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  • unitednations
    07-19 04:14 PM
    This is a question to you. I was one of those guys who sent you a PM. Sorry again !
    What if a person who has been in the country for a while(say from 2000) has a few pay stubs missing and period/s of unemployment(2002 and 2003) and therefore his w2's for say 2003,2004,2005 have like 15-30 k figures on them. This is for a software engineer who is on eb3 with a employment letter that states pay should be abut 50 k or so (minimum). Now lets suppose the said person went out of the country and came back in Jan 2006.
    So Does means according to the 245i rule the previous period of unemployment etc get wiped off and they have to look at whether he has violated the 180 day rule only since Jan 2006 ? In this case will they look at his all his old w2's as well? Will this constitute some sort of violation ?

    Thanks in advance for your answers

    245k will protect you; as they can only look at your status from the date of last entry until filing 485, as long as you didn't overstay i-94 card by more then six months.

    as you can see from the original poster; uscis was trying to go after her husband in a different way by saying that he listed employment for whom he never worked for. They are trying to override 245k by going after fraud.

    It is pretty weak what the adjudicator is doing but still it is giving anxious moments to the original poster.

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-05 12:51 PM
    A blonde was mowing her lawn when she accidentally cut off the tail of her cat...

    which was hiding in the grass. She rushed her, along with the tail to the local Walmart.

    Why Walmart???

    Walmart is the largest retailer in the world!

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  • pete
    04-09 08:15 AM
    I think this bill ironically works out well for doctors and researchers!

    We are not consultants.Most of the times we stick to one place. Either doing residency or postdoc we are usually in one place. Most universities are very rigorous with the labour certification process and residency is obtained via "match".

    The consulting companies have been responsible for for flooding the GC process. Consequently researchers and doctors have to wait with the rest of the crowd. This new bills will turn out to be very advantageous to doctors and scientists ( in nonprofit organizations).

    Would like to hear opinions for and against this view......

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  • hpandey
    06-27 12:01 AM
    Pandey ji / Valid IV
    o.k..I will explain it slowly ..I can understand that those who are homeowners will justify their home purchase. some maybe in denial and have their head in sand.
    honestly, few months back, even I would have purchased a house . if I had, I would still admit -- that home is not necessarily good investment but a place to stay. even after I buy, I would still say that renting in an apartment has its advantages. here are 2 links in english.
    Why rent? To get richer - MSN Money (
    Why Your Mortgage Won't Make You Rich - (
    now you need to read this carefully else you won't understand what the authors are trying to say ..since it is bit unclear but it has good points (not trying to make fun here :)) read since they are superb articles
    but here is even simpler explanation and hopefully that will explain what I am trying to say ..if you still don't understand ..u will need to find someone else to explain.
    first renting gives you flexibility say, u get better job offer or lose job - you don't lose lot of money compared to house if you have to move.
    for 250K house, you pay around 300 property tax, 60 HOA fees, 150 - 200 in maintenance (recurring like lawn plus once in long term like roof, painting etc) , 100 - 150 extra in utilities. you pay downpayment of 50 k ..if you were to invest that money in better investments (mutual funds, stocks, high CDs. bonds) would make 250 - 300 per month. plus add fees when you have to sell the house, insurance, termite protection etc etc ..
    plus in many cases, you end up buying a house further away than if you were to rent (since many want brand new house ) ..this means extra 250 - 300 in gas + vehicle degradation per month.
    (ALSO SAY U WERE IN MICHIGAN OR IN CALIFORtNIA -- you could get away from the state after making money easily if you were renting. .home means you could end up stuck there).

