2 years remaining on the six years initially allowed for one to maintain H1B status.
©MurthyDotCom


Will PERM Ever Be Out?
©MurthyDotCom
It is likely that PERM will be implemented at some point, even if it is not until after the November 2004 elections. The DOL has recently appointed directors of the two DOL National Processing Centers for PERM. Atlanta's Director is Gene Caso and Chicago's is Charlene Giles. These two National Processing Centers will operate the PERM program when it takes effect. In addition, the DOL is recruiting two national Certifying Officers to process PERM cases; one at each of the two National Processing Centers.
©MurthyDotCom


Questions Surrounding PERM
©MurthyDotCom
The timing of PERM remains uncertain, as does the content of the final regulation. It is a fact that the final PERM regulations will be substantially different from the proposed PERM regulations issued in May 2002.
©MurthyDotCom
While the current system for filing labor certifications is slow, it is a known quantity, at least. It is something that experienced immigration lawyers have worked with for many years. This gives the advantage of experience that can be applied to the preparation and strategy in a labor certification case. PERM will present a new and largely unfamiliar system. Under the current system, the DOL has stated that they approve approximately 75% of the labor certifications that are filed. At The Law Office of Sheela Murthy, we have a much higher rate of approvals. So, there is a reasonable chance of success under the current system. There is, however, no way to know if this will continue once PERM does go into effect.




© 2004 The Law Office of Sheela Murthy, P.C. All Rights Reserved"



Good luck with your quest.
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Old Sep 27th 2004, 2:50 pm
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Location: Millington, TN
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Default Re: Copy of thread from Immigration...

Thank you for all that info.. it was really helpful!

We have already started the advertising.... Both attorneys are pressing me for a decision pretty much now, and I guess I have to at least try.... at least I am going in with my eyes open and knowing that it's a huge gamble.

I am going to move to cheaper apartments to save some money, and my car is paid off so I shouldn't notice too much of a difference financially!
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