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US Immigration Update - 31 July, 2012

by Dominic 31/07/2012 16:00:00
Microsoft leads demand for US visa

A recent US immigration report has shown that IT giant Microsoft has filed more US visa applications in the past two years than any other company...read more.

New York outlines plan to stop US immigration abuse

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration has said it will implement measures to ensure that people taking advantage of President Obama's recent US immigration directive will not be exploited....read more.

People falling victim to US immigration scams

With US President Obama's executive order putting a halt to the deportation of as many as 1.4 million people still to take effect, reports of people falling victim to US immigration scams are rife...read more.




Microsoft leads demand for US visa

Microsoft maintains more US
visas are needed to bring in top
talent.

A recent US immigration report has shown that IT giant Microsoft has filed more US visa applications in the past two years than any other company.

Between 2010 and 2011, Microsoft submitted approximately 4,100 US visa applications, 1.26% of all applications submitted for the H-1B class of visa which allows foreign citizens to live and work in the US in speciality occupations for up to three years.

Fellow IT giant IBM filed the second most applications with approximately 3,300 while tech firms dominated the top 25 companies filing over 12% of all applications.

"A small number of companies were very heavy users of the program," said the author of the study. "The employers requesting the most H-1Bs are large private companies specializing in information technology, consulting, and electronics manufacturing."

The H-1B visa is subject to an annual cap of 65,000 places which has proved extremely controversial in the past; employers claim foreign skills in greater numbers to continue innovative technology developments while critics argue that with unemployment so high - currently at 8.2% - employers should be giving preference to domestic workers.

Microsoft has been one of the loudest voices in the fight to abolish the cap altogether and with the company posting its first ever quarterly loss in the three months to the end of the June, it is likely the calls will only grow.

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New York outlines plan to stop US immigration abuse

Governor Cuomo wants to make
sure no one falls foul of scams.
 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration has said it will implement measures to ensure that people taking advantage of President Obama's recent US immigration directive will not be exploited.

Last month President Obama used his executive powers to put a stop to the deportation of all illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who were brought to the US before they were 16, have graduated high school or served in the military and have no criminal record.

Instead, they will be permitted to apply for a two work permit which can be renewed indefinitely; the directive is thought to affect as many as 1.4 million people.

The move has angered many anti-immigration advocates as well as Republican politicians who see the move as rewarding people who gained entry to the country illegally. However, some criticism has come from immigration advisers who claim the president's directive leaves plenty of potential for scams.

As the directive is aimed at people who have been in the country illegally, many remain extremely cautious when it comes to discussing their immigration status therefore are liable to talk to manipulative advisers who charge for unqualified advice.

Governor Cuomo is eager to avoid these hazards and has set about installing several safeguards to limit abuse when the system opens for applications in mid-August.

“I think there is going to be a great deal of fraud, and these young people are going to need a great deal of help responding with the kinds of documents the federal government is going to require of them,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. “It became clear to us that this was going to be a golden opportunity for scammers.”

The governor's measures include multilingual advertisements, community outreach programmes and $600,000 (£380,000) for legal counsel.

“It’s not enough to say to people, ‘Be careful; some people want to take your money,’ ” Mr. Perales said. “What we’re saying is we’re also providing an alternative mechanism. That is what distinguishes what New York State wants to do from others who just warn you.” 

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People falling victim to US immigration scams

Applications for the president's
directive will begin being received
in mid-August.
 

With US President Obama's executive order putting a halt to the deportation of as many as 1.4 million people still to take effect, reports of people falling victim to US immigration scams are rife.

President Obama in June used his executive powers to stop deportations and start issuing a US visa to all illegal immigrants under the age of 30, who were brought to the US as children, have no criminal record and have served in the military or graduated high school.

The directive is set to begin receiving applications in mid August but unscrupulous immigration advisers are reportedly charging as much as $4,000 (£2,546) to move ahead with claims.

Concerned voices have previously warned against such scams springing from the president's move, particularly as illegal immigrants have an intrinsic fear of their illegal status being discovered and are therefore unlikely to report being a victim of a crime to the authorities.

Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez, a renowned immigration advocate, has posted a warning on social networking sites advising those affected, known as 'DREAMers' due to the DREAM Act which aims to achieve many of the same things the president's directive does, to beware of unscrupulous advisers looking to exploit the vulnerability and uncertainty of potential applicants. 

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the American Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

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