Tag Archives: permanent resident

Google orders H1B visa holders back to US

Imagine you are a H-1B visa holder or even a Green Card holder,. Maybe you were born in a war torn country in the Middle East in the 70s and at 2 yrs old your family fled taking you and your siblings with you arriving at the safe but unknown shores of New Zealand.

Like many immigrant families in western countries, your parents worked hard doing whatever jobs they could given their limited English skills trying to provide for you and your siblings to give you all a chance at a better life. While school life was tough because of the hard work ethic on which you were raised, you do very well and enter university and earn a Computer Science Degree.

Opportunity beckons in the US with a plethora of companies that are desperate for your skills and you manage to land a job offer with Google who look after you handsomely salary wise and set you up with the working H-1B visa. While you are in the US, you meet someone, fall in love and get engaged. However late one night you get the call everyone fears. Your mother has taken seriously ill back in New Zealand and may not have much time left.

You of course rush back to her side, with the full support of your manager and Google to take the time that you need. Suddenly while by her hospital bedside, in maybe her last days on the planet you get the email that you need to return to the US immediately. Not because of any work project or because your time off period has expired, but because Google is fearful that because of the new Presidential executive orders on Immigration you may be either barred from getting on a plane back to US or blocked at the border.

This seems strange in your mind as you are legal immigrant to the US and you are also a long time New Zealand citizen so why would there be any risk to you. Suddenly you realize b/c of the country of your birth, a country you have been unable to visit and thus don’t even remember let alone been in for over 30 years is putting you at risk.

Now you have a dying mother next to you, a fiancee back at home in California who also loves you and the general idea that whichever decision you make you may be stuck with for a while forsaking the other. You either may not see your fiancee and friends in the US again for who knows how long or you may be in the US but not be able to see your family. This is not to mention the situation with your mother.

This story is a hypothetical situation but as Bloomberg and others have reported today and from an internal Google memo, that they have ordered visa holder employee who are born in certain countries back to US before any potential 90 day or other moratorium on entry supposedly occurs.

There are already Green Card and H-1B visa holders who have been stopped from getting on planes or potentially worse right at the border after the afternoon directive from the Department of Homeland Security started to take effect.

Google are also concerned about Green Card holders who work for them who also happen to be originally born in those 7 countries identified; Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya.

Finally other tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook are also starting to tentatively speak out in the last 24 hours against the Trump Administration’s crazy US Immigration orders.

It is really time for all tech leads including 5 of the top 7  most valuable companies in the world; Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook need to use their significant power, money and platform to speak out. These companies have been built of various generations of immigrants with Google’s CEO and Microsoft’s CEO both Indian and both Alphabet/Google and Facebook having immigrant co-founders.

This isn’t just about economics anymore for these organizations, it is now basic human dignity and for the fact you never want anyone to be in the position to have to choose between either seeing a loved one or never returning home.

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Green Card Lottery Begins October 2013 (DV-2015)

In the midst of US Congress dysfunction and a US Government shutdown, the Diversity Visa Lottery 2015 (DV-2015) or as it’s unofficially known, the Green Card Lottery began yesterday. In short the Green Card Lottery is an annual lottery run by the US State Department as designated by US Immigration law that is FREE to enter with the end result being Permanent Residency for 55,000 lucky winners around the world.

The lottery entry period begins on October 1, 2013 and concludes on November 2, 2013 so be sure you enter during this period as no exceptions are made and the last couple of days because of load there may be computer glitches. At the end of completing your online form, you will be given a confirmation number which you should record as that is how you can check if you won online around April/May 2014 when they announce the results. You will be officially notified by mail if you win.

It is called DV-2015 because the winners would get a Green Card commencing at the beginning of the US Immigration fiscal year 2015 which begins on October 1, 2014. Now while the lottery is FREE to enter (so don’t fall for all the various scams that try and charge you to enter as it is fully run on the US Government website) and it is only 10 basic personal questions to answer online along with uploading a passport size style photo, there are some important criteria to note which could disqualify your entry and/or make you ineligible to enter at all.

