The Quintessential Guide to HSMP Visas

The United Kingdom is in the midst of deciding how to manage its Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, which allows foreigners to work in the United Kingdom, especially on highly talented jobs. The country’s Home Office had amended the HSMP visa rules in 2006 to make it more difficult for new foreign workers to get a visa and current visa holders to keep one. In response to the changes, the HSMP Forum actively sought to pressure the company to repeal the rules. In April, a High Court decided that the more stringent HSMP rules could be applied retroactively and anyone who had been forced out of the country could reapply for a visa. But they could not return immediately.

When the Home Office decided to revise the rules in 2006, it suspended the entire program for nearly a month, from Nov. 7, 2006, to Dec. 5, 2006. After the stricter rules for HSMP visas went into effect, they encountered resistance from groups that represent migrant workers, such as the HSMP Forum. Following the High Court decision in April, the Home Office revised the HSMP rules in July, and they will take effect in November. U.K. employers have a couple of weeks to learn the new rules for hiring skilled workers from other countries. If an employer wants to hire a skilled migrant worker, it must first file an application with the Border Agency and pay a fee, which can range from 330 pounds to 1,000 pounds.

In addition to paying the Border Agency’s fee, employers must comply with the agency’s investigations, which could include on-site visits. The Border Agency wants to ensure that employers are fully complying with the new requirements, including recordkeeping. If the Border Agency finds faults with an employer’s ability to satisfy the rules for HSMP visas, it can give the company a B rating. A B rating means that the employer cannot meet the rules because it has not established the needed systems or processes to comply.

After an employer can hire a worker with an HSMP visa, the foreign worker is clear to enter the United Kingdom for five years before reapplying for a visa. And foreign migrant workers can bring their families to the United Kingdom, too. As long as the foreign families remain stable and can provide for themselves, they will satisfy the HSMP visa requirements. By remaining employed, the HSMP visa holder will be more likely to receive a visa extension.

There are many companies available on he internet who are experts on the nuisances of many countries’ immigration systems and can help over seas visitor to have a long and productive stay in foreign country by helping them to obtain the correct visa for their needs. These companies usually guide the overseas visitor through this process from the beginning through to its conclusion providing a friendly face and advice in the overseas visitor’s native language. It is essential to shop around to find the best company for your needs.
My Smooth Group specialize in giving help and advice on HSMP Visas.

Independent Immigration

Immigration laws are those rules and regulations which govern the practices related to immigration in a country. The practice of immigration usually varies from country to country in accordance with the immigration laws of a particular country.

The main purpose of immigration laws is to facilitate immigration easily and effectively. Also, the idea behind immigration laws is to stop illegal entry into the country. In recent time, several terrorism acts have also increased the need of separate laws to control immigration. In most countries, immigration laws are taken very seriously and kept under strict vigilance.

Independent immigration Usually, immigration has different criterions and permissions can be taken on different grounds such as visiting as a tourist, for educational purposes, for employment and others. Seeking the visa as an independent immigrant is something different and a person needs to fulfill certain criterion for this.

To get an entry as an independent immigrant, a person must be able to obtain points on the basis of his or her personal skills, education and characteristics listed on the immigration list issued by the country. Proposed independent immigrant must have adequate work experience in specified fields of employment.

In case, if your skills or occupation is not listed under the list, you need to check with the business immigration page of that country.

However, there are some general criterions that need to be fulfilled by an applicant:

Age: A person must be under 45 at the time of applying.
English language: A person must have sufficient command in the English language to work inside the country.

Qualifications: A person must possess post-secondary qualifications and your skills must be assessed by the relevant assessing authority to justify his nominated occupation.
Nominated occupation: The nominated occupation chosen by an applicant must be found on the Skilled Occupations List of the country, where the application has been filed in.
Recent work experience: The period of work experience need to be certified with adequate documents.

Qualification exemption: In case, a person has finished his education recently, he needs not to reveal his work experience documents.
Skills assessment: A person must get assessed his skills by the assessing authority designated to assess his or her nominated occupation.

