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US Temporary Worker Visa Categories

Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Worker Classification

Nonimmigrant Classification for a Temporary Worker Description Nonimmigrant Classification for Dependant Spouses and Children of a Temporary Worker
CW-1 CNMI-Only transitional worker CW-2
  E-1 Treaty traders and qualified employees.   E-13
  E-2 Treaty investors and qualified employees.   E-23

  E-2C

Long-term foreign investors in the CNMI   E-2C
  E-3 Certain “specialty occupation” professionals from Australia.   E-33
    H-1B Workers in a specialty occupation and the following sub-classifications:

H-1B1 – Free Trade Agreement workers in a specialty occupation from Chile and Singapore. H-1B2 – Specialty occupations related to Department of Defense Cooperative Research and Development projects or Co-production projects. H-1B3 – Fashion models of distinguished merit and ability.

  H-4
  H-1C2 Registered nurses working in a health professional shortage area as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.   H-4
  H-2A Temporary or seasonal agricultural workers.   H-4
  H-2B Temporary non-agricultural workers.   H-4
  H-3 Trainees other than medical or academic. This classification also applies to practical training in the education of handicapped children.   H-4
  I   Representatives of foreign press, radio, film or other foreign information media.   I 
  L-1A Intracompany transferees in managerial or executive positions.   L-23
  L-1B Intracompany transferees in positions utilizing specialized knowledge.   L-23
  O-1 Persons with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics and motion picture or TV production.   O-3
  O-2 Persons accompanying solely to assist an O-1 nonimmigrant.   O-3
  P-1A   Internationally recognized athletes.   P-4
  P-1B Internationally recognized entertainers or members of internationally recognized entertainment groups.   P-4
P-2   Individual performer or part of a group entering to perform under a reciprocal exchange program. P-4
  P-3 Artists or entertainers, either an individual or group, to perform, teach, or coach under a program that is culturally unique.    P-4
  Q-1   Persons participating in an international cultural exchange program for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and to share the history, culture, and traditions of the alien’s home country.   Not Applicable4 
  R-1 Religious workers.    R-2
  TN North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) temporary professionals from Mexico and Canada.   TD

 

1  Only a few nonimmigrant classifications allow you to obtain permission work in this country without an employer having first filed a petition on your behalf.  Such classifications include the nonimmigrant E-1, E-2, E-3 and TN classifications, as well as, in certain instances, the F-1 and M-1 student and J-1 exchange visitor classifications.

2  The H-1C nonimmigrant classification expired on December 20, 2009.

3  E and L dependent spouses may apply for employment authorization.

4  Though the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) does not provide a specific nonimmigrant classification for dependents of Q-1 nonimmigrants, this does not preclude the spouse or child of a Q-1 from entering the U.S. in another nonimmigrant classification.


Student Visa Procedures for Students heading to USA this Fall

Are you planning to join a US University in the Fall?

If you wish to pursue full-time academic or vocational studies in the United States, you may be eligible for one of two nonimmigrant student categories.  The “F” category is for academic students and the “M” is for vocational students. To learn more, please see the Students and Exchange Visitors page on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website. Students are strongly advised to obtain student medical and accidental health insurance coverage from the USA based organization such as India Network Foundation Sponsored Health Plan before they leave the country. This plan meet or exceed the requirements of many Universities (Check with your own University).

If you wish to participate in an exchange program you may be eligible for the “J” category for exchange visitors. The J visa program is for educational and cultural exchange programs. For more information, please see the Exchange Visitor Visa page on the Department of State website.

Students: Academic and Vocational (F and M visas)

F-1 Academic students
F-2 Spouses and children of F-1
F-3 Canadian or Mexican national academic commuter students
M-1 Vocational students
M-2 Spouses and children of M1
M-3 Canadian or Mexican national vocational commuter students

Exchange Visitors (J visas)

J-1 Exchange visitors
J-2 Spouses and children of J-1

Visiting USA requirements

Visiting the United States of America.

 

Generally, if you want to visit (and not live in) the United States you must first obtain a visitor visa. Travelers from certain countries may be exempt from this requirement. For more information, please see the U.S Department of State website. Also, all visitors are advised to carry proper accident and health insurance to cover them during their period of Stay in the US. The insurance can be obtained from a reputable organization like, India Network Health Insurance

If you want to travel to the United States for reasons other than business or pleasure, you must apply for a visa in the appropriate category.  This includes if you want to study, work as a crew member or journalist, etc., You can get help determining which visa you need by selecting the appropriate categories on our home page.

Extending Your Visit

If Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorizes your admission to the United States at the designated port of entry, you will receive a stamped Form I-94, Record of Arrival-Departure. If you wish to stay beyond the time indicated on the Form I-94, you may apply for an extension by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, with USCIS.

If You Lose Form I-94

You may apply for a replacement Form I-94 by filing a Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record.


India is the Top Source of Skilled Migrants to Australia in 2012

Australian immigration has announced that so far this year, India is the top source country for skilled permanent migrants coming to Australia, surpassing China and the UK.

“Most of the Indian migration is skilled, both independent and sponsored. Independent migrants clear the points test and come over and look for work. Sponsored migration is when an employer sponsors someone. We encourage that. It’s better for them, it’s better for us,” said Australian immigration minister Chris Bowen.

So far this year, India has become the largest immigrant source Country. This is quite a significant change. Bowen noted that for the past several years India has been the third largest immigrant source Country for permanent migrants in Australia.

India is also the second largest immigrant source Country for 457 visas, the Australian temporary work visa that allows employers to sponsor overseas workers to fill nominated skilled positions. The 457 work visa is currently the most common pathway of business sponsorship for overseas workers.

Australia recently made several changes in their student visa programme. Under these changes, Bowen said it has become easier for genuine students to be able to go to Australia to study. Most of the background checks for students are handled by the universities now, he added.

“Education presents one of the most valuable opportunities for both countries to lay the foundation for an enduring partnership. It presents enormous opportunities to deepen collaboration between institutions across the education and training sectors, business and industry, and our governments,” he added.

Before you are heading to Australia, do not forget to get accident and international health insurance coverage until at least your employer provides one.


Check your immigration application Status Phone Numbers



The Immigration Information Network

The Immigration Information Network

A Service of the India Net Services, Inc.



Public Inquiry Numbers to Check Status

  • INS’s Nebraska Service Center (NSC) has jurisdiction over the following states: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

    NSC also has jurisdiction over the following INS offices: British Columbia, Calgary, and Manitoba.

    NSC’s Public Inquiry Line for checking the status of pending immigration petitions and applications is (402) 323-7830.

  • INS’s California Service Center (CSC) has jurisdiction over the following states: Arizona, California, Guam (not a state), Hawaii and Nevada.

    CSC’s Public Inquiry Line for checking the status of pending immigration petitions and applications is (949) 831-8427

  • INS’s Texas Service Center (TSC) has jurisdiction over the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

    Public Inquiry Line for checking the status is (214) 381-1423

  • INS’s Vermont Service Center (VSC) has jurisdiction over the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C. (not a state), and West Virginia. VSC also has jurisdiction over the following INS offices: Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Toronto, Montreal, Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic.