    I agree in apartment you get less space and hence I mentioned - u need to ask - do you really need extra space at this time in life - if yes, then home is better. (but renting a home is even better esp if prices are still falling in your area in this case).
    btw - as of now rents are going down -- you just need to negotiate.
    now you don't get the money back in rents..but neither do you get money paid in the expenses listed above.
    (in other words - you don't get money back that you pay in rent yr apt BUT you get a place to stay ..this is not India where you can sleep on foot path - so you need a place. apartment property owner will make a small profit - but that is the system)

    before you jump - house is good when it appreciates by atleast 1 -2 percent above inflation and I am not saying that you should never buy a house.
    there are many other points and I will post it in IV WIKI ...and I hope this helps newcomers ...this is my last personal post ...and do watch the movie :) ..once again I did mention in plain english that it is worst case scenario (the movie "pacific heights")..but best case scenario is not good either if you are a landlord with property in US while you are in India (or vice versa).

    hope that answers your question ..please note: the above is for normal cases ..but if you get a good deal or short sale or foreclosed home for 50K --- then yes, buying makes sense !!

    Thank you Mr. Hiralal for your condensending post . Your trying to explain it slowly will not make your argument strong.

    I am not trying to justify my homeownership to you or anyone else here. I am just presenting the real facts that apply to my case. I did not buy a house to get rich neither would I become rich if I rented.

    I bought a house only a few months back and not in the real estate bubble time. I have paid a good price for it and my mortage is the same as my rent . The house has four times the area of the apartment I used to rent and is in a very very good area . So why should I go on renting.

    Anyway my primary reason to buy was for my 2 year old who ( and my family ) need more space to live rather than a cramped two bedroom apartment. I don't know about you but I have spent 9 years in this country . GC is no where in sight. Waiting for GC and wasting valuable years of your life living in a rented accomodation don't make sense to me when you can get a nice big house for your family at a very good price and low mortgage .

    Maybe you believe all these media articles but these are written for a broad view.

    Everyone is unique and every situation is unique. There are a lot of places in US where the prices did not fall that much and there are some place where they are in fact rising now .

    Mortgage rates are low now as are the home prices after correction but what about mortgage rates two years from now ? I can't predict if the home prices will go down or not since that depends on the location but I can say this for sure that mortgage rates will go up .

    Homeowners like me don't have our heads stuck in the sand as you say - I spent a good two years 2007 and 2008 making calulations , waiting for the right time and finding a good valued house at a good mortgage rate.

    We are not as stupid as you think.

    Thank you .


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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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  • lfwf
    08-05 02:37 PM
    And let me add another twist to the story.

    The Guy with Masters degree is working with a desi sweatshop and convinced his masters (No pun) to file for Eb2 even though his job duties were just dish out code like a high school grad can do. On the other hand there was another guy who was in US for a decade , gone though masters degree and got a very good job in a very good company. He was eligible for EB2 but his only mistake was to not force the company to file a EB2 case or even worse his lawyer makes a mistake and files under Eb3 even though the job he was in and he are qualified as Eb2. The company wants to make amends now by filing a EB2 case and first MS guy (sweatshop guy) wants him to start again and wait for another decade.

    The kicker : The sweat shop labor guy works in the same company as contractor and reports to the second guy and in the same reporting chain, just two levels below him.

    How about another story :

    Both guys go to the same engg school back home. One guy passed with distinction and got a job immediately in a respectable company immediately. Other guy takes two additional years to finish the degree , but his dad was rich enough to send him to the US to complete the MS and now he thinks he is smarter than every one else and needs a special place in the queue.

    You can come up with 100s of stories if not more. Therefore you can't generalize. Just don't think all those who filed under EB2 first are with MS and smarter than others and all those who are Eb3 are here by shady means.

    I am not taking sides here, but it is not a question of "smarter". I have a simple question. Do years spent doing MS/PhD have no value? They count for nothing in PD. On the other hand a person with a BS accumulates 5 years in the same time and ports. Now he/she is a full 5 years ahead of the one that pursued the education route. Fair?

    I don't think that porting is all fair. Just MHO that the 5 year experience rule negates all efforts in getting a masters degree/PhD and puts those people at a huge disadvantage. The system tried to make up for that by creating preference categories. Not that they work perfectly of course as many of you have pointed out.

    So let me come to the point, question for OP. Are you against all porting? Or only against porting based on lack of qualifications for an EB2 job originally- then porting 5 years later based on the additional experience alone?

