By Umesh Vaidyamath

In the old days, it was only the big companies that were global. In recent years, mid-size companies began to go global. Now it is common for even start-ups of a handful of people to be spread across the globe. This development was un-thought of only a few short years ago.

Globalization is of two kinds: globalization of markets and globalization of the workforce; globalization of sales and globalization of labor; globalization of output and globalization of input. Markets of companies are being globalized and so are their workforce.

Just as every country has import and export regulations governing movement of goods across their borders, so also they have regulations governing movement of people across their borders for conducting business and working. A business with a Serbian programmer needs to know what documentation and visas he will need to visit US, India or Japan on business. It is not as simple as simply getting a tourist visa—many countries have elaborate processes governing work done by foreigners within their borders. Being able to conduct business while complying with these regulations is critical for a global company.

For a company or a law firm it is nearly impossible to keep track of the immigration and emigration laws and procedures in over a hundred countries. This task is made even harder by the fact that laws and forms keep changing every day.

The solution is to use software to remain on top of immigration matters in countries of interest. INSZoom provides this capability to law firms and to companies. Relying on INSZoom to help with global mobility issues allows law firms and companies to operate globally. To learn more about how INSZoom can assist you, call us at 1-925-244-0600 or write to us at sales@localhost.

Umesh Vaidyamath

Vaidyamath founded INSZoom in 1999. As CEO of INSZoom, Vaidyamath managed the company’s dramatic growth from a software start-up to the premier immigration case management software vendor and the largest independent software company in the immigration software industry, with a team of 160+ employees worldwide. Vaidyamath turned INSZoom into a profitable and financially sound company in less than three years.

Prior to INSZoom, Vaidyamath’s experience included leading a team of software engineers and architecting state-of-the-art large-scale e-commerce and client server applications at Hewlett Packard, Intel Corporation, Mervyn’s California, JB Hunt, Vodafone and AT&T.

Vaidyamath is a frequent speaker on information technology issues and regularly contributes his immigration expertise to leading business magazines and newspapers worldwide. In addition, he is the recipient of the 2007 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award and a 2007 achievement award from Veerashaiva Samaja of North America.

San Ramon, CA – February 10, 2014 – The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a revised version of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, on February 4, 2014. The new Form N-400 includes 2D barcode technology which allows USCIS to accurately and efficiently scan and upload information submitted on the form directly to USCIS databases. INSZoom.com, Inc., the world’s leading immigration technology company, updated its system to incorporate the revised Form N-400 including the new 2D barcode functionality immediately after the USCIS announcement.

In addition to the 2D barcode technology, the revised Form N-400 includes:

  1. Expanded questions to conform with the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 and Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007; and,
  2. Clearer and more comprehensive instructions highlighting general eligibility for naturalization and required evidence to submit with the Form N-400.

The revisions are aimed to provide USCIS with additional tools to make crucial eligibility determinations, present naturalization applicants with more precise instructions, and incorporate 2D barcode technology that improves overall productivity and accuracy in the data collection process.

By seamlessly incorporating the new Form N-400 into the INSZoom.com, Inc. system, the company is able to effectively leverage the revisions promulgated by USCIS to directly benefit the users of INSZoom with the additional technology features and advancements of the new form.

“INSZoom is committed to updating our system as rapidly as possible to incorporate any changes USCIS makes to its forms—our clients can rely on our system to access the most up-to-date versions of the forms. In addition, INSZoom provides the most extensive customer service to assist our customers in using the forms and to adjust to any changes to them.” said Umesh Vaidyamath, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, INSZoom.

About INSZoom:: INSZoom, Inc. (http://localhost/inszoom), is the world’s largest immigration software company, with offices in San Ramon, CA, USA; London, UK; and Bangalore, India. Founded in 1999, the company helps corporations, enterprises, law firms, and consultants better manage case workflow, immigration compliance and global immigration benefits management.  As a Microsoft Certified partner, INSZoom provides clients with leading-edge technology, flexible platforms, and superior compliance management tools. For more information, please contact press@localhost.