    Public Inquiry Line for checking the status is (802) 527-3160

    HOME


  • Visitors to the United States – Are you a victim of Multiple Screenings?

    It appears that visitors from India are repeatedly selected for secondary screenings on various occasions. If you are that unlucky person, file an inqury with the department of Homeland Security which may want to review your case and remove any additional notations associated with your name.

    If you or anyone you know have been selected for secondary screening on multiple occasions you can use the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) to resolve issues such as misidentification.  DHS TRIP is a single point of contact for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during their travel screening at transportation hubs.

    People who have experienced difficulties upon entry into or exit from the U.S. at a port of entry or border crossing can file an inquiry to seek redress.  DHS TRIP routes your redress request to the appropriate office for review and adjudication.  You may access TRIP at: www.dhs.gov/trip

    Source: US Embassy in India, April 13, 2012


    Websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions






    India Network Services – Links to U.S. Embassies and Consulates Worldwide

    Websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions


    AFRICA

    Africa Regional Services – Paris

    Angola: Luanda | Português
    Benin: Cotonou
    Botswana: Gaborone
    Burkina Faso: Ouagadougou | Français
    Burundi: Bujumbura
    Cameroon: Yaounde
    Cameroon: VPP Septentrion
    Cape Verde: Praia | Português
    Central African Republic: Bangui
    Chad: N’Djamena | Français
    Democratic Republic of the Congo:
         Kinshasa | Français
    Republic of the Congo: Brazzaville
    Côte d’Ivoire: Abidjan | Français
    Republic of Djibouti: Djibouti
    Equatorial Guinea: Malabo | Español

    Eritrea: Asmara
    Ethiopia: Addis Ababa
    Gabon: Libreville
    Ghana: Accra
    Guinea: Conakry | Français
    Kenya: Nairobi
    Lesotho: Maseru
    Liberia: Monrovia
    Madagascar: Antananarivo
    Malawi: Lilongwe
    Mali: Bamako
    Mauritania: Nouakchott | Français | ????
    Mauritius: Port Louis
    Mauritius: VPP Seychelles
    Mozambique: Maputo | Portuguese
    Namibia: Windhoek
    Niger: Niamey

    Nigeria: Abuja
    Rwanda: Kigali
    Senegal: Dakar | Français
    Sierra Leone: Freetown
    Somalia: VPP Somalia
    South Africa: Pretoria
    Sudan: Khartoum
    Swaziland: Mbabane
    Tanzania: Dar es Salaam
    Tanzania: VPP Zanzibar
    The Gambia: Banjul
    Togo: Lome | Français
    Uganda: Kampala
    VPP Northern Uganda
    Zambia: Lusaka
    Zimbabwe: Harare
    U.S. Mission to the African Union

    THE AMERICAS

    Argentina: Buenos Aires | Español
    Bahamas: Nassau
    Barbados: Bridgetown
    Belize: Belmopan
    Bermuda: Hamilton
    Bolivia: La Paz | Español
    Bolivia: VPP Cochabamba | Español
    Bolivia: VPP Santa Cruz | Español
    Bolivia: VPP Sucre | Español
    Brazil: Brasilia
    Brazil: Rio de Janeiro
    Brazil: Recife
    Brazil: São Paulo
    Brazil: VPP Belo Horizonte
    Brazil: VPP Fortaleza
    Brazil: VPP Manaus
    Brazil: VPP Porto Allegre
    Brazil: VPP Salvador de Bahia
    Canada: Ottawa
    Canada: Calgary

    Canada: Halifax

    Canada: Montreal
    Canada: Quebec
    Canada: Toronto

    Canada: Vancouver
    Canada: Winnipeg
    Canada: VPP Northwest Territories
    Canada: VPP Nunavut
    Canada: VPP Southwest Ontario
    Canada: VPP Yukon
    Chile: Santiago
    Colombia: Bogota | Español
    Costa Rica: San Jose
    Cuba: U.S. Interests Section
    Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo
    Ecuador: Quito | Español
    Ecuador: Guayaquil | Español
    El Salvador: San Salvador | Español
    Guatemala: Guatemala City | Español
    Guatemala: VPP Xela
    Guyana: Georgetown
    Haiti: Port-au-Prince | Français
    Honduras: Tegucigalpa | Español
    Honduras: VPP San Pedro Sula | Español
    Jamaica: Kingston
    Mexico: Mexico City
    Mexico: Ciudad Juarez | Español
    Mexico: Guadalajara | Español

    Mexico: Hermosillo | Español
    Mexico: Matamoros | Español
    Mexico: Merida | Español
    Mexico: Monterrey | Español
    Mexico: Nogales | Español
    Mexico: Nuevo Laredo
    Mexico: Puerto Vallarta
    Mexico: Tijuana | Español
    Mexico: VPP El Bajio | Español
    Mexico: VPP Chiapas-Tabasco | Español
    Netherlands Antilles: Curacao
    Nicaragua: Managua | Español
    Panama: Panama City | Español
    Panama: VPP Colon
    Paraguay: Asuncion | Español
    Peru: Lima | Español
    Suriname: Paramaribo
    Trinidad & Tobago: Port of Spain
    Tobago: VPP Tobago
    Uruguay: Montevideo
    Venezuela: Caracas| Español
    U.S. Mission to the OAS
    U.S. Mission to the U.N.-New York

     

    EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC

    Australia: Canberra
    Australia: Melbourne
    Australia: Perth
    Australia: Sydney
    Australia: VPP Adelaide
    Australia: VPP Brisbane
    Brunei: Bandar Seri Begawan
    Burma: Rangoon
    Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Khmer
    China: Beijing | ???
    China: Chengdu | ???
    China: Guangzhou | ???
    China: Shanghai | ???
    China: Shenyang | ???
    China: Wuhan | ???
    China: VPP Dalian | ???
    China: VPP Fuzhou | ???
    China: VPP Harbin | ???
    China: VPP Kunming | ???
    China: VPP Lhasa

    China: VPP Nanjing (???)
    China: VPP Nanning | (???)
    China: VPP Xiamen | ???
    China: VPP Zhengzhou (???)
    Fiji: Suva
    Fiji: VPP Tonga
    Hong Kong and Macau | ???
    Indonesia: Jakarta
    Indonesia: Surabaya
    Japan: Tokyo
    Japan: Fukuoka
    Japan: Nagoya
    Japan: Osaka/Kobe
    Japan: Sapporo
    Japan: Naha, Okinawa
    Korea: Seoul | ???
    Korea: Busan | ???
    Laos: Vientiane
    Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur

    Republic of the Marshall Islands:
        Majuro
    Federated States of Micronesia:
        Kolonia
    Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar | ??????
    New Zealand: Wellington
    Papua New Guinea: Port Moresby
    Republic of Palau: Koror
    Philippines: Manila
    Philippines: VPP Mindinao
    Samoa: Apia
    Singapore
    Thailand: Bangkok | ???????
    Thailand: Chiang Mai
    Timor-Leste: Dili
    Vietnam: Hanoi | Tièng Viêt
    Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City | Tièng Viêt
    * Taiwan*

     

