Thursday, July 7, 2011

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  • suavesandeep
    06-23 10:49 PM
    Ask current underwater home owners how much pleasure are they deriving from their owned home. Day to day pleasure of living may come from the size and the quality/amenities of the house you stay in, whether you own it or rent it is immaterial. If you can rent the same house for 50% of your monthly mortgage and on top of it never have to worry about declining home prices why would you be more happy owning it? Plus "owned" house is a little bit of misnomer here. Unless you have paid it off 100% it's not really your own. Rental property is owned by landlords and your "owned" home is in reality owned by your bank. Miss couple of payments and net results are very similar.

    Don't get me wrong. In rational market owning home is the easiest way to build up wealth but I can't stress the "rational" part of it enough. Although in most areas the excesses of housing bubble are washed away by now in some areas (like good school districts in Bay Area) the prices are still not aligned with the fundamentals like rents for similar properties and average annual incomes. Also renting has one huge advantage right now in this era of rapidly rising unemployment. You are mobile. You can easily move wherever you can find your next job.

    In long run it is always better (IMHO) to own than to rent. But in the short term - for next 1-2 years - I see no compelling argument to buy home unless you land a steal somehow. Sentimental red herrings like "pride and joy" of ownership is definitely not a way to go about making the biggest financial decision of your life. The fact that realtors use this exact phase so often should give you a clue!
    I completely agree with you.. I seriously dont understand what pride/ownership people feel by making 5% or best case 20% downpayment, Where the bank owns most of the house. It only truly yours when you have fully paid for it. To cite comparisons to our parents is plain foolish. Most of our parents bought their first homes by outright paying for it and having the home in their own name and not any BANK. Dont get me wrong, Not that i am pro renting and against home buying. I hope to have a bank financed home like everybody else in the near future. But i seriously would not feel any pride of ownership without actually owning it in the real sense. I fully own both my cars and feel proud about them :).

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  • gccovet
    01-07 10:53 AM
    I know I am beating dead horse, awakening this thread again. I am going to get lots of RED but I don't care.

    Paksitan govt. says the provided proof are not solid enough. lol!!!

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  • Madhuri
    04-05 08:12 PM
    I totally aggree with you. I am also from socal and a regular visior to irvinehousingblog.
    Currenly I am in apt and tired of living in apt, but I am definitely in no rush to buy and would probably find a good private home to rent.

    Please check your PM.

    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier this decade.

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  • lfwf
    08-06 03:45 PM
    According to you A acquires skills over a period of time and so does a person who went for higher education and is EB2. You also say that if there was no porting, A has a PD of 2002 (in EB3) and B has a PD of 2005 (in EB2), then they are almost in the same position.

    At this point both of us agree that A and B are equal, right?

    If they both are EQUAL, then can you guarantee that both PDs will move at the same rate?. If A�s PD becomes unavailable and B�s become current. B will get GC faster than A even though both were equal (from your logic). Is this fair, then?

    No one can guarantee that. and that is the whole concept of "preference categories" . So now its ok for A to jump to EB2 and leapfrog everyone with his/her 2002 PD? Does 5 years of work have that much value? He/She would be ahead of 2003 EB2 filers that may have been working on degrees since 1999. That's ok by you? The faster movement of EB2 makes up for the years of education. I say, by all means BS+5 shoudl file EB2, I just don't agree with the porting. That PD was for an entirely different skill set and job. I know its the law. I still disagree. Can do that last I knew :-)


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  • rvr_jcop
    03-26 09:13 PM
    If you go really far back; california service center when they were adjudicating 140's would the odd time deny a 140 because they didn't believe the intent of joining the company if a person was working in different location (when baltimore case came out; it helped in overturning these types of denials and they stopped doing it).

    Now; nebraska service center the odd time did question the intent at the 140 level and also at the 485 level. I haven't seen it much in last three years. However; the ones I did see (they were all approved; thanks to baltimore decision) were for companies which had filed labors in iowa. I believe that this was also one of the catalysts in looking at iowa companies of what is happening today.

    Thanks UN. Just a follow up question, how would you advise to cases where the labor was filed at client location and the employee shifted to another state right after the 140 approval. I guess in this case there is no chance of convincing USCIS about AC-21 invokation. How would you act if such query comes up? Or is there a chance to get this query these days at the time of 485 processing.? Thanks in advance. With this, I would have all my doubts clarified regarding the work location. And also, I hope it does to so many others.