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Legal Designations Of People Under US Immigration Law

Here are some common terms for people who are pursuing action under US immigration law. These are some definitions of common terms that crop up in the everyday, though most people have only a vague idea about what they actually mean; here is a chance to find out.

Citizen:

A citizen is someone who hold citizenship, which is defined as state wherein a person holds membership in a political community and whose rights, social and political, are defended by the country where they maintain citizenship. A citizen has political rights, such as voting, whereas a non-citizen does not. While similar to the term ‘nationality;’ citizenship differs because you can have a nationality with having citizenship (this means you are subject to the laws of the country of your nationality, but have no political participation rights). It is also possible to have political rights without being the national of a state as long as you are a citizen.

Native-born citizen:

A native-born citizen is a citizen who was born in their country of citizenship. If a person is born in any country, they are automatically given fully legal citizenship at the moment of birth. A person is considered to be a citizen at birth if theyre jus soli, or born in the country in a certain place, even with non-native parents. They are also considered a citizen at birth via jus sanguinis, which is descent from a citizen of the country in which they were born. Either of these factors or a combination of both constitutes natural citizenship. If a person is both born in the country of citizenship to citizens of that country, they are considered a native-born-citizen. Both positions have all the same legal rights in a country; they’re simply different ways of categorizing people.

Naturalized citizen:

A naturalized citizen is a person who chooses to voluntarily apply for citizenship (and gets it) in a country that is not their place of origin. People who apply for naturalization run the gamut from immigrant workers to refugees and aliens. Usually a person must meet certain requirements before becoming a naturalized citizen.

Dual citizen:

A dual citizen is a person who holds citizenship in two countries. An example might be if a child was born to Costa Rican parents in the US. They would hold not only US citizenship, but Costa Rican citizenship as well. Another example would be if a child was born to an American parent and a Costa Rican parent in Costa Rica. The child would be a Costa Rican citizen, but could apply for naturalization in the US. Keep in mind that some countries, like the US and Cuba, don’t allow dual citizenship due to unresolved political disputes.

Alien:

Legally, an alien is anyone who is not a natural or native citizen of the country in which they live or work. Legal aliens are those allowed to stay in a country if they meet a specific set of criteria; a resident alien is one who has a permanent or temporary living space; a non-resident alien is what anyone is considered if they legally visit another country other than their own; In law, an alien is a person who is not a native or naturalized citizen of the land where they are found; an illegal alien is a citizen of one country who resides illegally in another country; an enemy alien is a person designated an enemy of the country they’re in on.

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Second Citizenship & Second Passport

Do your fear about your future and life? You could minimize the risk of unforeseen circumstances by accepting second citizenship of any country that you like to stay in. Accepting second citizenship is like a global insurance policy that provides you the benefits to make use of the dissimilar parts of two countries for a better set of options. You can make optimum use of good socio-economic conditions and other benefits at the same time. It is the easiest way to make a better living in another country.

For getting official entry into the other country, you will need a legal passport. So, when you decide of becoming the second citizen of another country, you will be allowed to maintain a legal passport of that country. Though, you can make different types of passport which may be cheap but not as safe as the legal and front door passport. It gives you legal entry to the second country of your choice and can gain many advantages that will enhance your way of living and gives you more confidence. Second passport is treated as the global insurance policy that will have considerable advantages on your life.

So, when you decide to become a citizenship of another country, make a legal passport as soon as you can. Try to avoid any illegal method to avoid the risk by ignoring making passports through unpublished and little known citizenship modalities. For better services, you can participate in existing citizenship programs offered by first rate countries, structured in such a way to give you the best advantage of getting the second passport. Taking a part in programs engineered for acquiring second passports guides you to the logical stages of existing citizenship programs.

Acquiring second citizenship with a legal second passport is the most prevalent reason to get a precaution against unforeseeable adversities. Further, you can enjoy the benefits of another country including better economic conditions, cultural and others to make your life more enjoyable and interesting.