    BTW I resent the insinuation that 1% of EB2s are genuine. The same can be said of many many EB3s- remember the qualifications required are much lower.
    I also resent the idea that all US Masters folks are just "rich kids". Most people work through the degree and/or take loans. Please don't start making needless statements. If you had a masters originally and your job qualified as EB2 but your company refused- I feel for you, I really do. There should be a solution to your problem. That does not mean that those who did get EB2 were all suddenly not "genuine".

    Also I want to clarify something- this is purely objective now. Yes GC is for a "future job" but folks are over reaching with some of the arguments. In order to get an EB2 (or EB3) for this "future job- you either have to show current employment with the sponsor OR show the job offer qualifying for that category at the time you apply. The "future job" cannot be a nebulous idea that you make concrete at a later time.


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  • alterego
    11-15 07:17 AM
    That has been Lou's view all along. Yet I doubt its sincerity, it follows along the Numbersusa ploy that if you make things hard enough first, all but the ones with the strongest roots will leave. Hence they will say enforcement first but then once that is done you will hear all the restrictionist agenda. In fact there has been some stepped up security at the border recently.
    The policy of all these anti immigration groups is quite clear, divide and rule. They have only tepid and restrictionist at best arguments against Skilled Immigration , and for those of you in the IT field I want to remind you that skilled immigration does not mean just IT. Restrictionist groups are aware that most of america will not stand for their agenda and corporate america will steamrolll their lobbying might. Hence the play all these tricks. YOu should have seen the pathetec defence of the loss of some hardliners in the recent election that Bay Buchanan(Pats wife) gave on Lou Dobbs last night. Their end objective is the same, keep immigration as low as possible.
    Last Night Lou was visibly concerned that there would be something cooking in the Lame duck session.
    The AILA/Compete america is for sure trying to get atleast a H1b expansion and is pushing hard. I am happy to see that they are also pushing for some sort of EB provisions for their permanent employees also.

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  • akred
    04-07 12:22 PM
    Will 115k enough by seeing 133k applications in one day? If 115k is reached we will ask unlimited. So there should be some system to see whether those115k H1b is used properly. Employers should not wait till october and they should get people when they require. If most of the H1b quota is used by bodyshoppers where will top US companies get?

    One possible solution is to establish a separate quotas for companies perfoming R&D in the US. Something like this already exists in the tax code where companies establish eligibility for the R&D tax credit. A similar bar could be used to administer a R&D quota for H1B or GC. That should address concerns around the quota for top US companies.


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  • ItIsNotFunny
    03-27 09:02 AM
    10 Reasons to Lobby for your cause ( (courtesy krishna.ahd)

    For many of us, lobbying is something other people do�people who wear fancy clothes and buy politicians lunch at expensive restaurants. But lobbying, or more simply, trying to influence those who make policies that affect our lives, is something anyone can do. And it is something all of us should do if we believe in a good cause and in a democratic form of government. Read on to find out why.


    Very nice post.

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  • desi3933
    08-05 03:39 PM
    Don't remember exactly, I can look into the wording of the law but I think post bachelor 5 year experience for EB2 is a law and not Memo.

    Incorrect. Law does not mention 5 years. It simply says advanced degrees or their equivalent. Read for yourself (again!)


    Sec. 203. [8 U.S.C. 1153]


    (2) Aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability. -

    (A) In general. - Visas shall be made available, in a number not to exceed 28.6 percent of such worldwide level, plus any visas not required for the classes specified in paragraph (1), to qualified immigrants who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent or who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States, an d whose services in the sciences, arts, professions, or business are sought by an employer in the United States.



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  • akred
    04-09 12:06 AM
    If this bill passes along with CIR, that gives the ability to file for 485 even without visa numbers being available, I think most of the placement companies would file for LC (PERM) as soon as they recruit someone (and get H1 approved). That would allow them to file for 140 and 485. Am I missing something here?