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  • pthoko
    07-11 02:39 PM
    Hi UN, Please take a look when u get a chance

    First of all my sincere gratitude to you for your patience and the time you put in to give a detailed reply to all cases.

    Here's my situation(I think a case of status violation)

    I did an L1 to H1 transfer in 2005. My L1 was valid till APRIL 2006. So my intention was to work with L1 employer till April 2006 and then switch to H1 employer.

    H1 employer also applied for a change of status, which I was not aware of that time. I asked the H1 company's lawyer whether I could continue with my L1 employer after getting the H1 and she said it's fine.

    So I got the H1B approval in Oct 2005, but still continued with L1 employer till APRIL 2006, then switched to H1.

    Recently I came to know that this could be an issue. When I was filling the G-325A form, I wondered if I specify that I worked with the L1 employer till APRIL 2006, would they catch this?? Even if they catch , how big an issue would this be??

    If I put the dates to reflect the dates to show that I quit my L1 employer in Oct 2005 itself, would this be an issue?? I guess in this case, if by any chance they ask for any further evidence like pay stubs or W2 in that period of time, I would be in trouble.

    From what I have read from the forum, A lawful re-entry should clear the violation in my case right?? I haven't filed the I-485 yet. My I-140 is pending.
    Do they catch this during I-140 stage??


    Can I go to Canada/Mexico for stamping? where would I get an appointment at the earliest??



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  • HawaldarNaik
    12-28 01:25 AM
    I am begining to beleive that WAR is not the answer, even though for the past 20 odd years, they have bled Kashmir, driven certain relegion members out, making them penniless, killing some of them and their family members mercilessly, doing the same in punjab (thanks to KPS Gill that was eradicated from the core), and using India's peace measures in the last 7 odd years to infilitrate members who have created havoc in India.
    What India needs to do is strengthen internal security ('our sardar.....the chief...respectfully meant as i am a admirer of him, has done the right thing by bringing in his most trusted man, PC to run home ministry....that man has been an asset in which ever position he has of v.v. high integrity and honesty like our chief)
    Secondly as i said before,...... the super powers also are pretty much behind India and will not make the same mistake as they have done in the past as they know that this is universal/global problem...and the doublespeak will not work...the worry is....who to talk to there...(neighbouring country)....there are so many power centres....its total i agree we should not go for war as that could be disastrous and open a exit strategy for all the dangerous elements and give them a longer/extended life to survive..........and continue with their nonsense......globally....WHY because once the war breaks out these dangerous elements will use their deadly toys that they have been provided with thanks to some of the regional powers....who....will then step in and insist on a dialogure....peace...etc etc..
    I am also surprised how sri lanka has agreed to go ahead with their cricket tour...i mean come on such a huge India....clear evidence...and to think and we sacrified a leader(possible PM) for them....STRANGE Behaviour....

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  • lakshman.easwaran
    07-10 03:19 PM
    After going through this post
    I checked my I 94 last entered in 2006 it has different number than other I 94
    I am working with only one company since 2004
    They wrote company name src number correct on I 94
    but number is not same as the one on I 797 bottom totally different

    should i get it corrected ? How

    I do not think you have to correct anything since your last entry I-94 card will have different number from that in 797 approval notice. I-94 number has to be the same in last entry card and 797 only if you have a situation like me as below

    1) Last entry to US in 2004 - Hence have an I-94 card.
    2) Switched employer in 2006. So received new 797 approval notice alongwith updated I-94.

    In my case, the updated I-94 and the last entry I-94 card have the same I-94 number.

    Hope this helps.


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  • unitednations
    08-01 10:48 PM
    UN, can you please reply? Thanks!

    No; it is not fraud. I have seen many g-325a's and many people seem to miss last address outside usa for more then one year and last occupation for more then one year outside usa.

    There are many uses for this. If you look at the bottom left hand corner of g-325a there is some annotations to it. One of the g-325a's get sent to the consulate. Now; what does the consulate do with it???? Do they compare it with your original visa application of what your last occupation/address was?

    One of the other uses of this information is that a person could have come to usa 8 years ago but you only need to show 5 years of biographical information. USCIS can then calculate when you really came into the country and see if you maintained the status ever since you left your foreign residence.