    EUROPE AND EURASIA

    Albania: Tirana | Shqip
    Armenia: Yerevan
    Austria: Vienna
    Azerbaijan: Baku | Azeri
    Belarus: Minsk | ??-?????????
    Belgium: Brussels | Français | Nederlands
    Bosnia & Herzegovina: Sarajevo | B/H/S
    Bulgaria: Sofia | ?????????
    Croatia: Zagreb | Hrvatski
    Cyprus: Nicosia
    Czech Republic: Prague | cesky
    Denmark: Copenhagen
    Estonia: Tallinn
    Finland: Helsinki | Finnish
    France: Paris | Français
    France: Bordeaux
    France: Lille
    France: Lyon
    France: Rennes
    France: Toulouse
    France: Marseille
    France: Strasbourg
    Georgia: Tbilisi | ??????
    Germany: Berlin | Deutsch
    Germany: Düsseldorf | Deutsch
    Germany: Frankfurt | Deutsch
    Germany: Hamburg | Deutsch

    Germany: Leipzig | Deutsch
    Germany: Munich | Deutsch
    Greece: Athens
    Greece: Thessaloniki
    Hungary: Budapest | Magyarul
    Iceland: Reykjavik
    Ireland: Dublin
    Italy: Rome
    Italy: Florence
    Italy: Milan
    Italy: Naples
    Italy: Vatican
    Kosovo: Pristina | Shqip | Srpski
    Latvia: Riga | Latviski
    Lithuania: Vilnius
    Luxembourg
    Macedonia: Skopje
    Malta: Valletta
    Moldova: Chisinau | Româna | Pycckuú
    Montenegro: Podgorica
    The Netherlands: The Hague
    The Netherlands: Amsterdam
    Norway: Oslo
    Poland: Warsaw | Polski
    Poland: Krakow | Polski
    Portugal: Lisbon
    Portugal: Ponta Delgada, Azores
    Romania: Bucharest

    Russia: Moscow | Pycckuú
    Russia: St. Petersburg | Pycckuú
    Russia: Vladivostok | Pycckuú
    Russia: Yekaterinburg | Pycckuú
    Serbia: Belgrade
    Slovakia: Bratislava | Slovenská
    Slovenia: Ljubljana
    Spain: Madrid | Español
    Spain: Barcelona
    Sweden: Stockholm
    Sweden: VPP Gothenborg
    Switzerland: Bern
    Turkey: Ankara | Türkçe
    Turkey: Adana
    Turkey: Istanbul
    Ukraine: Kyiv | ??????????
    United Kingdom: London
    United Kingdom: Belfast
    United Kingdom: Edinburgh
    United Kingdom: VPP Cardiff
    The Vatican
    U.S. Mission to International
             Organizations in Vienna
    U.S. Mission to the EU
    U.S. Mission to NATO
    U.S. Mission to the OECD
    U.S. Mission to the OSCE
    U.S. Mission to the UN-Geneva
    U.S. Mission to the UN-Rome
    U.S. Mission to UNESCO

    MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

    Algeria: Algiers | ???? | Français
    Bahrain: Manama
    Egypt: Cairo

    Iraq: Baghdad | ????
    Israel: Tel Aviv
    Jerusalem | ????
    VPP Gaza | ????
    Jordan: Amman | ????

    Kuwait: Kuwait City | ????
    Lebanon: Beirut | ????
    Libya: Tripoli | ????
    Morocco: Rabat
    Morocco: Casablanca
    Oman: Muscat | ?????? ???????
    Qatar: Doha | ????
    Saudi Arabia: Riyadh

    Saudi Arabia: Dhahran
    Saudi Arabia: Jeddah | ?????? ???????
    Syria: Damascus
    Tunisia: Tunis | Français | ????
    United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi | ????
    United Arab Emirates: Dubai
    Yemen: Sana’a

    CENTRAL AND SOUTH ASIA

    Afghanistan: Kabul | ???
    Bangladesh: Dhaka
    Bangladesh: VPP Chittagong
    Bangladesh: VPP Jessore
    Bangladesh: VPP Sylhet
    India: New Delhi
    India: Hyderabad
    India: Kolkata

    India: Chennai
    India: Mumbai
    Kazakhstan: Astana | ???????
    Kyrgyz Republic: Bishkek | ???????
    Nepal: Kathmandu
    Pakistan: Islamabad
    Pakistan: Karachi
    Pakistan: Lahore

    Pakistan: Peshawar
    Sri Lanka: Colombo
    Sri Lanka: VPP Maldives
    Tajikistan: Dushanbe | ???????
    Turkmenistan: Ashgabat | Türkmen dilinde | ???????
    Uzbekistan: Tashkent | ??????? |
        O’zbekcha

    Immigration Regulations

    Money and Banking

    Health Care and Medical Insurance

    Customs and Culture


    Immigration Regulations


    Maintaining Status

    You are responsible for maintaining your immigration status. There are
    several important things you must do to maintain status:

    1. Keep your passport valid.
    2. If you are a student, maintain full-time enrollment and normal
      progress toward your degree. Please check with your campus about the
      required credit hours per semester is considered a full course load
      for undergraduates. Graduate students must take at least the required
      number of credit hours to be considered “full-time”.
    3. Do not work off-campus without employment authorization.
    4. See an International Students Advisor if you plan to transfer to
      another University, or if you change academic level. The INS must be
      notified of these changes.
    5. Obtain extensions of stay as needed. Be sure to note the expiration
      date on your Form I -20 or IAP-66 and apply at the International
      Student Services Office for an extension, if needed, 30-45 days prior
      to the expiration date.

    Legal Documents

    Form I-94, I-20ID (Student) Copy, and Form IAP-66 (Form I-94, the small
    white card) shows your arrival date in the United States and should be
    stapled to your passport until you leave the country. It also shows your
    status: F-1, J-1, B-2, etc., and your expected departure date from the U.
    S. D/S (Duration of Status) means that students may remain in the U. S.
    until completion of their current program of study (note date on item #5
    of your I-20 ID or item #3 on your IAP-66), plus 60 days for F-1 students
    and 30 days for J-1 students and scholars. The I-20 ID (Student) copy is
    the student’s copy of the Form I-20. It is a permanent record of your F-1
    status, and is used for re-entry to the U.S. and to record work
    authorization, practical training, and transfer approval. Keep this
    important form in your passport and do not surrender it when leaving the
    United States. The IAP-66 (copy 3, pink) is to be kept with your passport
    for travel and re-entry to the U. S. and for permission to work. Students
    and scholars should keep copies of all I-20s and IAPs issued to them.

    Extension of Stay

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regulations state that F-1 or
    J-1 students may stay in U. S. for the duration of an educational program
    or series of educational programs (for example, from an undergraduate
    degree through a master’s degree) plus a period of practical/academic
    training, and an additional 60 days to leave the United States for F-1
    students, and 30 days for J-1 students and scholars. Those unable to
    complete their program in the time indicated on their I-20 or IAP-66 must
    see your advisor in the International Students Office to begin the
    extension process.

    Travel Outside the U. S.