    Yes, you are missing something. The processing times for LC(PERM) and for I-140 are not guaranteed. There will be trouble if either of these take an extended amount of time like the multi-year waits that we saw in the recent past. So, the ability to file I-485 without visa number availability will address current filers, but may not protect future filers.

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  • shensh
    04-09 01:33 PM
    Chill out pal, please don't exaggerate how much people value academic degrees in real business world. Holding a Ms or PhD degree alone doesn't necessarily mean you're an asset to this country, nor to a particular employer. I have Ms degree from US institution and I don't think it matters much to my employer, everything is based on performance.

    I agree that H1-B visa should be granted to people who fill a real business need, not those who are unfortunately treated as unlimited supply for body-shoppers making their fortune selling hours of H1-Bs. In this perspective, the idea of restricting companies with 50+% H1-Bs is brilliant. I wouldn't worry about management consulting firms like BCG or McKinsey, I bet they don't have half of their consultants under H1-b. :-)


    EVERYBODY wants those doing Ms and PhD in certain disciplines to stay. They do no harm AT ALL and actually are an asset.

    Consultants need to be curtailed.


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  • edd
    07-14 11:57 PM
    I am wondering how hard it will be for USCIS to tell exactly how many EB3-I (and other) pending cases are out there. If they can break it via monthly, it will atleast tell us how long will it take to get to our respective PD's (without any legislation whatsoever). This would be worst case scenario and frankly would help me to plan my next move.

    What makes bit confusing to me is that most of the people I know (outside california) with Eb-3 and PD less than Dec 2002, have already got their GC's

    Someone mentioned FOIA. Can you please share the link on how to apply for the same

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  • 485Mbe4001
    09-26 06:17 PM
    Good discussion. I am not a fox fan, but i read NYT and Drudgereport, listen to Rachel Maddaw as well as Handel. In fact i read any political and economics related blog i can lay my hands on. I understand your points.

    My point is that people say he will do so many things, the problem is that the congress is not changing. The congress has to approve something so that he can sign it. Secondly no matter what you say companies will do whatever is right for the bottomline and share price. if he starts taxing companies they relocate, he has proposed increasing the social security taxes across all categories. Says he will not increase taxes for middle class americans but gives little indication of how he will finance the trillion dollar spending program. If his universal health program passes then you will see more deducted out of your paycheck. How will he create tons of jobs, how will he subsidize education. The fact of the matter is that he will be under exterme pressure if he is elected to office with such high expectations. He will be screwed if he increases taxes and screwed if he doesnt fund the programs he is promising all over the place.

    As for long term, the country has to increase interest rates to support the current account deficit. IF you increase interest rates the economy will further go in the tank. The country has to increase taxes to fund SS or Medicare. If not they need to overhaul the SS and MC system and any pandering politican will never be able to make that change.

    The fact of the matter is that both are career politicians and will do anyting to win. i just want to present an opposing view when one is painted as the saviour and the other a @$#@ in a total crapfest where no one is pure.

    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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  • DSLStart
    03-23 10:08 PM
    Man!!! thats getting nastier..
    Best bet for you is to hire an attorney to come out of this trap.
    Good luck!

    ok...this is something..

    apparently they called my employer also and has asked them to provide all details.

    All I-9s
    All performance appraisals
    my works schedule
    my vacation requests this year
    current salary
    supervisor details


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  • vdixit
    03-26 03:15 PM
    I am still confused about the whole GC issue in buying and selling a home. Why is GC an issue in owing property or even taking overseas vacations? I have done both with absolutely no issues-caribbeans, europe, India. I have owned a home, and then decided to change jobs-move to a different city and sell my house. Heck I sold my house when I was on vacation in India. I did everything by phone and fax, and this is not some few years ago, this is 2 months ago.
    I totally agree with the fact that location and the condition of the house being the key factors. Maybe the fact that I have been here for a few years makes me resident alien for tax purposes helped me? I am not entirely sure.
    Folks mentioned that what if you lose your job, and have to leave the country etc. But like I mentioned a house can be sold from abroad. And if you have a GC and you lose ur job, how will you make mortgage payments etc. So some problems will stay the same.
    Any thoughts/comments on my dilema?
    Perhaps someone can elaborate on why GC is a factor?