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  • boreal
    04-08 12:17 PM
    I would rather buy low price house at high rates than low rates and at higher price. I can sell my house anytime I want. If you buy house at peak, you will not have equity when the price falls and you get holding the bag.

    Thanks, the above quote is sealing the deal for me (NOT buying now). i am in the bay area too, was very excited to see all those Gilroy homes drop in value (sometimes more than 150K as shown in MLS listings, yeah i was prepared for the hell-commute to San jose from Gilroy just for the pleasure of giving a big house to my family...). But thanks to all the arguments and counter-arguments, i have more knowledge now and know not to burn more of my hard earned money (God knows how much i have already lost on stocks!!)


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  • Macaca
    12-30 06:24 PM
    3. The status of Tibetans in India proves that India is meddling in China�s internal affairs

    If, for China, resolving the Tibet issue has to come at the price of demanding unreasonable concessions from India, it would be an unfair situation to present to India. India�s position on Tibet has evolved over the years. India has demonstrated a fine balance on Tibet as a humanitarian concern (with Tibetans settled in India) and the risks of using Tibet as some sort of a political trump card. The latter largely remains an insinuation against India � at least over the last quarter century, and has failed to be reflected in China�s foreign policy towards India. Today the tail seems to be wagging the dog since China suspects India of covertly using Tibet and the Dalai Lama for furtherance of some political goal.

    Such misperception is in contrast to China�s relatively muted antipathy to those countries that issue a visa to or host Rebiya Kadeer in exile (Virginia, USA), or where the Tibetans are better organized (USA, Australia and several parts of Europe). In any case China would be aware that India has refrained from seeking alliances in the Southeast and East Asian region. Likewise, it is counter productive for elements in the Indian strategic community or media to play-up the �Tibet card� (whatever that means) or indulge in political gimmickry that reflects insensitivity towards the core concerns of either side.

    Policy Focus: India has to maintain a balance between �justice� and �fairness� on the issue of Tibetans living in India, and the risks of political opportunism that could be associated with insensitivity towards China�s concerns. This principle when applied to India�s own core concerns vis-�-vis China could lead to better diplomacy based on the principle of reciprocity.

    4. China engages in doublespeak � political statements of intent differ from actions

    The recent row over the arrest of Chinese fishermen in Senkaku/Diaoyutai islands, and the detainment of the captain of the Chinese fishing boat, raised concerns about whether such pin-pricking was part of China�s national strategy. Similar pin-pricking happens on the Line of Actual Control (LOAC) on the India-China border where alleged incursions by PLA soldiers are often amplified in the Indian media. With imperfect information on these matters, one can assume that Beijing would have spelt out a policy direction to go �hard� or �soft� on fishing, for instance, in contested waters (Senkaku/Diaoyutai dispute), but China�s coastal marine and fishing administration may have decided to err on the
    side of caution.

    The same reasoning may, for all we know, apply when the ilitary on either side of the LOAC patrol the disputed boundary. Beijing may have a policy line on �border vigilance�, which division level PLA officers implement by opting to err on the side of caution by �proactive border patrolling�. While the benefit of doubt could be extended for occasional misunderstandings on any front, it is really up to Beijing to clarify whether pin-pricking as a manifest behaviour results from overzealous implementation on the ground or is a real instrument of policy, which is what is suspected by some Chinawatchers in India. If China feels it has been misunderstood in all these instances, one should extend the benefit of doubt to the leadership in China.

    This could apply to the issue of stapled visas to Indians from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) as well. That the visa issue was �administrative,� as Premier Wen Jiabao has clarified, makes China�s political stand reasonably clear. Then it is for China to reconcile. Accumulating such irritants over time undermines security since most people would only read the direct military and administrative challenge posed to India through such acts. It would be na�ve to assume that such incidents would be consequence free and that in the long run public dividends from the salience of an India-China partnership would remain unaffected.

    Policy Focus: India should not draw itself into diplomatic situations that make it appear uncompromising. Hence, more institutional channels could be opened up between ministerial counterparts (water, power, trade and commerce, border, education, foreign affairs i.e. multilateral negotiations, and other areas) and even between political parties in order to propose more pluralistic options on areas of contention or interest for both countries.