  1. You can only enter once for yourself (although you can enter once and your spouse could enter once and if either of you won, the other could be eligible as a spouse of a winner)
  2. Participants born in the following countries are NOT eligible to enter this year’s lottery. (the reason why they are ineligible is because the US Goverment has determined there were already enough people who became Permanent Residents of the US from these nations through other avenues as this lottery is intended to be about greater diversity for the US)
    • In Central & South America whose natives are not eligible for this year’s diversity program:
      Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica and Peru.
    • In North America, natives of Canada and Mexico are not eligible this year
    • In Europe, native from these countries are not eligible for this year’s DV program: Great Britain
      (United Kingdom). Great Britain (United Kingdom) includes the following dependent areas: Anguilla,
      Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena,
      and Turks and Caicos Islands. Note that for purposes of the diversity program only, Northern Ireland is
      treated separately; Northern Ireland does qualify and is listed among the qualifying areas. Macau S.A.R. does qualify and is listed above.
    • In Asia these countries are not eligible for this year’s diversity program: Bangladesh, China (mainland-born), India, Pakistan, South Korea, Philippines, and Vietnam. Hong Kong S.A.R. (Asia region), Macau S.A.R. (Europe region), and Taiwan (Asia region) do qualify and are listed here
    • In Africa, natives of Nigeria are not eligible for this year
      ——–
  3. There are a couple of exceptions to the above if you were born in a non-eligible country this year. This includes;
    • Was your spouse born in a country whose natives are eligible? If yes, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth provided that both you and your spouse are named on the selected entry, are issued diversity visas, and enter the United States simultaneously
    • Were you born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but in which neither of your parent was born or legally resident at the time of your birth? If yes, you may claim nativity in one of our parents’ countries of birth if it is a country whose natives are eligible for the DV-2015 program
      ———
  4. The primary entrant must have completed a high school level education (i.e. 12 years of schooling) OR have two years of work experience in the past 5 years where at least 2 years of experience or training was required to perform the job
    • If you are qualifying under the work requirement go to O*Net Online, you need to have a job that classified as Job Zone 4 or 5 with a rating of 7.0 or higher.1. Under “Find Occupations” select “Job Family” from the pull down;
      2. Browse by “Job Family”, make your selection, and click “GO”;
      3. Click on the link for your specific occupation.
      4. Select the tab “Job Zone” to find the designated Job Zone number and Specific Vocational Preparation
      (SVP) rating range
      ———
  5. For the online form itself the following information is required;
    • 1. Name – last/family name, first name, middle name – exactly as on your passport
    • Birth date – day, month, year.
    • Gender – male or female.
    • City where you were born.
    • Country where you were born – Use the name of the country currently used for the place where you were born
    • Country of eligibility for the DV Program – Your country of eligibility will normally be the same as your country of birth. Your country of eligibility is not related to where you live. If you were  born in a country that is not eligible then check the above comments about country eligibility to see if another method may apply
    • Entrant photograph(s) – Recent photographs of yourself, your spouse and all your children listed. You do not need to include a photograph for a spouse or child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, but you will not be penalized if you do. Group photographs will not be accepted; you must submit a photograph for each individual. Your entry may be disqualified or visa refused if the photographs are not recent, have been manipulated in any way, or do not meet the specifications required
    • Mailing Address – this is where your winner notification and instructions will be sent so ensure it is correct
    • Country where you live today
    • Phone number (optional)
    • E-mail address
    • Highest level of education you have achieved, as of today: (1) Primary school only, (2) Some high school, no diploma, (3) High school diploma, (4) Vocational school, (5) Some university courses, (6) University degree, (7) Some graduate-level courses, (8) Master’s degree, (9) Some doctoral – level courses, and (10) Doctorate
    • Current marital status – Unmarried, married, divorced, widowed, or legally separated. Enter the name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, country of birth of your spouse, and a photograph of your spouse meeting the same technical specifications as your photo
    • Number of children – List the Name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, and country of birth for all living unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of whether or not they are living with you or intend to accompany or follow to join you should you immigrate to the United States. Submit individual photographs of each of your children using the same technical specifications as your own photo. Be sure to include; all living natural children, all living children legally adopted by you and, all living step-children who are unmarried and under the age of 21 on the date of your electronic entry, even if you are no longer legally married to the child’s parent, and even if the child does not currently reside with you and/or will not immigrate with you. (Married children and children over the age of 21 are not eligible for the DV. However, the Child Status Protection Act protects children from “aging out” in certain circumstances. If your DV entry is made before your unmarried child turns 21, and the child turns 21 before visa issuance, he/she may be treated as though he/she were under 21 for visa-processing purposes)

The official Green Card Lottery complete instructions are as per this US State Department link and may be worth reading if you are unsure of anything and to help ensure you don’t do things that would compromise your online entry.

Another tip I would give all readers is to do the application in Internet Explorer or Firefox as browsers as it tends to work best without errors. Also remember to save a copy of your confirmation page which you will give you a confirmation number to check your results later.

To get an idea of how many people from each country applied in past years you can look at official country statistics from the US Government here for the DV-2013 Green Card Lottery which ran in 2011 with winners announced in 2012.

Because of current proposed US Immigration reform 2013, which has already passed the US Senate, and has general acceptance on both sides, this may be the LAST EVER GREEN CARD LOTTERY. Although if no immigration reform is passed the Green Card Lottery will remain in future years.

Good Luck,
Cj

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