    F-1 students need the following documents to re-enter the United States
    after a temporary absence:

    1. Form I-20 ID endorsed by the International Students Office or other
      authorized office
    2. Valid passport
    3. Valid U.S. visa

    J-1 students and scholars need the following documents to re-enter the
    United States after a temporary absence:

    1. Valid IAP-66 (pink copy) endorsed by International Students Office
    2. Valid passport
    3. Valid U.S. visa

    When you re-enter the U.S., you may be asked if you have ever received
    public assistance, especially if you have a child who was born in the U.S.
    If you can answer “no” to this question, you should not have any
    problems. If you must answer “yes” to this question, be prepared
    to show proof that you have paid back any public assistance that you have
    received. If you have participated in the WIC program, you do not need to
    repay this assistance. This policy decision was made by the Immigration
    and Naturalization Service (INS)
    , but not all agents may be aware of
    this decision.

    If an agent does not know about this decision, contact the International
    Students Office so that they can help to clarify this INS policy.

    Special Note on Travel to Canada

    You may travel to Canada (up to 30 days) and re-enter the United States
    with an expired U. S. visa, if you have all the other documents necessary
    for re-entry (see above). Before traveling to Canada:

    1. Check with the International Students Office to see if you need a
      visa to enter Canada
    2. Carry proper documents to re-enter the United States.

      Practical Training (F-1) or Academic Training (J-1)

      Practical training and academic training are opportunities for
      students to gain actual work experience in their field of study. See
      your advisor in the International Students Office to learn more about
      these opportunities both during and after the academic program.

      Permission to Work

      F-1 students may work on-campus and can apply to the INS to work
      off-campus due to economic need. F-2 visa holders are not permitted to
      work under any circumstances. J-1 students must obtain permission to
      work on-campus or off-campus from their program sponsor. The program
      sponsor is identified in #2 of the IAP-66. J-2 visa holders must
      receive INS permission to work. F-1 and J-1 students cannot work more
      than 20 hours per week while school is in session.

      Transfer of Schools

      F-1 students must notify the INS if they transfer schools or change
      educational levels. The new school is responsible for assisting with
      the transfer process. Those transferring to must give to the
      International Students Office the Form I-20 issued  and a letter
      from the previous institution stating that they have been enrolled
      full-time prior to coming to the University. Students with J-1 status
      must obtain approval from the program sponsor to transfer schools.

      Public Assistance

      International students, scholars, and their families ARE NOT ELIGIBLE
      for any type of public assistance. Some examples of public assistance
      are low-income/subsidized housing, food-stamps, Medicare/Medicaid,
      W.I.C. program, subsidized utilities, etc. If you or any member of
      your family accepts public assistance of any kind, you could be
      jeopardizing you F-1 or J-1 status. Public assistance is intended for
      U.S. citizens and some categories of immigrants with low or no income.
      If you accept public assistance, you may be denied renewal of your
      non-immigrant visa and/or be required to pay back any assistance you
      received before your application for a new visa will be considered.
      Bring questions on this issue to an Advisor at the International
      Students Office  and DO NOT rely upon advice from friends.

      A Few Words of Advice

      Requests for the International Students Office to prepare Form I-20
      and Form IAP-66 must be made at least 5 working days in advance of
      when they are needed. Therefore, plan accordingly! This condition may
      change from campus to campus.

      Bring your passport and all relevant immigration documents (I-20ID,
      IAP-66, I-94) and financial documents when you come to the
      International Students Office with immigration questions.

      Always see your International Students Office advisor regarding any
      question you may have concerning your immigration status. Do NOT
      contact the INS directly unless instructed to do so by the Office of
      International Programs .
      Return to Menu


      Money and Banking


      General Information

      Americans don’t usually carry a lot of cash. They prefer to pay by
      check, even for small purchases, or by credit card. To function
      efficiently in the U. S. economy, you will need to open a checking
      account at a local bank. This section introduces you to a few of the
      basic banking options available to you. When selecting a bank, you
      should compare services and choose a bank whose offices are
      conveniently located before making your decision. Most banks will ask
      you for two pieces of identification, such as your passport and
      Massachusetts State ID, when you open an account.

      Types of Accounts

      Checking Accounts

      Banks offer different types of checking accounts designed to fit
      individual needs. The cost of having a checking account varies from
      bank to bank. Some banks charge per transaction, some have a basic
      monthly fee, and others offer free services if you maintain a certain
      minimum balance in your account at all times. Your cancelled checks
      and a list of all the account activity of the preceding month will be
      sent to you in a monthly statement. Be careful to keep an accurate
      record of every check you write in order to avoid having checks
      returned and incurring additional charges. “Bouncing” a
      check (writing a check for more money than you actually have in the
      account) can cause a major expense and a great deal of trouble.
      Through some banks, you can apply for a line of credit attached to
      your checking account that provides overdraft protection.

      Savings Accounts

      A savings account enables you to save money and accumulate interest on
      your savings. Interest is paid either monthly or quarterly. Although
      you can withdraw money from your saving account, this service is
      limited. Ask your bank for the number of monthly withdrawals permitted
      without penalty. The difference between a savings and a checking
      account is that you receive higher interest in a saving account, and
      fewer transactions take place since the purpose is to “save your
      money”.
      Interest Checking Accounts

      Interest checking accounts provide the services of both a checking and
      a savings account. This means that you can write checks and also
      collect interest on the money in your account.

      Cashing Checks

      To cash a check after endorsing it (signing your name on the back),
      you will most often be asked for 2 pieces of personal identification.
      The primary piece of ID must be a driver’s license or a State of
      Massachusetts ID card. The second piece of ID is usually a major
      credit card. Some stores will cash a check for you if you shop there
      regularly and have a proper ID. Supermarkets may allow you to pay by
      check, with authorization from their credit department. After a credit
      check, the supermarket will issue you a check cashing card.

      Bank Cards

      Many banks issue cards that make deposit and withdrawal services
      available 24 hours a day by use of an automated teller machine (ATM).
      These machines, which are frequently located outside the bank, are
      very convenient. You can avoid waiting in line at the bank and have
      access to cash after the bank closes or in an emergency. Banks that
      are members of a national ATM network allow you to access your funds
      with your bank card at selected ATMs throughout the country. However,
      there is often a service charge of approximately $1 when you do not
      use your bank’s machine.

      A note of caution

      When withdrawing cash from an ATM after dark, be aware of your
      surroundings to prevent an assault. Protect your bank card and your
      secret access code as you do your cash and credit cards. Also, the
      machines do not always work. Don’t panic! Call your bank if you have a
      problem with an ATM.

      Credit Cards

      Credit cards are convenient, especially if you unexpectedly have major
      expenses. You can also pay medical fees, airplane tickets and car
      repairs with any major credit card. But you must remember that credit
      cards are seductive. Before you know it you may be in debt. Most banks
      charge an annual fee of $20 to $40. If you are unable to pay your full
      balance, you will be charged high interest rates (usually 18%) on the
      remaining balance and any additional charges you make. Make sure you
      stay within your budget when making credit card purchases.

      Planning Ahead

      If you deposit a check drawn on a foreign bank in your U. S. checking
      account, it may have to go through a collection process. This means
      that the money is not available to you until the U. S. bank has
      collected it from the foreign bank. It may take several weeks before
      the money is credited to your account. You may want to consider having
      moneys wired to your account. This process takes less time and is very
      safe.