By Amber Easton

Earlier this year I travelled to beautiful Costa Rica with six of my family members from Canada. While planning for the trip, I double checked the document requirements for entry into Costa Rica and confirmed all that was required was our Canadian Passports. We were all set to go! Excited and eagerly anticipating the warm Costa Rican sun, we rushed to the airport with passports in hand.

After a week of amazing fun in the sun and quality time with family, we loaded into the cars and headed back to the airport for our journey home. All of my family members were returning to Canada and I was returning to the United States, where I have lived for the past 10 years. As I approached the counter to get my boarding pass, the airline employee politely asked for my passport and final destination. After learning I was a Canadian citizen landing in the U.S., she requested proof of my U.S. immigration status. Even before the words “immigration status” came out of her mouth…dread set in. I immediately realized I made a huge mistake and forgot my U.S. Permanent Resident Card (“Greencard”) at home.

What followed was something our family will never forget. I was not allowed to board the plane and my entire family had to leave me behind in Costa Rica. In order to get back into the United States, I would be required to travel to the U.S. Consulate (6 hours away) and obtain necessary written documentation permitting me to re-enter the United States. The entire process took nearly a week to sort out.

My experience in Costa Rica was a tough and expensive lesson. It was an important reminder of how critical is to always carry the right travel documentation – not only for entry into your destination country, but also for re-entry into the United States. Many foreign nationals will be traveling abroad this holiday season. In the hustle and bustle of it all, it can be easy to forget important details.

As a reminder, non-U.S. citizens are encouraged to consult with their immigration attorney prior to international travel. We also encourage you to review the list of basic documents that are required for entry to the U.S. http://www.dhs.gov/crossing-us-borders. If you require a visa, appointment scheduling and visa issuance times can be checked online at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/wait_4638.html.

Don’t forget your documents! Happy Travels!

We’re thrilled to share with you another story from a satisfied INSZoom client. This message comes to us from Sharon Cole at Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Cole Law Firm:

I have to tell you about a success that I just had. Today, ICE finally decided to let my client out of custody where she had been for 10 months, awaiting her asylum hearing. We lost at the asylum hearing on Monday, last week. She was facing immediate deportation because she had a prior removal order. I scurried and was able to file an U Visa application for her that Tuesday, with the help of INSZoom. ICE let her out because of the pending U Visa.

The seriousness of this case is that she would face almost certain death if returned to Mexico because of 2 different situations involving drug cartels. The father of her child was killed 1 1/2 years ago. Her mother was shot too, but she didn’t die. They always want to wipe out the whole family. Then, last November, she testified against a drug cartel in Federal court after being told she would be safe and they would file for a S Visa for her. The DEA refused to file for the Visa, stating they didn’t want to waste their resources on her. I have been doing all that I can for months to get her help.

I finally pestered the US Attorney enough that he signed off on the U Visa last Tuesday. I’m still trying to pester the DEA, through the Office of Inspector General and congressmen to get them to submit the S Visa app in case we don’t succeed on the U Visa.

This is one of the most exciting cases thus far. I’ll pick her up from jail tomorrow and put her in a hotel until her family can come from California to get her.

Just wanted to share!

Life is made up of the Victory moments!

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing and for doing all that you do to help save lives and bring families together! We’re honored to have played a role in helping you be a superhero of immigration.

Coming to the U.S. can be daunting. It can be even harder when you enter undocumented or get caught up in immigration red tape. Getting out of those types of difficult situations can become a near impossible goal.

One man, Rick, ran into just that problem. Rick’s wife, Maria, had been detained by immigration authorities and had been in detention for a number of days. He became extremely worried.

Rick checked with several immigration attorneys. They reviewed his wife’s case. Every attorney said the same thing: the case looked extremely complicated. Getting Maria released would be very difficult.