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H-1B Immigrants Face Lawsuits from Employers

People from countries like India are often recruited by computer or IT employers to immigrate to the U.S. to work. Many such H-1B immigrants are unaware of the dangers of entering into contracts with such employers. Many computer or IT employers use questionable or unethical tactics to try to force H-1B immigrants into contracts of indentured servitude. The following pattern is being repeated over and over again. A computer or IT employer offers an H-1B immigrant an employment contract, while he is still living in India. The computer or IT employer offers to sponsor and pay for the H-1B visa application. Once the visa is granted, the H-1B Indian immigrant arrives in the United States. As soon as the H-1B Indian immigrant arrives, the computer or IT employer changes the deal. The computer or IT employer puts the Indian immigrant in a room and has several employees confront him in intimidating fashion with a different contract. This different contract requires prolonged service to the company and imposes penalties if the employee resigns too soon. The Indian immigrant can either sign the new contract or return to India. He then signs it feeling that he has no choice. After the Indian immigrant signs the new contract, he then finds a better paying job and leaves the IT employer. The IT employer then sues him for breach of contract for leaving to early.

H-1B immigrants can sometimes win lawsuits against IT employers, when they can show that the employer has acted in bad faith or has used unethical tactics. Additionally, H-1B immigrants may have claims against the IT employer including for fraudulent inducement. IT employers hope that the immigrant will not have the resources to fight a lawsuit.

To prevent becoming the victim of such unethical tactics, H-1B immigrants should insist upon having a provision in the original contract that the contract will not be changed or terminated upon entry into the U.S. or for, at least, a period thereafter. Such immigrants should retain copies of all important documents. Copies of documents need to be retained in the event the IT employer denies the existence of any pre-existing contracts. If an H-1B immigrant is already being sued for breach of contract, it is important to seek legal representation so that the unethical tactics can be exposed and a possible counter suit filed.

Ronald J. Wronko

When to use USCIS Premium Processing

When to use Premium Processing What is Premium Processing?

On June 1, 2001, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (now U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) put into place a Premium Processing Service, promising to speed up the agency’s applications decision process on selected work visas.

Under this program, paying an additional $1,000 fee will guarantee an USCIS decision on eligible temporary work visas within 15 calendar days of the receipt of the application by the USCIS. If the application or petition is not adjudicated within the 15 days the additional fee of $1,000 will be refunded and the case will still be completed under the Premium Processing rules.

The processing period that will be used to determine whether or not the USCIS meets the 15-day period will begin when the I-907 is delivered to the USCIS (at the appropriate address) and will end upon the USCIS mailing of a notice. The notice may be a notice of approval, request for evidence, intent to deny or notice of investigation for fraud or misrepresentation.

If the notice requires the submission of additional evidence or of a response to an intent to deny, a new 15-day period will begin upon the delivery to the USCIS of a complete response to the request for evidence or notice of intent to deny.

Who is eligible for Premium Processing?

Beginning with implementation of the program on June 1, 2001, employers filing a Form I-129 to classify a beneficiary under one of the following nonimmigrant categories could request Premium Processing Service: E-1, E-2, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-2, P-3 and Q-1.

Since July 30th, 2001, the USCIS has made this service also available to employers wishing to file petitions to classify a beneficiary as an H-1B, TN or R nonimmigrant, thus covering all the major work visa categories.

Fee for Premium Processing

The fee for Premium Processing Service is $1,000. The Premium Processing fee is in addition to all other USCIS filing fees for the application or petition.

How to apply for Premium Processing?

Application for premium processing of a petition is made by filing a completed and signed Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service and attaching a separate remittance of $1000. Form I-907, together with Form I-129 and the supporting documents, may be filed with the Premium Processing Service unit of the USCIS Service Center.

Upgrading Regular petition to Premium Processing

In the case where an I-129 petition has already been filed without a request for Premium Processing, the regular processing can be upgraded to Premium Processing by forwarding Form I-907 and the check for remittance of $ 1,000 to the Service Center where the I-129 petition is pending, together with a copy of the Notice of Action Receipt Notice, Form I-797, as proof of receipt of the petition by the Service Center.