    5. China has not addressed India�s concerns on Pakistan

    While several elements in the China-Pakistan relationship remain antithetical to India�s core concerns, it is futile to forever assess the relationship climate of China and Pakistan as impinging excessively on the health of India-China relations. Such a pursuit does not leave enough room for upgrading the India-China relationship. The classic case is that of the US-Pakistan relationship which for most of the Cold War years and even subsequently did not hinder a drastic upgradation in India-US relations in this decade, when the ground was favourable for the United States to recalibrate its foreign policy on South Asia. Similar room for upgradation of the India-China relationship is essential.

    More importantly, what should be expected from a Head of State/Government visit? Was there any resolution on matters relating to currency revaluation, or environment or human rights during Obama�s visit to China in 2009? Did the November 2010 Joint Statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Obama affirm the status of Jammu and Kashmir, or even mention Kashmir in the entire text? When it comes to the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, India is confident of not involving the United States as a party to the resolution of the Kashmir issue. Obama�s offer to �delegate� regional policing in South Asia to China in 2009 was rebuffed by India, and China has only distanced itself from that issue. The question of seeking clarification from China on its neutrality on Kashmir is one thing. However, since when did seeking China�s affirmations on the status of Jammu and Kashmir become imperative for a Joint Statement?

    The China-Pakistan relationship does not thrive on what is casually assumed to be a singular anti-India agenda. China�s relationship with Pakistan as a window to the Islamic world often receives muted attention. Since 2009 foreign policy challenges for China arising from condemnation and criticism from Turkey, Iran and Indonesia, in particular, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) over the handling of the Uighurs in Xinjiang region have become acute. While liberal democratic sympathies from the West for Uighurs exists, the prospect of pan-Islamic support for the Uighur cause (on the lines of threats
    issued by militant preachers such as Abu Yahya al-Libi) is not something China would want to see in its troubled West. From a utilitarian perspective, Pakistan (with a majority Sunni population) serves perfectly fine as a window to the Islamic world, which China could use to placate concerns or grievances against the Chinese state being anti-Muslim in its handling of Xinjiang (most Uighurs practice a moderate form of Sunni Islam).

    Policy focus: China and India interaction, particularly in the academic arena, are fewer than the number of Indians and Chinese in conference-circulation in the United States and Europe. This observation is more intuitive, than empirical, but doesn�t seem inaccurate. Greater discussion and engagement to develop a wider and pluralistic understanding of contentious issues would go a long way in understanding each others� concerns. A �semester abroad� programme for researchers or faculty in academic and research institutions from both sides could go a long way in building civic networks.


    Both India and China have new avenues to pick up the threads, as it were. Even on the issue of India�s claim for a UNSC permanent seat, the Joint Communiqu� this time reads: �China attaches great importance to India�s status in international affairs as a large developing country, understands and supports India�s aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations, including in the Security Council� (emphasis added).

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Premier Wen Jiabao have affirmed the idea of
    �there being enough space to accommodate the growth of China and India, and for both to cooperate.� This space needs to be nurtured further and the coming year, the Year of China-India Exchange, should be a starting point to engage with China in the shaping of institutional norms for mutual growth and development.

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  • puddonhead
    06-07 10:27 AM
    If you look at the details I posted, only $1050 goes to interest, insurance, and taxes. $400 goes to the principal. So, compared that to my $1200 rental, it is still wise choice. Isn't it?

    As per Zillow estimate, the value of the house I bought already appreciated by $10k above the purchase price.

    For the sake of discussion that it did not appreciate in the next 10 years (which I doubt because there's no other way to go but up) but the value stayed at purchase price, as per my amortization schedule, my loan would be at 75% of the purchase value. It means therefore that I already have a 25% equity of the house, which is $60k.

    If I saved the $250 per month at zero interest, I would have $30k. I don't know where you can find 5% interest p.a. investment today but for the sake of argument that I found one, I think I can't get the $60k at the end of 10th yr.

    Off topic - but I hope you have done a proper inspection with an independent inspection agency.

    99% of all Houses built after 2000 (i.e. during the boom time) are notorious for bad build quality. Chinese Drywall ( anyone?


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  • TomPlate
    04-08 12:30 PM
    Any one from MASS state. Particulary near Peabody, Salem, Beverly those areas. Any ideas of house pricing there...?

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  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 07:54 AM
    Thanks for your insight. Its about time most of us here understand not to take immigration rules lightly, and I've been preaching this for the longest time already!

    People here had their own justification about "consulting". Well, this is what they get for exploiting loopholes.