And then Rick met Michael Gurfinkel, lead attorney at the Law Offices of Michael J. Gurfinkel, Inc. (www.gurfinkel.com), and a long-time client of INSZoom. Michael too felt that the case was complicated, but he said something the other attorneys didn’t. He said he felt he could get Maria released. He gave Rick hope. Further, Michael promised Rick that he would do his best so that he and his wife would be together on Valentine’s Day.

Guess what happened? Michael made it happen. Rick and Maria were reunited in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day. Maria got her green card through Gurfinkel’s efforts, and is now a US citizen. It was a true immigration love story.

I’m so proud of Michael and so happy to be able to call him and other excellent attorneys like him my clients. It’s love stories like this one that make me feel good this Valentine’s Day.

‘457 visa change puts focus on skills’

‘Canada Streamlines Work Permit Process for Talented Skilled Foreign Workers’

‘Why the UK still needs new EU immigrants after Brexit’

What’s common in these news headlines? It’s immigration across the globe! Migrants and foreign workers have contributed 9.4% of the global GDP amounting to a total of $6.7 trillion globally making the case that immigration helps every country retain the best global talent.

However, business travel has been an issue because the amount of immigration and compliance information to keep ahead of and up-to-date is overwhelming for even the largest companies. Never-ending paperwork, decreased visibility into the expat’s immigration and compliance activities, increased number of phone calls on the status of the visa application process and meeting the work permit requirements are few of the worries that add to the global immigration process.

This cumbersome and time-consuming process can be transformed by leveraging technology that covers your organization on both the immigration and compliance fronts. That’s exactly where INSZoom’s Global Process Module has you covered with the following features:

  • Manage immigration cases for over 30 countries: The Global Process Module captures key data collection fields per case or visa type of over 30 countries which enable business immigration for enterprises and corporations.
  • Beyond visas:Compliance plays an integral role in business immigration. INSZoom’s Global Process Module does not merely consist visa details capturing capacities, it goes beyond by also capturing pre-travel and post-travel key compliance details.
  • Track expiration dates of visas and work permits: Immigration and compliance rules for every country are different and INSZoom takes care of that. Tracking expiration dates of documents with a consolidated view is exactly what INSZoom Global Process Module offers.
  • Reports, reports and reports:Need to run a report for all your organization’s expats’ visa validity dates? No problem, Global Process Module gives you the ability to run application defined reports at your fingertips!

The capacities of INSZoom Process Modules don’t end here! The module will be accompanied with additional features that are scheduled for progressive phase launches.

Business immigration and compliance is a hot-button issue today and INSZoom Global Process Modules are built to comply with every need of an expat from initialization to repatriation.

On December 23, 2016, USCIS updated over 100 immigration forms on a short notice. While most employees in corporate America had their long weekend to gather with friends and families for Christmas and holidays, INSZoom had an important task to work on which was getting the new forms updated in the INSZoom application as soon as possible.

INSZoom achieved the assignment of updating over 100 new forms into the application in less than 48 hours! Updating over 100 forms in the application in record time serves as a testament of INSZoom’s commitment to its customers in order to give them a smooth and uninterrupted workflow.

INSZoom’s smart engineering minds were proactive and jumped right in, to make sure every new form released by USCIS is updated in the system for its users. The product support team was available to answer any questions and queries the users had regarding this update. Simultaneously, the marketing team was available to inform users about the progress from time to time. INSZoom’s leading proprietary technology combined with a dedicated team of professionals helped deliver updated forms in the application at a short notice.

Working on the holidays brought in some positive appreciation from INSZoom clients. “You guys are the best! Thanks so much for your dedication to perfection,” said Eric Copland, Partner at Copland and Brenner.

INSZoom has been on the forefront of immigration technology and has placed its commitment to customers at the highest priority. INSZoom at all times, guarantees the update of any forms in the application within 24-48 hours of release. Updating over 100 forms in a few hours was a challenging job, but INSZoom has continuously been successful in accomplishing the responsibility it has put forth to the industry. Confluence of great minds and problem solvers made the update successful in less than 48 hours, setting a record time and a benchmark for INSZoom.