The 15-day guarantee

If the Service Center fails to process the petition within 15 calendar days, it will refund the $1,000 to the company and continue to process the petition as part of the Premium Processing Service. In addition to expedited processing, companies who participate in the program may use a dedicated phone number and e-mail address to check on the status of their petition or ask any other questions they may have concerning their petition.

Benefits of Premium Processing: When to use?

Premium Processing can be very effective in certain situations. The first and foremost advantage of Premium Processing is its use for new employment of nonimmigrant beneficiaries who need to wait for the approval of their petition to start work. This holds especially true for H-1B users subject to the H-1B cap.

Premium Processing is also effective for cases pending on a regular track in which an RFE is issued. Petitioners may opt to convert such a case to Premium Processing when submitting an RFE response.

The darker side

In practice, Premium Processing has proven to be a blessing (though an expensive one) in many cases. It may not, however, always be necessary or advisable to use the Premium Processing system.

Premium Processing should be used judiciously. If the Premium Processing examiner issues an RFE, the time sought to be saved may be lost by responding to the RFE. Also, Premium Processing may not be required at all, where the filing of petition is properly planned beforehand.

Conclusion

An unnecessary Premium Processing application may not just be expensive but it may also delay the entire application process. If you are an employer or a nonimmigrant in a similar situation consult a VisaPro attorney.

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TN Visa (TN-1) for Canadians/Mexicans to work in the United States

TN a special United States immigration status applicable only to the citizens of Canada and Mexico. The TN status is a result of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) where Canadian and Mexican citizens were granted the opportunity to work in the US, although the fields were defined. Some aspects of the TN visa make it similar to the H1-B visa although the TN has some added unique features. In fact, TN status holders can work for up to a year at a time although it can be renewed indefinitely in one-year increments. The occupations defined for TN status holders are also quite a bit more limited than for the H-1B visa.

To be eligible for TN status:

 An individual must have his profession noted in Appendix 1603.D.1.

 TN employee must possess all the required qualifications with proofs

Self-employment in the U.S. is not permitted for TN status holders. Professionals who are self-employed outside the U.S. may pursue business relationships with US-based companies from outside the U.S., however, under TN neither permits such professionals to come to the US to engage in self-employment, nor to render services to any entity in which he/she is a controlling owner or shareholder. Residents of Canada and Mexico may seek admission as B-1 (business visitor), E-1 (treaty trader), E-2 (treaty investor), or L-1 (intra-company transferee) nonimmigrant under NAFTA.

How to apply for TN Canadian residents can apply for TN-1 classification directly at any U.S. Class “A” port-of-entry, at any U.S. airport handling international traffic, or at a U.S. pre-flight/pre-clearance station in Canada1. Any application for TN must be supported by:

1. Proof of Canadian citizenship,

2. $50 filing fee,

3. Proof of required Appendix 1603.D credentials; and

4. A Letter from an U.S. employer/sending employer in Canada describing nature and duration of professional employment and salary/wages in the U.S.

Citizens of Canada are exempted from visa and do not require consular visas to travel or apply for admission to the U.S.

Mexicans must be approved beneficiaries of I-129 petitions filed by prospective US employers and approved by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship, and Immigration Services’ Nebraska Service Center. Applications for TN must include:

1. Proof of Mexican citizenship,

2. Form ETA-90353 Labor Condition Attestation (LCA) certified by the US Labor Department

3. $130 filing fee

4. Proof of the purpose for entry, and proof of participation in a permitted NAFTA professional activity

Mexicans applying for admission to the US under TN status are required to file necessary paperwork with a Department of State Consulate in Mexico.

Family members, spouses, and unmarried children under 21 years of age of Canadian and Mexican professionals are eligible for the TD status. TD status holders (non-immigrants) may study in the US, but cannot seek employment. Although Mexican family members are automatically included in TN petitions filed at the Nebraska Service Center, they must file separate application for TD visas at US consulates. The other similar area of interest is Second Passport, Diplomatic passport immigration, Economic citizenship program, Diplomatic passport, investment immigration, Second citizenship program

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