Status of Immigration Reform, S. 744
Today is a very big day for immigration reform because today the House of Republicans are supposed to meet and decide which way they want to go. The Senate has done their job. Senate has sent out a passed bill. But as I pointed out last time, House Speaker John Boehner has said that he is not going to bring any bill for voting, until and unless a majority of Conservatives has agreed about the major outlines of the bill.
In other words, if Boehner does not want to bring the bill to the floor of the House for voting, it wont come. Today they are going to meet, and the options they have I pointed out last time. They can come with their own comprehensive bill , which is unlikely. They can vote on the Senate Bill, which is unlikely. The most likely outcome of today’s meeting is that the House will start passing small bits of legislation one at a time. One of the conservatives noted that one hour of meeting is not enough because the issues are so complex. But I think that at least what they can do is come with a strategy that they want to follow. So today will be a very decisive day for all of us who are waiting to see what happens and as I pointed out last time there is a little disagreement about the fact that they want to reform legal immigration, which is very badly scattered all over the place. There are a lot of problems with legal immigration as you know. It takes about eight to ten years of waiting times even for people with Master’s degrees. There is no disagreement that it needs to be done. The disagreement is about amnesty. The Republicans are worried if there are 11 million people who are going to vote. First of all, most Republicans come from Conservative white districts where they are not going to gain any favor with their voters if they vote for amnesty. Second problem is that historically 75 percent, or maybe at least 66 percent, of the newly legalized Hispanics will probably vote for the Democrats so why should the Conservatives create more Democratic votes. This is the main thing that is swaying the Republican uncertainty.
So we’ll see how it goes. Today is a very important day. We will keep you informed on this.
Questions regarding H-1 remainder option and H-4 application
Question: I possess a U.S. Master’s Degree in Computer Science and worked for seven years in the U.S. I was on H-1 for five years and have been outside the U.S. after those five years. That is 12 months of physical presence outside the U.S. I do have an employer now willing to petition on my behalf. Will I be subject to the cap of 65,000 or 20,000?
Answer: There are two options. One option is to get all six years of your H-1 back and then be subject to the cap. I don’t know all the facts, but you can possibly exercise the remainder option. The remainder option works like this. A person in your situation can choose to just take back the one year left out of the six in the United States. You can get an H-1 for one year and that H-1 is not subject to the quota. So if you choose to take one year you are not going to be subject to the quota. One of the strategies you could follow is to start the Green Card as well as the H-1 and time it properly so that based upon the green card you can keep getting H-1 extensions beyond six years. In other words, take the reminder option, but have a sufficiently mature Green Card that they will have no interruption in your work.
Question: My Company is processing my H-1B application. Is there any information regarding dependents that will be accompanying the H-1B applicant to the U.S. at the time of filing the petition?
Answer: H-4’s are given on a walk in basis, based upon the approval of the H-1 if you are outside the USA. So If your family is outside U.S. the moment your H-1 gets approved, you can send the paper work to them and then they can go to the consulate for H-4 stamping. There is no processing necessary for H-4 at the USCIS level. On the other hand, if they are in the United States then all their details are needed to apply for H-4. So the answer depends on if they are inside or outside the U.S.