By Anuj Sarin

Hope my earlier blog helped you in the process of preparing yourself and your organization to file for the H-1B’s. In this blog I shall focus on activities that involve compliance but are intrinsic to the H-1B process.

  1. Ensure identified resources are eligible for the H-1B based on specialty occupation requirements, 16 years of equivalent US education, and / or any other internal criteria and provide the Units with the list.
  2. Determine the wages to be paid; you need to consider the following before determining the wage to be paid
    • Union (Collective Bargaining) Agreement (if any)
    • Wage Survey
    • Wage paid to similarly employed workers in the geographic area
  3. Ensure that the Wage survey, used is the latest.
  4. Let your Compensation team know of the wages that need to be paid to these H-1B employees.
  5. Once LCA requirements are identified (refer comments in my earlier blog) make sure to send out the Posting notices to the locations for which they are being procured.
  6. Start procuring the LCA’s. You may want to put a future start date on these LCA’s to maximize the time that you can get.
  7. If 3rd party placement of resources is involved, work with the Sales or Client Engagement or concerned teams to have valid and updated Client letters, SoW’s or Contracts.
  8. Follow up on LCA postings and once posting period is completed ensure that you receive the posting notices back.
  9. Update the Public access files with the posting notices and the LCA’s once certified by the DOL.
  10. Check your Public Access files to ensure that they contain the updated documents such as benefits, compensation structure, relevant policies and process documents, etc.
  11. Ensure that the form versions you have are the latest.

By when should all the activities be started and/or completed? This would depend upon the volume of H-1B’s that you need to file. You could look calculating these dates keeping in mind the filing window of 1st 5 working days in April 2014 and back working based on your volume and processing capability.

The time to process has begun folks, forget about the holiday season, roll up your sleeves and get to work. The rewards for the effort that you are going to be putting in, will be visible in the smiles and thank you notes you would get from employees on intimating them about the approval of their H-1B’s probably starting June 2014 or earlier if the case is filed under premium processing.

Anuj Sarin

With nearly fifteen years of experience in immigration, operations and human resources management, Anuj Sarin directs INSZoom’s Product Management division. As the Director of Product Management, he ensures that the company increases its revenue and market share and maintains its focus on delivering exceptional services and products that increase clients’ efficiency, effectiveness and compliance.

By Anuj Sarin

As everyone welcome’s the New Year Immigration professionals working on US immigration have to brace themselves for the onslaught of the H-1B cap filing that opens on April 01, 2014.

With only 65,000 H-1B’s available, of which 5800 are reserved for Nationals of Singapore and Chile and an additional 20,000 for people with Masters degree from a US university all that can be done is to file the application with the USCIS within 5 working days of the H-1B quota opening. Selection of the applications through the lottery is something that we can’t do anything about.

We can however, plan for the oncoming H-1B filing to ensure the Organization’s resource requirements are met.

Planning for the H-1B filing cycle can be complex and arduous. Given the different stakeholders that need to be involved in the process, to decrease the complexity we can look at a two-prong approach. The first being what we need to do internally within the organization and the 2nd being activities where compliance is involved. In this blog I shall focus on the activities to be done internally and follow it up with the 2nd blog on steps / aspects that involve compliance.