      In countries with restrictions on foreign exchange, you may need to
      provide your sponsor or your family with a letter of certification of
      enrollment in order to receive money from your home country.

      The application forms for letters of certification are available from
      the International Student Office. Please allow 5 working days for
      processing.

      Return to Menu


      Health Care and Medical Insurance


      Insurance

      In the United States, each individual, not the state, is responsible
      for paying the costs of his or her own medical care. Except for
      certain low income U. S. citizens and permanent residents, no
      government assistance is available. The cost of medical care is the
      fastest rising expense in the U. S. today. Since most Americans cannot
      afford the high cost of medical care, they rely on insurance in
      medical emergencies. For an international student or scholar, one
      serious illness, injury, or catastrophic medical emergency can mean
      financial ruin and the end of his or her academic career. Medical
      insurance is an absolute necessity in the United States
      . Therefore,
      many campuses  requires all international students and scholars
      to have health insurance. This requirement is waived only if you are
      covered by another health insurance plan that offers comparable or
      better coverage. You may sign on for the India Network Group Health
      Plan for Parents (see the web page at http://health.indnet.org).

      Whatever health insurance you elect, make sure you understand the
      company’s policy regarding how they make payments. Call your insurance
      representative to ask about your insurance coverage and claim filing
      procedure.

      Low Cost International Medical Insurance

      For low cost medical insurance, contact India Network Foundation,
      a non-profit in the USA that sponsors low cost insurance plan for
      International students, Scholars, and their dependents and is valid wordwide.

      Visiting Scholars and their Families

      Visiting scholars and their families are not eligible for
      “Student Health Insurance”. If you are a visiting scholar
      whose salary is paid by the University, you may be eligible for
      limited health insurance coverage through the faculty/staff group
      insurance plan. Visiting scholars who are employed by the University
      are sometimes eligible to purchase one of the faculty/staff health
      plans.

      When making an appointment to see any physician, you may ask what the
      costs will be. Physician’s fees vary and it is important for you to
      know ahead of time how much money to budget for the physician’s visit.
      Health insurance rarely covers 100% of your medical expenses and some
      physicians insist on payment at the time of your visit. Check with
      your international student advisor pertaining to dental coverage.

    3. Return to Menu

      Customs and Culture


      Culture Shock

      When moving to a new community, particularly in a different culture,
      it is common to experience what is known as “Culture Shock.”
      Culture shock may be defined as the feelings you experience when you
      are taken out of a familiar environment and thrown into a completely
      new and different one. It is quite normal for a visitor, anywhere, to
      feel depressed and isolated once the initial excitement of arrival has
      worn off. You may feel frustrated and confused with foreign ways and
      idioms. But hopefully, understanding why Americans behave the way they
      do may help you understand your own feelings. Some helpful ways to
      cope with culture shock are:

      • Get plenty of rest to deal with the stress and jet lag that you
        may experience.
      • Take time to think and/or talk through your own feelings.
      • Make an effort to be optimistic, but not to the point of
        avoiding negatives that should be expressed.
      • Make your new home environment as comfortable as possible.
      • Make friends as quickly as possible. If there are others of your
        nationality on campus, get acquainted. It will give you a support
        system.
      • Keep a diary or journal. This is a helpful way to vent some of
        the frustrations you might be too embarrassed to speak about. It
        may also be an interesting record of the changes that occur over
        time.
      • Try not to compare your surroundings to your home area. Things
        are different!
      • Enjoy and explore those differences.
      • Keep an open mind and a sense of humor.

      These suggestions should help you feel more comfortable in your new
      surroundings. The rest of this section will let you know what to
      expect in some areas of American culture.

      Greetings

      In the U.S., “Hi, how are you?”, “Hello, how are
      you?”, or when introduced for the first time, “I’m pleased
      to meet you,” are the most common forms of greeting. “So
      long”, “See you soon”, “See you later”,
      “We should get together sometime”, are also common
      expressions used for saying, “Good-bye”. An expression such
      as, “Hello, how are you?” does not require a lengthy answer
      beyond, “Fine, thank you.” Likewise, “See you
      soon” or “Later” do not imply any definite promise
      about getting in contact with you in the next few hours or days. They
      are simply forms of saying “Good-bye.”

      Social Equality

      The American dream is equality for all. Unfortunately this dream has
      not yet been completely achieved. Americans expect that all people
      respect an individual regardless of occupation, handicap, sex, race,
      religion, or sexual orientation. All individuals you meet will expect
      the same consideration and courtesy.

      Both men and women in the United States have an active part in
      community life. Many women have full-time careers outside the home and
      in many cases both parents take care of small children and share with
      home chores. Women who hold positions in the work world expect the
      same professional respect as do their male counterparts.

      Names and Titles

      First names are used in the U.S. more frequently than elsewhere.
      People may call each other by their first names immediately after they
      have met if they are about the same age and status. The Americans’
      ready use of first names may make it appear to you that they are
      oblivious to differences in age and status. They are not. There are
      subtle differences in vocabulary and manner, depending on the
      relationship between the people involved. For example, an American is
      less likely to use slang when speaking to a person who is older, whose
      social standing is higher, or whom she/he does not know very well.

      If you meet a person who has a title such as “Doctor,”
      “Ambassador” or “Dean,” use that title and the
      last (family) name. Any faculty member can be addressed as
      “Professor” whether she/he holds the rank of assistant
      professor, associate professor, or full professor. Again, people might
      ask you to address them by their first names, and you should abide by
      that wish.

      Americans do not use a title followed by a first name. For example,
      you would not address Elizabeth Taylor as Miss Elizabeth but as Miss
      Taylor, or, if she asked you to, as Elizabeth. Occasionally, married
      women use their maiden name (family name at birth) instead of their
      husband’s name. Or they may use both their maiden name and their
      husband’s family name. For example, Jane Smith may be married to Sam
      Jones. However, her name may now be Jane Smith, Jane Jones, Jane
      Jones-Smith, or Jane Smith-Jones. The chosen form is consistently
      used.

      The use of “nicknames” is fairly common among Americans. A
      nickname is not the person’s real name, but a name assigned to him/her
      because of certain physical characteristics, behavior patterns, or
      some other factor. International students often get nicknames if their
      own names seem long and unpronounceable to Americans. For example, a
      student whose name is Nakagawa might come to be known as Naka. Being
      called by a nickname is not usually uncomplimentary. On the contrary,
      it may indicate that you are viewed with respect and even affection.

      If you are in doubt about what to call a person, ask him/her,
      “What shall I call you?” Americans will sometimes be
      confused about what to call you. If you see that a person does not
      know what to call you, tell him or say, “You may call me
      ________.”

      Cleanliness

      Americans put a great deal of emphasis on personal cleanliness. The
      standards of personal cleanliness that an individual maintains
      determine, to a large degree, the extent to which she/he is accepted
      into society. Most Americans are very sensitive to the smells and
      odors of the human body — sometimes their own, but especially
      someone else’s. For this reason, most Americans bathe once a day and
      sometimes more during hot weather or after strenuous exercise. They
      use deodorant or an antiperspirant, and they wash their clothes
      frequently. Americans are also very concerned about having clean hair
      and fresh breath.

