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Don’t Just Scan This Article: The Latest News On Barcodes Straight From USCIS and INSZoom, The Immigration Case Management Software Leader

posted by: INSZoom date: Nov 15, 2013 Announcement, Immigration News, Innovation@INSZoom comments: Comments Off on Don’t Just Scan This Article: The Latest News On Barcodes Straight From USCIS and INSZoom, The Immigration Case Management Software Leader
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New Barcode Updates INSZoom’s focus on always staying at the leading edge of new technology and engaging with Government agencies as it did with the USCIS on the bar coded forms, recently had a big payoff when the company was invited to participate in a stakeholder conference with USCIS. On November 6, 2013, key INSZoom immigration case management software staff and other stakeholders involved in the immigration process participated in a teleconference with USCIS to discuss issues and concerns about USCIS’ new barcode forms. In this stakeholder conference, USCIS shared its vision and reasons for moving forward with new barcode technology. These reasons included the agency’s motivation to implement more standardized, efficient and error-free methods that use technology efficaciously. Barcodes are much more effective and accurate than the previous technology (manually entering data or using OCR scans to capture data and transfer to a database system). Forms Affected by the New Barcode Updates USCIS also shared future goals. Currently the forms that use the new barcode technology include the following:
  • Form I-90
  • Form I-824
  • Form I-131
  • Form G-28
In the near future, Phase Two will introduce barcode technology for the following additional forms:
  • Form N-400
  • Form I-821
  • Form I-765
  • Form I-130
  • Form I-485
Also in the stakeholder teleconference, USCIS shared key issues they faced when developing the new barcode technology and problems they currently see from applicants:
  • Missing data
  • Data shifted to other fields when the barcode was scanned
  • Damaged barcodes
To address these issues and ensure there is no delay in case processing, USCIS suggested the following:
  1. Don’t reuse forms; always create new forms for each case.
  2. If the data on a form changes, reprint the complete form and not just a single page.
  3. Do not damage the barcode; this may result in inaccurate information being uploaded to USCIS’ systems.
  4. Follow a single protocol for completing the form. Either electronically fill out the form or hand write it. Do not mix the two in a single form.
  5. In many cases forms from a case management provider are not in sync with the USCIS form. This is not the case with INSZoom’s forms, by the way. We pride ourselves on our technology’s ability to sync with the federal government’s systems!
How USCIS Guidance Will Help Immigration Case Management Software Companies USCIS plans to share their barcode specifications shortly that will help immigration case management software providers like INSZoom ensure accurate syncing of data from their forms with the USCIS systems. We at INSZoom applaud USCIS’ efforts to introduce new and robust technology methods such as the new barcode technology. This will result in a significant reduction in erroneous information passing through digital systems. In the long run it will reduce redundancy and increase efficiency, two things that we try to do with all of our technology solutions!
date:  Nov 15, 2013 comments:  Comments Off on Don’t Just Scan This Article: The Latest News On Barcodes Straight From USCIS and INSZoom, The Immigration Case Management Software Leader
by:  INSZoom category:  Announcement, Immigration News, Innovation@INSZoom Read More

Denmark Rolls Out The Red Carpet For International Business Professionals

posted by: INSZoom date: Nov 14, 2013 Announcement, Immigration News comments: Comments Off on Denmark Rolls Out The Red Carpet For International Business Professionals
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A new scheme called the Red Carpet Scheme has just been launched by Denmark for business professionals. Similar to the Orange Carpet Scheme by Netherlands, this scheme will affect multiple companies, including India. Under this scheme, executives, middle-level managers and experts who are part of Indian (or other eligible countries) companies that are registered with Denmark will be given multiple entry business visas valid through all Schengen countries. This new visa scheme was launched to support business travel to Denmark to conduct ongoing business as well as exploratory business. The program is open to public and private companies as long as they meet certain requirements. Accreditation by the company must take place before an employee can request access through the program. Key businesses have already established themselves as participants in the Red Carpet Scheme; this includes leading companies such as Tata and L&T. Accreditation is being offered to multiple company types, including:
  • Established local subsidiaries of Danish companies
  • Established local companies with a subsidiary in Denmark
  • Companies that regularly send employees to Denmark
  • Local companies with exclusive partnerships with Danish companies
  • Local companies whose employees regularly need to travel to Denmark to engage in business
  • Local companies with an interest in investing funds in Denmark
Benefits of participation include:
  • Decisions allowing for entry will be made within three business days
  • Documentation requirements have been greatly reduced
  • Applicants do not need to apply in person and no appointments are required
  • Multiple-entry visas are being offered
The goal of the Red Carpet Scheme is to simplify the visa and entry process to Denmark for valid business professionals. The program was created based on requests by businesses with established business engagement in Denmark. Plans are afoot to introduce a similar scheme for students wishing to obtain higher education in Denmark.
date:  Nov 14, 2013 comments:  Comments Off on Denmark Rolls Out The Red Carpet For International Business Professionals
by:  INSZoom category:  Announcement, Immigration News Read More