    A lot of the list and questions that you are being asked is what department of labor asks when they are investigating possible h-1b violations. What they have asked you is usually in those types of investigations.

    There is a lot of things going on behind the scenes that many people are not aware of or totally clueless to.

    Many people are trying to make the GC easier for themselves whereas the real focus should be a defensive measure.

    Right now;

    VERMONT SERVICE CENTER is denying many, many h-1b's. These h-1b's are for companies who file greencards. If they are assessing that these companies do not have temporary jobs that require a degree then do you not think it is going to gravitate towards employment base greencards?

    They are figuring out through requesting of payroll records, w'2's, consulate denials, etc., that many, many people never joined companies; didn't get paid, transferred to other companies shortly upon arrival.

    It looks like USCIS/DOL have gone to zero tolerance and have devised ways to pierce through favorable rules protecting immigrant wannabe's.

    They pierce through 245k by going through possible immigration fraud by listing employment in the g-325a when a person didn't get paid and may not have had employer/employee relationship (i have actually seen this where USCIS cited possible immigration fraud due to this issue to trump 245k).

    USCIS is starting to challenge companies whether they have permanent jobs instead of temporary jobs; which looks like where this particular OP is going to go through. If they determine the job is temporary then that is going to spell doom for the EB greencard for him.

    People decided they were going to poke USCIS and take complaints to senators/congressmen (whom you all think are your friends but many of you do not realize that they are not your friends) and now everyong is going to see how the system in this country works. We are currently in a new day and age with immigration. Everyone should buckle their seat belts as this is going to be a real bumpy ride.


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  • nojoke
    01-03 04:05 PM
    You are right. And so it is imperative that before that happens, the perpetrators and their handlers are hunted down, exposed and punished, in a credible and transparent manner.
    Pakistanis should want to know who is trying to provoke India, and risking a war in the subcontinent, and why.

    What apology?
    I am not responsible for the actions of those people. Imagine if after 9/11, an American asked you to apologize for the actions of the 19 'Brown men' (I am assuming here that you are a south asian male) who killed 3000 Americans, how silly do you think that situation would be. If cockroaches from my house take a dump in your kitchen, don't ask me to apologize for that.

    If you cannot take actions on these terrorists and keep giving reasons for not handing over the terrorists, you don't have any credibility to give us advice. You don't even feel that your country men are responsible and you ask us to modify our behavior. How about going and doing something to change your country first? Meanwhile we will ponder if war is the only option left, because nothing else seems to be working...

    If I cannot convince you to agree to hand over Dawood Ibrahim, how do you think Pakistan government will be convinced even if the evidence is provided against the culprits? There are always reasons to justify your actions. Even if we succeed to convince your government, it will say ' there is no extradition treaty. So let us talk on signing one first. And BTW, the treaty is signed after the Bombay incident, so we cannot extradite people for past crimes. And we cannot prosecute them because they didn't break pakistan law.' That is why I said 'we cannot wake up people pretending to be sleeping'. If you want to be sincere, start taking the first step. Hand over Ibrahim.

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  • delax
    07-13 01:27 PM
    I like that splitting the overflow across EB2-EB3 idea. That does make it a lot more fair to a lot of people. Its not right that people with 2001 PD still dont have an approval (I have a 2006 PD, but have been here for ~8 years, so I know how frustrating it is to wait so long on temporary status)

    At the outset, I am not against EB3, but lets think about this for a moment. Any logic that we use to break up spillover between EB2 and EB3 can also easily be applied to EB1 and EB2. I'll repeat an earlier post of mine. "How can EB1 of 2008 get the GC immediately when EB2-I (in my case) has to wait for more than 4 years - clearly preference is at play here".

    Any split will artificially retrogress EB2 more than what it otherwise would have. Similarly one can always argue to artificially retrogress EB1 to give more visas to EB2 just because someone from EB2 is waiting for 4 years.
    Isnt that against the law. Any break up of spill over visas invalidates the category preference as per current law.

    Please also note that any unfavorable change to the EB1 category based on a hypothetical approval of an EB2/EB3 break up will invite the attention of Fortune 500 companies and prestigious research/educational institutions (who use EB1 the most) with all their political and financial resources at their disposal. That could put a halt to everything.

    Irrational passion calls for dispassionate rationality.