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  • NKR
    04-05 10:24 AM

    Check your pm

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  • bobzibub
    04-07 11:56 AM
    One part of the idiocy of this bill is that it places more burden upon the institutions where they cannot handle the work they have now.

    If one has to apply for a labour cert every time you want an extension of an H1b, it will become unworkable. The main reasons for extending H1bs is because the DOL and USCIS take so long to process (or are not allowed to process) their existing workload today, including labour certs. This appears to compound an existing problem.

    It is unfortunate that consulting is barred too. Consulting is a good gig. My main goal for going through this silly green card process is simply to consult individually.

    If they actually addressed the problem, such as making the labor cert process simply a web site with a "Submit" button, then it would be an actual improvement. Is it really that difficult to compare a wage rate doing a certain job in a certain location with the market rate? Can't you do that now on Monster or Dice?

    Remember the proportion of applications rejected are dwarfed by the proportion of applications that are simply abandoned. Probably due to the time it takes for them to get around processing them using their super-modern VDT technology.

    Could we please *at least* have an exemption for technical consulting to the DOL and USCIS? They really could use some professional assistance.

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  • Macaca
    03-04 07:13 AM
    Some paras from The Power Player (

    Cassidy helped invent the new Washington, which had made him seriously rich. His personal fortune exceeded $125 million. He and his original partner, whom he forced out of the firm 20 years earlier, devised a new kind of business, subsequently mimicked by many others. Their innovation was the first modern "earmarked appropriations" -- federal funds directed by Congress to private institutions when no federal agency had proposed spending the money. Over the subsequent three decades, the government dispensed billions of dollars in "earmarks," and lobbying for such appropriations became a booming Washington industry.

    Cassidy may be the richest Washington lobbyist, but he is far from the best-known. Since a scandal erupted that bears his name, that title belongs to Jack Abramoff, the confessed felon, bribe-payer and tax evader who is now an inmate in the federal prison camp in Cumberland, Md. He is still cooperating in a widening federal probe of corruption on Capitol Hill.

    Cassidy's is a subtler epic that probably reveals more about the culture of Washington, D.C. It, too, involves favors, gifts and contributions, but they are supplemented by the disciplined application of intellect, hard work, salesmanship and connections. In Cassidy's story, all these can influence the decisions of government to the benefit of private parties -- Cassidy's clients.

    On a personal level, Cassidy's saga is a variation on the classic American myth: A determined man from nowhere accumulates great wealth and rises to the top. At different moments it evokes Charles Foster Kane, Jay Gatsby or a character from a Horatio Alger tale. Like them, Cassidy is a self-made man who fulfilled many of his most ambitious dreams. But material success has not pacified all of his personal demons. He is tough, temperamental, driven and, according to many around him, rather lonely.

    Over the next five weeks, The Washington Post will tell Gerald Cassidy's story in a unique way. On Monday, the series will jump to the newspaper's Web site,, to begin a 25-chapter serial narrative that will describe how Cassidy built his business, how he made the deals that earned his millions, how he and his fellow-lobbyists influenced decisions of government and helped create the money-centric culture of modern Washington.

    Cassidy's career has spanned an astounding boom in the lobbying business. When Cassidy became a lobbyist in 1975, the total revenue of Washington lobbyists was less than $100 million a year. In 2006 the fees paid to registered lobbyists surpassed $2.5 billion; the Cassidy firm's 51 lobbyists earned about $29 million. In 1975 the rare hiring of a former member of Congress as a lobbyist made eyebrows rise. Today 200 former members of the House and Senate are registered lobbyists. Two of them, tall, gregarious men named Marty Russo and Jack Quinn, work for Cassidy, and at the 30th birthday party they worked the crowd with relish.