Don’t Fall Victim To Immigration Scams – Know Your Rights

posted by: INSZoom date: Nov 08, 2013 Immigration News, Immigration Stories, News comments: Comments Off on Don’t Fall Victim To Immigration Scams – Know Your Rights
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To celebrate the festivities of Diwali, an Indian festival equivalent in fervor and spirit of Christmas, a group of us decided to go into town and have some fun. Conversation topics during the celebration ranged from family and friends to politics and what all expatriates in the U.S. love to discuss – immigration and the pitfalls of the current system. During this discussion one of the people present (lets call him John) mentioned a call he got from someone who said he was a USCIS officer. This person knew John’s personal information as well as his immigration status. The “officer” was initially polite and courteous and took additional information from John. But then, the “officer” turned the tables. He referred to a series of inaccuracies and fallacies in John’s immigration documents and records. He then indicated that these could be quickly corrected to ensure that John would not face any problems with the USCIS. Obviously, John was eager to correct these “errors”. The so-called officer then dropped the bombshell indicating that there would be a hefty charge to have these records updated and corrected. This request set off warning bells. John questioned the officer. The discussions quickly turned ugly. The “officer” used threats and strong language to attempt to get John to pay the fees. John made a wise next choice. He asked the “officer” to send him a written notice. If the fee was legitimate, John said he had no problem with paying it. John, however, was now convinced that this was a scam. After the “officer” hung up, John tried to call back the number, but it was a spoof number. Since then I have heard numerous similar stories. Some people have even paid these scam artists. Like all governments, the U.S. government has its fair share of positive and negative aspects. But this country excels in its commitment to be fair and impartial to any individual. People have the right in this country to be heard and clarify their positions before any action is taken. To do this, the U.S. government gives individuals written notices and gives them the opportunity to respond. If you are ever a recipient of such a call, ask for the officer’s credentials, write down his or her contact number and insist that a written notice be sent to you on the allegations and the course of action available to you to remedy the issue. Never make payments over the phone unless you have initiated the process and there are specific provisions to make phone payments. Remember, the U.S. government never requires any particular payment method; they provide you with multiple payment options, including checks, which provide a complete trace of the transaction. Last but not least, seek advise from a legal representative or corporate immigration team before acting upon any such request you receive.
date:  Nov 08, 2013 comments:  Comments Off on Don’t Fall Victim To Immigration Scams – Know Your Rights
by:  INSZoom category:  Immigration News, Immigration Stories, News Read More

Immigration Reforms – Recent Bills

posted by: INSZoom date: Apr 18, 2013 Announcement, Immigration News comments: Comments Off on Immigration Reforms – Recent Bills
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As the Immigration debate heats up in the US, let us take a look at three recent proposals and their salient points
  1. H–1B and L–1 Visa Reform Act of 2013 sponsored by Senator Grassley
  2. Immigration Innovation Act of 2013’’ or the ‘‘I-Squared Act of 2013 sponsored by Senators Hatch, Klobuchar, Rubio, Coons, Flake, Heller, Blumenthal, Hoeven, Warner
  3. Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Sponsored by Senators Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Rubio, Bennet, and Flake