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  • suavesandeep
    06-25 11:35 AM
    Nobody is saying that the world is coming to and end in 2 years.IMHO myself and many others would agree that long term buying a house makes sense. The question is does buying now if you haven't already bought your primary residential home make any sense.

    From the current data, Do you think a guy who buys a house in 2009 would come ahead of somebody who would buys in 2011 when the housing market may have fully bottomed out ? I know its impossible to time the market. But all indicators to name a few below point that home prices should continue to decline.

    Unemployment is still on the way up. We will cross 10% anytime soon is a given.
    Excess housing inventory
    Home prices are still above the trend line. Historically its common for the correction to swing even below the trend line before it stabilizes.

    Again IMHO, If you haven't bought a home yet, Save so that you can make a bigger down payment (Own more of the house when you buy one) and check the market again mid 2010.

    Giving your example.
    Lets say guy buys in 2009, and another guy buys in 2011 (Assuming home prices would have further gone down using existing data points).. Who do you think would come ahead in 2019.

    I agree with you 100%. These guys here are all getting worked up as if the world will come to an end in 2 years and it is unreasonable to think beyong 2011. A regular investor like us, someone w/ a job, one who saves in the bank, and/or dollar cost averages in a 401(K), should never think short term.

    Let's see 10 years from now who will be in a better position - the guy who owned a home or a guy that is renting.

    Of course, some guys will start complaining about GC, but then other posts here are claiming that regardless of GC, buying a house now is dissasterous.

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  • mpadapa
    09-26 11:07 AM
    Sen. Obama's proposals to invest heavily in alternative energy will spur a lot of innovation and high-skilled immigrants can be a great part of that initiative. I would rather see piece meal approach like recapture, STEM, etc rather than the CIR, but will Sen Durbin let it happen?? If CIR 2007 is brought back then EB backlogs will further increase, remember the back logs created by the 245i applicants (in 2000) we are still recovering from that. High-skilled immigrants can only be benefited by bills like recapture, STEM, country quota removal, etc.

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  • h1techSlave
    04-15 02:57 PM
    I just want to list the difference in your home purchase decision when you have GC vs. you are in H1B/EAD.

    GC - You can splurge a little. Even if you have to move, you are almost certain that you are able to move within the US, or will be able to come back to the US. You will get better interest rates on a mortgage and a higher percentage of financing (upto 97%). You can buy your dream home (this usually means a nice community, big house etc. etc.) Even if the value of your purchase comes down, you can afford to wait for a longer period of time.

    H1/EAD - Think 10 times before purchasing a home. Take a conservative approach. If you think you can really afford a $400,000 house, purchase only a $350,000 house. Prepare to pay around 8% down-payment (some times even 20%) and you may not get the best interest rate. Plan very well for the possibility that you may have to move within the US or even out of the country. And prepare some plans considering that you may have to go out of the US and may not be able to come back. Consider the possibility of renting a town home or a single family home. In this market, you can even find homes by paying a rent which could be some times lower than the mortgage on the home.

    12-28 07:44 PM
    Why Nobel laureate Obama will not cry for Binayak Sen ( By Shobhan Saxena | Times of India

    Liu Xiaobo is locked up in a dark cell in a notorious Chinese prison whose walls are so thick that even the news of him winning the Nobel Peace Prize hasn�t reached his ears. Liu has been to jail four times. His crime: speaking up against China�s current system. Liu was picked up by the police in June 2009 on "suspicion of inciting subversion of state power," a crime under Article 105 of China's Criminal Law. According to Xinhua, Liu was arrested because he had incited the subversion of �state power and the overturn of the socialist system through methods such as spreading rumours and slander�.

    But Liu's real crime was his participation in drafting �Charter 08�, a letter written by more than 300 Chinese intellectuals who demanded �more freedom of expression, human rights, more democratic elections, for privatizing state enterprises and land and for economic liberalism�. In a country where a Communist party runs the world�s second-biggest capitalist economy, it�s a heinous crime to challenge the state.

    But, let�s look at what�s happening in our own backyard. Dr Binayak Sen, a doctor and human rights activist, has been sent to jail for sedition under Section 124A. According to this notorious law, invented by British imperialists, �Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.�

    The charge against Liu was that he had written �Charter 08�. He has not denied the accusation. The charge against Dr Sen is that he was a courier of letters �for imprisoned Naxal leaders and was sympathetic to their cause�. Dr Sen has been given life sentence.