      Smoking

      A decreasing number of Americans smoke. Because many Americans dislike
      being exposed to the cigarette smoke of others, you should not assume
      that it acceptable to smoke indoors. This is especially true of
      American homes. You should always ask if it is okay that you smoke
      before you begin whenever you are indoors in the presence of others.
      Many public buildings, including restaurants, are designated as
      “smoke free” environment. This applies to buildings on
      campus. Therefore you should look for signs which indicate that it is
      designated smoking area before you begin smoking.

      Unspoken Language
      Because gestures and unspoken signals have become so automatic, we
      often forget how they may mean different things in different cultures.
      To avoid misunderstandings, be sure to keep in mind that the unspoken
      gesture you exchange with people from other cultures may not say what
      you think it does. If words and gestures seem to disagree, it might be
      safer to believe the words.

      Shaking hands is common in business and in more formal social
      gatherings (banquets, and special parties) among both men and women.
      In more casual social encounters, however, men tend to shake hands
      with each other more often than women shake hands with women. (In a
      situation where the other person is quite distinguished or is several
      years older, she/he usually initiates the handshake.) Handshakes are
      usually accompanied with “How do you do” or “Nice to
      meet you” or “Nice to see you again.” Usually (except
      in business) people do not shake hands in subsequent meetings.

      Aside from hand-shaking, even same-sex physical contact is generally
      infrequent in American culture. Under certain circumstances physical
      contact is appropriate. The best way to learn about customs regarding
      physical contact is to observe Americans as they interact with others.
      While talking with someone, how close you stand to the other person is
      determined by the degree of familiarity in your relationship. Most
      Americans like to keep a little private distance between each other
      when walking side by side, while standing in elevators or anywhere
      else. But when some contact is unavoidable, a person will say,
      “Excuse me,” thereby indicating she/he is sorry for having
      violated someone else’s personal space. And while Americans generally
      like to make eye contact in conversing with one another, they do stand
      two to three feet apart while doing so. A closer distance will make
      them feel crowded and uncomfortable unless they are very familiar with
      the person. For example, it is acceptable to stand close to a friend
      while talking, but it would not be appropriate to stand very close to
      a professor or school official.

      Generally, you will find that the atmosphere in a U.S. university is
      more relaxed than it is in other countries. However, while Americans
      tend to be informal, they do place great emphasis on their personal
      privacy. Because a professor, or a university official, is accessible
      and friendly with students this does not necessarily mean you can call
      on him/her at the office or at home without first making an
      appointment.

      Friendship and Dating

      Americans are generally considered open and warm people who make new
      acquaintances easily. Because they are very mobile and place great
      emphasis on the qualities of individuality, independence, and personal
      privacy, Americans often have many casual and informal relationships
      and few lasting friendships. However, in spite of this, many Americans
      are quite capable and more than willing to take the extra step needed
      to establish an enduring friendship.

      American women have more personal freedom than women from some other
      countries and are not usually shy with Americans or foreigners. It is
      not unusual for unmarried women in the U.S. to live by themselves,
      share living quarters with other unmarried women, or go to public
      places without a male companion.

      The rules for dating Americans are flexible. Generally the initiative
      comes from the man, but this is not always the case. If you want to
      get to know someone, it is often wise to ask the person to join you
      for coffee or a soda or to get together to study. Such short events
      may prove to be the beginning of a strong and durable friendship. On
      weekends, a man may ask a woman for an evening date, invite her to
      dinner, a concert, or a movie. It is no longer automatically assumed
      that the man will pay for expenses on the date. It is especially
      common on a university campus for the two people to share the
      expenses.

      Remember that two or three dates by no means indicates that a lasting
      relationship is developing.

      Social Invitations

      While , we hope that you will meet and spend time with American
      families. These hints will make you a little more comfortable when you
      are invited out.

      Acceptance

      Your prospective hosts will either phone you, speak to you in person,
      or send you a written invitation. The invitation is usually for you
      only unless your hosts specifically invite your family or friends.
      Bringing a guest of your own without asking your hosts’ permission
      ahead of time is considered impolite.

      The written invitation will include the date, time, place, and
      description of the occasion. You should always answer a written
      invitation, especially if it says R.S.V.P. (repondez, s’il vous
      plait). You may respond by telephone or by letter. This helps the
      hosts with their preparations if you do so promptly.

      Never accept an invitation unless you plan to go. If you are going to
      refuse an invitation, it is enough to say “Thank you for the
      invitation, but I will not be able to come.” If an unavoidable
      problem makes it necessary for you to change plans, be certain to tell
      the host as soon as possible before the time when you are expected.
      When accepting an invitation make certain that you ask for directions
      to the event.

      Food

      When accepting an invitation for a meal, be sure to explain to your
      host if there is any food you do not eat. This courtesy will help the
      host plan food and drink for everyone to enjoy together. If you must
      refuse something after it is prepared, refuse politely. Never hesitate
      to ask for any food on the dinner table (“Would you please pass
      me the vegetables?”) since a request for more food is considered
      a compliment to the hostess.

      Drink

      Tap water is safe to drink and usually used by Americans as their
      normal drinking water. At Holiday and elaborate meals you may be given
      ice water in addition to another beverage. Americans generally do not
      drink alcoholic beverages with their meals. However, wines are
      frequently served at meals when guests are present. If you are offered
      an alcoholic beverage it is acceptable either to drink them in
      moderation or to decline. In most of the U.S. it is illegal for anyone
      under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. Those who are under 21 and drink
      alcoholic beverages, even at parties in private homes, risk being
      arrested.
      Promptness

      Being on time is very important in American society. Schools and
      classes, plays, concerts, public meetings, weddings, and formal
      dinners begin as scheduled. It is considered impolite to be even a few
      minutes late. Family dinners are a little more flexible and informal,
      but you should still be on time. You may attend a cocktail party or
      reception at any time between the stated hours.

      Informality

      Dining with a friend or family can either be formal or informal.
      Formality is an honor, but the informality gives you a chance to get
      to know your hosts and for them to get to know you. You should ask the
      host what to wear if the invitation does not give you an idea. Your
      national dress is always appropriate.

      It is not necessary to bring a gift for any member of the family or
      even for the host or hostess, unless it is a special occasion (such as
      his/her birthday or an important holiday like Christmas). Although
      Americans do not usually expect gifts from their guests, it is often a
      courtesy to do so. If you have visited several times, you may wish to
      bring a small token of appreciation for the hosts. Always bring a
      small gift when you are invited as house guest for an extended visit.
      While edible gifts are usually appropriate, because of food allergies,
      medical problems, religious reasons, or personal preferences; gifts
      other than food or drink may by more appreciated by your host.

      Gifts

      As a rule, gifts are given to relatives and close friends. They are
      sometimes given to people with whom one has a casual but friendly
      relationship, such as a host or hostess, but it is not necessary or
      even common for gifts to be given to such people. Gifts are not
      usually given to teachers or others who hold official positions. The
      offering of gifts in these situations is sometimes interpreted as a
      possibly improper effort to gain favorable treatment from that person.
      Christmas (December 25) is a gift-giving day, and it is when most
      Americans give gifts. Gifts are also given on occasions which are
      special to the recipient — birthdays, graduation from high school or
      college, weddings, and childbirths. Gifts are sometimes given when
      someone has a new house or is moving away.