  1. Work with different Business units / departments (Units) to assess their H-1B requirements. Provide them with information such as availability of US work authorized personnel, expiration of work authorizations through October 2015, attrition figures, offshore resources with US work authorizations.
  2. Identify resources for who H-1B’s can be filed include employees working in the US on EAD’s pursuant to a student visa also.
  3. Go through existing templates such as Support letters and or documents to ensure that they are updated and the latest.
  4. Gear up to start procuring LCA’s. Historic data can help to a great extend in assessing / identifying your LCA requirements. Work with the Units to identify the work locations and number of employees per location, to see how many LCA slots you would require.
  5. Get the final list of employees from the Units for whom H-1’s are to be filed.
  6. Send the necessary information to the identified employees on processing of their H-1B’s along with the document list, questionnaires to collect information etc.
  7. Work along with your Facilities Management team / Admin Team / Procurement team for
    • Additional Work Space
    • Additional IT equipment (PC’s, Printers, Scanners, Photocopiers etc.)
    • Stationary (Paper, binder clips, correction tapes / fluid, Letterheads, toner for printers etc.)
    • Additional storage space
    • Food and transportation if working late into the night.
  8. Hire any temp staff that you may need to process the load and ensure that they are appropriately and adequately trained.
  9. Work with your Education Evaluators to establish a process to support you with your Evaluation requirements.
  10. Work out logistics if any with your Courier vendor so that they can plan for the shipping of such large volume of documents and make sure that they are delivered on time.
  11. Start following up with employees for the information and documentation that they need to give.
  12. Publish a metrics of information / documentation received / not received from employees and publish the same to Business Units / Departments
  13. Create a method / process to allocate cases to your team.
  14. Set processing targets for your team and make them aware about the same.
  15. Create and publish metrics on the processing of the cases by your Team. If need be update this on an hourly basis.

Completing the above would take you one notch forward on preparedness for filing the H-1B’s.

Anuj Sarin

With nearly fifteen years of experience in immigration, operations and human resources management, Anuj Sarin directs INSZoom’s Product Management division. As the Director of Product Management, he ensures that the company increases its revenue and market share and maintains its focus on delivering exceptional services and products that increase clients’ efficiency, effectiveness and compliance.

By Umesh Vaidyamath

I came to the United States in 1990. I was a dreamer and was lucky to have an H-1B immigration status, unlike Obama’s DREAMers of today.

I was sponsored for my H1-B and then my Green Card by the Fortune 100 company I worked for. I still remember how the company’s HR department had no clue about the seriousness or complexity of the immigration process. For them, it was just another set of paperwork. They empowered me to take care of my own immigration needs. They gave me a budget. I chose my own attorney and, with him, managed my own immigration process. It took me 18 months to get my Green Card.

But oh the times have changed. Today, many HR departments get it. The U.S. government as well as advocacy groups like the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Council of International Professionals (ACIP) have done a tremendous job of educating the industry of the need and the complexity of immigration.

Just as important is the support and advocacy from leaders from companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Dropbox and Microsoft. If you haven’t yet heard of it, take a few moments to learn more about FWD.us. They are an organization started by key leaders including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Reid Hoffman and they want to make immigration reform real.

FWD.us is conducting a “Hackathon” on November 21 and 22, in which DREAMer engineers and product designers and their mentors will code for 24 hours straight at LinkedIn’s headquarters.

I would like to personally congratulate all of the selected DREAMers and wish them the best of luck during the Hackathon and in their future careers and lives. Godspeed to all of you and kudos to Mark Zuckerberg and the entire FWD.us team for this great initiative.

DREAMers selected for DREAMers hackathon

Luis Aguilar, 25, Falls Church, VA
Gerardo Alvarado, 25, Milwaukee, WI
Isabel Bahena, 23, San Leandro, CA
Sarahi Espinoza, 23, East Palo Alto, CA
Roly Fentantes, 25, New York, NY
Erick Garcia, 27, Mesa, AZ
Jay Hu, 23, New York, NY
Henry Lopez, 19, Falls Church, VA
Rocio Lopez, 24, Mountain View, CA
Celso Mireles, 26, Phoenix, AZ
Justino Mora, 24, Los Angeles, CA
Erick Orellana, 20, Patchogue, NY
Edson Sierra, 20, Charlotte, NC
Kent Tam, 24, Los Angeles, CA
Dayana Torres, 19, Fairfax, VA
Edgar Torres, 26, Oceanside, CA
Jorge Torres, 27, Oceanside, CA
Carlos Vargas, 28, New York, NY

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