    Though Liu and Sen are very similar � both are intellectuals fighting for human rights, there is a huge difference in their positions. The day Liu was supposed to receive the Nobel, US President Obama called on China to release him. "Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was," Obama said. "All of us have a responsibility to build a just peace that recognizes the inherent rights and dignity of human beings��

    In recent months, Obama has spoken for protecting the freedom of democracy activists. The list is long: Liu Xiaobo, Aung San Suu Kyi, Dalai Lama and Shireen Abadi of Iran. Himself a Nobel winner, Obama has been using his poetic words to show that he cares for human rights. Surprisingly, on the Binayak Sen issue, he has been totally silent. Forget the US president, even American human rights organization, magazines and bloggers have not raised this issue. Dr Sen may not be a Nobel laureate but he is a well-known figure.

    Why is that the Americans� heart begins to bleed when a Chinese dissident is held, but they keep quiet when after a kangaroo court-style trial India sends a human rights activist to jail. Not that it matters, nor should we worry about the Americans' view interest on our internal affairs, but Obama�s deafening silence on the Binayak Sen�s case says a lot about the world�s oldest democracy and the biggest democracy and the conspiracy of silence between them. Why America loves Liu Xiaobo but ignores Binayak Sen? Why even a slight violation of human rights in Tibet rattles the US but it looks away when systematic torture in Kashmir is brought to light? Why Washington begins to scream if the Iranian police use tear gas on the streets in Tehran but keeps quiet when the Indian security forces kill young boys, rape women and raze entire tribal villages?

    Why the Americans don�t treat Sen at par with Liu?

    The answer lies in their politics. From his writings, Liu comes across as a pro-West intellectual. "Modernization means whole-sale westernization, choosing a human life is choosing Western way of life. Westernization is not a choice of a nation, but a choice for the human race," he once said in an interview. In his articles, Liu has argued that the �free world led by the US fought almost all regimes that trampled on human rights �." Liu has defended US policies in the Israeli�Palestinian conflict and supported George W Bush's war on Iraq. No wonder when Liu got the Nobel, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "We raise human rights in every meeting that we have between the US and China, and we will continue to do so."

    Clinton comes to India at least 10 times a year, but she never raises the human rights issue. Of course, she cares two hoots if a doctor who has been working among the poor tribals of Chhattisgarh for 30 years lives or die. For the Americans and their MNCs, Chhattisgarh is a goldmine of business opportunities. In recent years, almost all American ambassadors have made trips to Raipur. American MNCs have signed hundreds of MOUs with Chhattisgarh government. The content of these MOUs and the agenda of US ambassadors� visit remain secret. Why?

    Dr Sen�s crime was that he spoke against Salwa Judum, a private militia created by Chhattisgarh government with the objective of forcing the tribals to give their land to mining barons and MNCs. Till a few years ago, Salwa Judum was on a rampage, killing people, raping women and burning down villages. As Salwa Judum�s atrocities became unbearable, Dr Sen exposed their crimes. Dr Sen in his jail on sedition charges because he spoke against the state that kills its own people.

    But, the Americans love Chhattisgarh government as it is making the state safe for profiteering (a coincidence if its sounds like �Making the world safe for democracy� � Hollywood�s favourite punch line). That's why this client state privilege to India. That�s why they are quiet about Dr Sen, who will never get the Nobel because that will force the Americans to speak for him. That will be embarrassing for another Nobel laureate: Barack Husain Obama.

    Verdict against Sen ( Letters | The Hindu
    Call to free India rights activist Binayak Sen ( BBC
    Dr Binayak Sen: Tribal doctor ( BBC
    Jailed rights activist wins award ( BBC

    03-26 05:51 PM
    Does this mean that H1B is also location specific?

    There has been no definitive guidance. H-1b is specific to company, candidate with job duties. If there is a "material change" then it should be amended.

    Material change has not been defined in all encompassing ways. it is a gray area whether one needs to amend h-1b for another location. In that particular case; aao seemed to imply that another work location was a material change. There was no follow up after they made the decision. One of the posters who participated on that thread said that he knew that particular person and after that decsion his lawyer showed LCA's and the case was approved.

    However; it still wasn't conclusive of whether that was good enough. Reason being was that the candidates labor was filed in 2000 and he had 245i protection and that in itself would have protected him from his out of status issues; ultimately on that specific case of working on different locations would not have had an impact because he was protected in other ways.

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