      Generally, an effort is made to select a gift which the giver knows or
      supposes is one the recipient needs, wants, or would enjoy. The amount
      spent on the gift is something the giver can afford. Generally, it is
      not expected that people on limited incomes will spend a large amount
      of money on a gift. Expensive gifts are to be expected only when the
      people involved have a very close relationship with each other.

      If a gift is opened in the presence of the giver (as is often done), a
      verbal expression of thanks is appropriate. If a gift is opened in the
      absence of a giver, a thank-you note should be sent. The note should
      make specific mention of the particular gift that has been sent.

      Tipping

      Service charges, or “tips” (meaning “to insure proper
      service”) are most often not added to the bill in American
      hotels, restaurants, and barber shops/beauty parlors, but are often
      expected and needed by the employees. In restaurants tip the
      waiter/waitress about 15% of the check. In a hotel, the bellboy who
      takes you to your room receives at least $1.00 for his service. The
      person who cuts your hair may or may not accept tips, however, an
      average tip would be $1.00. The amount of a tip depends on you and if
      you feel that you have received good service.

      Time Schedules

      Accomplishment and progress are measured by the way time is spent. For
      this reason, punctuality is considered essential in conducting every
      day activities. One is expected to arrive at the stated time for an
      appointment with a professor, doctor, or other professional. On social
      occasions, however, such as parties, dinners and the like, more
      flexibility is tolerated.

      Families: Generally it is considered polite to phone someone after 9
      am and before 9 pm and either before or after the dinner hour (5:30 pm
      – 7:30 pm). If you plan to visit an American home, a phone call prior
      to going would be appreciated by the people you are visiting.

      Business Hours: Most businesses and stores are open Monday through
      Friday, with many stores and restaurants open on Saturdays and
      Sundays. Very few stores are open after 9 pm except for supermarkets,
      drug stores, and convenience stores.

      Appointments: It is always wise to call professional offices to make
      appointments to ensure being able to see someone. Again, promptness is
      expected in business and professional appointments.


     

     


    Violation of Human Rights as Narrated by RAID Victim in San Antonio, Texas

    India Network – INS Raid Victim Tells the Story

    Violation of Human Rights as Narrated by
    a INS RAID Victim in San Antonio, Texas, USA

    Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 13:56:39 -0800 (PST)

    From: Victim Victim

    This mail is from the victim of INS San Antonio Raid. Please look into this mail as fellow
    INDIANS.

    Note: You are not authorized to use this mail against me. In any legal matters. This mail is written from my real experience only, no
    assumptions. You can publish or use this mail to spread out without my mail ID. Forward any response to me.

    INS Raid — From The Victim

    Hailed from a respectable family from India. No criminal record in India. Finished Bachelors of Engineering in India
    before coming to America for higher studies. Graduated from an American University with Masters in Computer Science
    before taking up a job on practical training. Well aware of the immigration laws
    in US during F1 student status.

    Never been out of status during F1 Status.
    No criminal record in America EITHER. Hired by a company in Houston during Practical training program. Changed status to H1B
    BEFORE practical training expires. So no out of status here either. Hired by another consulting company in Houston, Texas, USA. Started
    working for that company immediately after transferring H1B. So NO OUT OF STATUS
    here either. As a part of consulting career , got assignment at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. and
    moved to San Antonio.

     The Job:

    Started working for the Military Modernization project which is a prestigious project for the whole United States Air Force community because it deals with their day
    to day activity as well as their family history. What not, it deals with every Air Force personnel life time history.

    Proud to be part of such a project. Been working happily for 2 1/12 years. There was an INS raid exactly a year ago, picked up some personnel for questioning in a
    decent manner. Found a guy with some discrepancies with paper work. Didn’t care much because I’ve never been out of status and having all the valid
    documents.  Nothing happened for another year. No Y2K bugs anywhere in the world esp. in US. Totally bug free in the US.
    There comes another INS raid at US Air Force Base.

    The day of INS Raid:

    Started working at 7:30 AM as usual.  Around 9:30 AM or so, there comes our Lt. Col asking us to come forward and move to a
    common area for an INS questioning.  Being un-aware of the things, picked up the documents that shows my legality in this
    country and moved to the area where all my colleagues already present. Observed by that time the all the US citizens were out of the area. They are forcing all
    the people look like Indians into the common area. You could be an Indian American a.k.a US Citizen, but by the looks, you are not alone to be detained.

    I was confident that just by looking at my documents, any INS Agent would let me go free.

    I  WASSSSSSSSS WROOOOOOOOONG.

    They said they are picking up Indians working for 2 companies for questioning at INS local office.  ( Infact, they picked
    Indians working for other companies also, and they let it go some other Indians. There are lot of discrepancies in their action, no one followed one particular
    procedure.  It looked like they are totally confused.) There was a guy from a American neighboring country working on the same project. When INS asked that particular person for the documents, he said he dont have it right now, and don’t know whether they are at home or in his car. Strange thing happened, INS agents let him go. No questioning.
    Nothing. Quite different case for Indians. They preached us that all foreign nationals in US need to carry the passport and all other valid documents
    at ALL TIMES. All foreign nationals means only INDIANS??????

    ENLIGHTEN ME, THE US LAW MAKERS AT CAPITOL. OR EDUCATE

    THE SAN ANTONIO INS AGENTS.

    The agent put a handcuff on me. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t read my rights. He didn’t tell me why he is putting handcuffs on me.

    Then they paraded me along with my team mates outside the building where there was a
    van which is already jam packed with other Indians working at the same building
    including women. We waited for another van to come and pick us in a bitter cold
    weather. when we asked them about waiting inside the building until new van
    comes up because none of us had time to pick up our jackets, the agents started
    making fun of us saying that we were shivering because we are illegal.
    Again lawmakers at Capitol, enlighten me. 

    In this country, No One is GUILTY until convicted.

    INS doesn’t seem to care about US founding fathers intention about this.
    They treated us like common criminals.

    There comes a new van… loaded us, let me say again they loaded us literally into the
    van and followed a convoy of about 3 vans and 5 cars.

    At the beginning they don’t know whom to follow. So they stopped in between on
    the road, started talking with others in the operation on radio. So they decided
    to go the nearby apartment complex where most of the Indians are staying to pick
    up the passports and all the immigration documents Poor Indians incl me,
    thought, they will leave us after they see the docs. Nope.

    They grabbed whatever they can at the apartments. If you have a house wife, they
    didnt spare.  Asked who ever stayed
    at the apartments to get onto the convoy with the handcuffs.
    when somebody asked for bathroom. They asked us to wait until we go to
    INS building which ½ hour away from the base.

    At the INS building: 

    They unloaded us, let me say again UNLOADED like common criminals at the INS office.
    They moved us into the building during that time I saw a bathroom up there, and
    asked the agent to let me go. He said you will have a special bathroom upstairs.
    I didn’t understand what did he mean until they pushed us into a small room
    filled with about 50 people inside and a toilet at a corner in that small room.
    Now I realized that I need to pee in front of 50+ people. Thank god I didn’t
    have a need to the second nature call at that time.