  1. Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform – Senators Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Rubio, Bennet, and Flake
Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;
  • Provide for legalizing unauthorized immigrants
  • Securing borders by effective use of technology, border patrolling, and increased resources
  • Increase aerial and conventional surveillance and provide for more agents to stem illegal border crossing
  • Strengthen prohibition against racial profiling and inappropriate use of force
  • More stringent tracking of entry and exit
  • Creating a commission of senior government officials to monitor and report on the process of securing the Southwestern borders
  • Registration of illegal migrants, and temporarily legalizing their stay subject to them paying a fine, back taxes, and clearing background checks
  • Green cards for above to be linked to completion of the above process
  • Restricting access to public funds for the above mentioned probationary immigrants
  • Green cards to above category of people to be issued only after every individual who is already waiting in line for a green card, at the time this legislation is enacted, has received have their green card.
  • Exempt for the above will be individuals who entered the United States as minor children and illegal workers in the agricultural industry who wil have a different course to obtaining a Green card
  • Attracting the World’s Best and Brightest
    • Reduce backlogs in the family and employment visa categories
    • Give green card to immigrants who have received a PhD or Master’s degree in science, technology, engineering, or math from an American university
  • Admitting New Workers and Protecting Workers’ Rights
    • Allow hiring of immigrants if there are no American workers available subject to this not resulting in the displacement of an American worker
    • Separate program for agricultural and dairy workers when Americans are not available
    • Market driven capability to get lower-skilled immigrants
    • Protect workers by ensuring strong labor protections
    • Permit workers who have succeeded in the workplace and contributed to their communities over many years to earn green cards.
    • Creating an effective employment verification system that prevents identity theft and ends the hiring of future unauthorized workers.
2. H–1B and L–1 Visa Reform Act of 2013 – Senator Grassley
  • Good faith effort to hire Americans first to be made
  • H-1B employers need to list available positions on a Department of Labor sponsored website for a period of 30 days prior to petitioning for foreign labor
  • Prohibits advertising only to H-1B visa holders
  • Restricts companies from outsourcing H-1B workers unless a waiver is obtained by attesting that they have not displaced a U.S. worker, and if the placement is not a “labor for hire” arrangement
  • Makes changes to the wages to be paid to H-1B Workers
  • Eases process for conducting audits
  • Applications of employers with 50 or more workers not to be accepted unless they attests that less than 50 percent of the workforce are H-1B and L visa holders
  • Requires DOL to share information about H-1B petitions with the USCIS
  • H-1B employers must submit to the Department of Labor the W-2 tax form for each H-1B visa holder employed during the previous period
  • Doubles the fines for violations and restricts the ability of these companies to participate in the future recruiting of H-1B and L-1 employees.
  • Visa holders to be provided a brochure about their rights, immigration paperwork and employer obligations (including wage and working condition requirements)
  • Requires an L visa holder to prove that a legitimate business is being set up in the United States, modifies the wage requirements and outplacement rules, provides L visa holders with a brochure about their rights, and requires a report on the blanket petition application process.

3. Immigration Innovation Act of 2013’’ or the ‘‘I-Squared Act of 2013 – Senators Hatch, Klobuchar, Rubio, Coons, Flake, Heller, Blumenthal, Hoeven, Warner

  • Increases cap to 115,000
  • Provides ability to increase cap to 300,000 depending upon market demand, through an escalator
  • Removes cap pf 20,000 on H-1B’s issued to U.S Advanced Degree holders
  • Allow H-4 visa holders to get an EAD
  • Increase portability of Highly skilled workers by
    • Removing impediments and costs of changing employers
    • Establishing clear transition periods
    • Restoring visa revalidation for E,H,L,O and P visas
    • Allow for Dual intent of Student Visas
    • Recapture of unused Green Card Numbers
    • Exempt certain employment based GC’s from the cap
      • Dependents
      • U.S. STEM advanced degrees
      • Extraordinary ability
      • Outstanding Professors and Researchers
      • Rollover of unused Employment based GC’s
      • Remove per country limits for employment based GC’s
      • Adjust per country cap for family based visasIncreases fee for H-1B and I-140 applications with the aim of creating a fund to promote STEM education and worker retraining
The proposals are a mixed bag that having their pros and cons. Pros
  • Increase in the number of H-1′s available
  • Allowing H-4 visa holders to work in the US
  • Educating workers about their rights and employer obligations
  • Trying to balance the needs of employer and employee when H-1B workers invoke the provisions of portability
  • Increase in number of Green cards for Employment based categories
  • Removal of Country quotas for employment based green cards and recapture of unused numbers
  • Attempts being made to address illegal immigration
  • Allowing dual intent for student visas
Cons
  • All these proposed legislations would land up significantly increasing the financial burden on H-1B employers. This could be as high as $2000 per application.
  • Introducing of additional fee of USD 1000 for I-140′s with the aim of creating a fund to promote STEM education and worker retraining
  • Local recruitment efforts to become mandatory before sponsoring a H-1B worker, depending upon how it is implemented this could result in delays of a fee weeks to several months before the H-1B can be filed
  • Shift from LCA posting being a means of just keeping workers informed about the incoming H-1B workers the legislation seem to want to change that to being another mechanism for hiring of local workers
  • Increased wages to H-1B workers
  • Poorly conceived thought of requiring W-2′s for all H-1B workers puts administrative challenges on H-1B employers. This could run into several thousand W-2′s each year
  • Inhibits ability of companies with more than or equal to 50 workers to sponsor more H-1′s if more than 50% of their workers are on a H-1 or L-1
  • Restrictive practices being proposed for H-1B employers with no thought of how the industry operates
date:  Apr 18, 2013 comments:  Comments Off on Immigration Reforms – Recent Bills
by:  INSZoom category:  Announcement, Immigration News Read More
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