    12-23 09:42 PM
    Congress Cool on Tech Issues in 2007 ( Patent reform, security, Internet access and other topics are expected to gain a higher profile next session PC World, Dec 23, 2007

    No one is calling 2007 a banner year for the technology industry in the U.S. Congress.

    Congress passed a handful of bills on many tech vendor and trade group wish lists, but in several cases, they represented partial victories.

    "This Congress so far has a record of neglect on technology issues," said Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, whose party lost the majority in Congress in the November 2006 elections.

    Goodlatte isn't an impartial observer, but members of the tech community also acknowledge that Congress has been slow to act on tech issues this year. Still, not everyone was expecting great things from a Congress that had to reorganize after the change in party control.

    It's too early to judge this session of Congress, which continues through 2008, said Kevin Richards, federal government relations manager at cybersecurity vendor Symantec. "I think we have a lot of interest [from lawmakers], and this has the potential to be a tech-friendly Congress," Richards said.

    Members of the tech community point to some success in Congress this year:

    Congress passed the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act, which became law in August. TheAmerica Competes Actallocated US$43.3 billion for research and math- and science-education programs.

    Congress approved a free-trade agreement with Peru in December, the only such agreement approved this year. Some labor and environmental groups opposed some free-trade agreements, but the pacts are "imperative" for tech vendors, said Sage Chandler, senior director of international trade for the Consumer Electronics Association.

    The CEA, which launched a campaign against "protectionism" in October, said every trade agreement is important to its members. Upcoming free-trade agreements coming before Congress include Columbia, Panama and South Korea. A handful of CEA members are already doing business in Peru or would like to and between 2000 and 2006 U.S. consumer-electronics exports to Peru increased by 12 percent, Chandler said.

    "Without the ability to sell into foreign markets and get components from foreign markets, our companies aren't going to be able to employ Americans," she said.

    Some successes the tech community can point to, however, were partial victories:

    Congress, in late October, passed a seven-year extension to a moratorium on access taxes and other taxes unique to the Internet. But many tech groups and lawmakers had pushed for a permanent tax ban, arguing that it was needed to foster Internet and broadband growth.

    Opponents of a permanent ban successfully argued that it would remove a check on Internet service providers attempting to include other services, such as VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol), in the tax ban. In addition, some lawmakers argued that a permanent ban could cripple the ability to pay for services.

    But some lawmakers argued Congress should've gone farther. The House of Representatives, which in the past has approved permanent extensions, this year passed a four-year extension and "had to have the Senate show them the way to a better seven-year extension," Goodlatte said. The "ultimate goal" should be a permanent tax moratorium, he said.

    The Senate in December passed a one-year extension to a research and development tax credit for U.S. companies. TheTemporary Tax Relief Act, which the House approved Nov. 9, extends the tax credit, which covers 20 percent of qualified R&D spending. But many tech groups have called on Congress to permanently extend the R&D tax credit, which has been extended a dozen times since 1981.

    Supporters of an expanded tax credit argue that the U.S. has fallen behind other nations in its R&D support. Once the most generous with R&D tax breaks, the U.S. by 2004 fell to 17th out of the 30 nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

    But the tax break comes with a price tag of about $7 billion a year, and Congress has been reluctant to extend the program long term. Some government watchdog groups have called the R&D tax credit corporate welfare.

    Some tech groups have said the R&D tax credit helps keep high-paying tech jobs in the U.S. And companies have a hard time mapping out their R&D when the credit keeps expiring, said Symantec's Richards. "The on-again, off-again nature of the credit makes it impossible for companies to do the long-term planning that's needed," he said.

    In many other areas, Congress failed to act on legislation many tech groups called for:

    Patent reform: Many large tech companies said their top priority was for Congress to pass a wide-ranging patent reform bill that would make it more difficult for patent holders to sue and collect massive infringement awards. The House of Representatives in September passed thePatent Reform Act, which would allow courts to limit patent damage awards if a patented invention is a small piece of a larger product. Among other things, the bill would also allow a new way to challenge patents within one year after they've been granted.

    Supporters of the bill, including Microsoft and IBM, argued that it's too easy for patent holders who have no intent of marketing an invention to sue large companies and collect multimillion-dollar damages when a small piece of a technology product is found to infringe. "There are people who now just hold patents to sue and not to innovate," said Symatec's Richards.

    Another important piece of the bill would limit where patent holders could file lawsuits, Richards said. Many patent holders file lawsuits in the patent-friendly U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, even though neither the patent holder or the accused infringer is located there.

    Opponents, including pharmaceutical companies, some small technology vendors and inventors, have successfully stalled the bill in the Senate. They say the bill severely weakens the power of patents.

    Senate leaders say they will tackle the bill again in January. Opponents will continue to pressure lawmakers, said Ronald Riley, president of the Professional Inventors Alliance, which has enlisted the support of some labor unions.

    Opponents have talked about finding candidates to run against lawmakers who support the bill, Riley said. "We will have an all-out onslaught on the legislation," Riley said. "We think we will have to make an example of some legislators."

    H-1B visas: Another top priority of many tech vendors has been an expansion of the H-1B visa program for skilled foreign workers. The current yearly cap is 65,000 visas, with exceptions for an additional 20,000 graduate students, but in recent years, the cap has been filled before the year begins.

    Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates testified before a Senate committee in March, saying the U.S. should not shut out talented workers. "We have to welcome the great minds of this world, not drive them out of this country," Gates said. "These employees are vital to American competitiveness."

    But U.S. tech worker groups such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA) have opposed a higher H-1B cap, arguing that companies use the program to hire foreign workers for less money than unemployed U.S. workers would receive. An H-1B increase to 115,000 was part of a comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate, but that bill stalled over a contentious debate about illegal immigration.

    Data breaches: A handful of data breach notification and cybercrime bills stalled as Congress focused on other issues. The House approved two antispyware bills, one that created penalties of up to five years in prison for some spyware-like behavior. But the Senate didn't act on the bills, in part because there are concerns that the second spyware bill would preempt tougher state laws.

    Net neutrality: Many consumer groups and Internet-based companies continued to call on Congress to pass a net neutrality law, which would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or slowing competitors' Web content. However, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has included some net neutrality rules in an upcoming spectrum auction, and both Verizon Wireless and AT&T have recently pledged to allow outside content and devices on their mobile-phone networks.

    Congress has also examined tougher penalties for copyright infringement, but hasn't moved legislation forward. With the change in party control, some things have been delayed, and "that was fine with us," said Art Brodsky, spokesman for Public Knowledge, a consumer-rights group that has opposed tougher copyright penalties.

    Some observers expect Congress to be more active on tech issues in 2008. It will be an election year, and it will be hard for controversial legislation to move forward, but many tech issues aren't partisan, Goodlatte said.

    Passing some tech-related legislation would show some progress, he said. "I would think that the Democratic leadership, in the miserable lack of success they've had in passing legislation this year, would be looking for a new approach in the new year," he said.

    07-13 12:38 PM
    Again - want to continue a healthy debate, but as per the law, EB2 is more skilled than an EB3 and therefore gets precedence regardless of the date. If we split up the spill over 75/25 between EB2 and EB3 then what answer do we have to the more skilled EB2 candidate who did not get a visa number because a less skilled EB3 took the number based on an arbitrary split up (75/25) and because the EB3 has an earlier PD. Does it meet the meritocracy test which is the intent of the law.

    I may sound plain and harsh but thats the categorization as per existing law not my personal opinion.

    Split up of 75-25 definitely covers interest of both parties. I don't think an EB2 with PD 2007 will have grudge over an EB3 PD 2002 getting his/her GC before. As a matter of fact, as you said, looking through the eyes of governance, I don't think it is illogical. EB3 has lower preference as compared to EB2 but not zero preference! So, an EB3 2002 getting his GC before EB2 2007 is not insane, again, per my belief. You cannot say 100-0 is justice - come on!

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