    Then they started calling people one by one for questioning. If you are lucky, you
    get a good agent who will make you let go. 

    It seemed that the agents didn’t prepare much for what to do after we came. They
    started horridly trying to open up the appropriate forms to fill up on the
    computer. Some agents started enquiring other agents, which form to fill. Some
    even looked asking how to print it, how to save it, what template to use , like
    that. I don’t blame them for that. But to fill up a questionnaire of 20+
    questions my agent took 2 hours as I was lucky. Some of other Indians waited for
    4-6 hours for the same process.  It
    looked like their main intention was to put as many people into the jail for the
    night. Because they very well know that the bond office downstairs closes at 4
    PM, and if we cann’t get the bond paper work by that time, we will be spending
    the night in the jail. So they successfully made 19 guys and 4 girls to miss the
    4PM deadline to pay for the bond, and sent us to the Jail.

    Filling
    the questionnaire at the Agent:

    The
    agent asked me whether I need an attorney. I still believed that I will be free
    after couple of questions. So I said I don’t need anybody, and told him that I
    will answer whatever he wants. I’m pretty much confident that I’m not
    illegal.  After couple of questions,
    I asked him what’s going on.

    Then
    he said its not your fault, its happening because of my employer. I didn’t
    understand what he meant, if it is not my fault what THE HECK I’m doing here.
    Then he said, I’m supposed to work in Houston, instead I’m working in San
    Antonio.  I am totally un-aware of
    this law point. Infact, 99% of the consulting people in this LAND OF IMMIGRANTS
    un-aware of this. Because, when my H1 approved, all I got from my employer is
    the approval notice and nothing else. How am I supposed to know what is my work
    address if at all there is a law prohibiting H1 people to work in other cities.
    H1 approval notice doesn’t say anything about this.  and the employer has no reason to give all the paper work to
    the employee. So consulting people never know which address they are authorized
    to work.

    Consulting
    business runs on this principle.

    Work
    assignments are scattered around the country.
    So people like me never will know that there is a law prohibiting H1
    people to work in other cities than the city they authorized to work.
    I told him the same. Then he said if a consulting company wants to send
    employees to different cities the company need to send them an itinerary of the
    employee. Any body want to laugh at this moment, please do so generously. LAW
    MAKERS AT CAPITOL, PLEASE EDUCATE INS SAN ANTONIO AGENTS.

    So
    Finally I realized that I am in trouble because my employer didn’t send the
    INS agent my itinerary and didn’t update the paper work. I didn’t understand
    one thing at this juncture, If the agent knows very well that I didn’t do any
    thing wrong, Then why the hell he is harassing me. I ain’t no criminal, I got
    no criminal record, I have no reason to run away from INS agents.
    Instead, they can go and question the employer for his so called wrong
    doing.

    Any
    way I started believing that moment about the stories I heard about INS.

    So
    he took my finger prints and all the regular stuff, and told me that I am under
    arrest.  Thats when the first time I
    heard a word about arrest.

    Enlighten
    me the law makers in US, is this the typical procedure for an arrest.

    After
    that it is all procedural, they sent us downstairs into a much smaller room, and
    then into the van. The van took us about 80 miles from INS office into some
    correctional facility. I think it is better I stop at this moment. People like
    me….  well educated , well
    respected, no criminal record…. never would have to step into such type of
    facilities. The experience in that facility goes very much graphical in nature
    and not appropriate to describe here. One thing thats the WORST DAY IN MY WHOLE
    LIFE. It all happened because I DIDN’T DO ANY MISTAKE I DIDN’T HAVE ANY
    CRIMINAL RECORD I DIDN’T COMMIT ANY CRIME I DIDN’T VIOLATE ANY IMMIGRATION
    LAW KNOWINGLY.  I NEVER VIOLATED MY
    LEGAL STATUS IN THIS COUNTRY BEFORE.

    EVEN
    THOUGH

    SPENT
    9PM – 4AM DOING THE JAIL PROCEDURES

    WE
    SPENT NIGHT WITH THE HARD CORE CRIMINALS

    WE
    STRIPPED OUR CLOTHES IN FRONT OF 25 PEOPLE.

    WORE
    FILTHY CLOTHING.

    SHARED
    A FILTHY ROOM WITH 8 OTHERS

    WENT
    FOR NATURE CALLS IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE.

    THANK
    YOU VERY MUCH AMERICA FOR THIS TREATMENT FOR BEING A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN

    The
    strange and funniest part here is : Its all happened here in the United States
    of America

    which
    is supposed to be by a land of immigrants where politicians preach about HUMAN
    RIGHTS all the time and the most powerful country on the face of the earth.  Which is making laws at Capitol to bring more Hi-Tech workers
    into the country, where there is a acute shortage of Hi-tech in US. Does INS
    seem to care about the idea behind those laws?
    H1 people are part of the drive that help this country to move into the
    next century, they were part of the successful kicking the butt of Y2K bug out
    of the mankind esp in USA

    Is
    this kind of treatment INS wants to give to the people who are part of helping
    their own country?  I don’t think
    people can doubt INS agent’s honesty in helping their country. Is this
    specific to San Antonio only?  or is
    it a new national trend after Y2K bug free millennium?

    Excerpts
    from my fellow victims experience in this raid:

    You,
    INDIANS, move here. You make more money than me. If I don’t put handcuffs, you
    may grab a pen and kill me. (Reader can Laugh out Loud if you want to) I can’t
    even afford to buy the kind of jacket you are wearing. You people make lot of
    easy money. Why did you come to US?

    Learn “——-“ language if you want to live in Texas.

    Offered
    BEEF burritos knowingly that Indians don’t eat beef.

    Promised
    to bring vegetarian food and gave with meat in it without telling about it.

    Didn’t
    care much about pregnant women who are on H4. Made derogatory comments about
    India. Made fun of Indian Customs. More to follow.

    As
    per INS San Antonio:

    H1
    person is not supposed to work outside the employers company address or in a
    city other than the one mentioned in LCA. If you do so, you are illegal (I
    wonder how many INS offices will follow this rule other than San Antonio office.
    The city where the smallest number of H1 people are residing)

    The
    employer needs to send the employee itinerary to INS if he works outside

    If
    there is a salary rise ( even if it is a single dollar), the employer need to
    file new H1 petition.

    The
    questions or requests to US Govt.

    1.  IS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NO MORE A LAND OF IMMIGRANTS?

    2.  IS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NO MORE INTERESTED IN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS?

    3. IS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NO MORE INTERESTED IN HIGHLY QUALIFIED PEOPLE?

    *************************************** 

    Source:
    The above message was posted to India Network by Sri Atluri Phani and we thank
    him for bringing the information to our attention.

    From:
    Atluri Phani <Phani.Atluri@afpc.randolph.af.mi

    Subject:
    ins_raid_victim Story

    Date:
    Mon, 31 Jan 2000 16:53:36 -060

    X-Mailer:
    Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21

    This
    is the one of my friend Story, can you pass it to every one, can you

    take any action in this one

    Gracias

    PHANI
    ATLURI

    CIVMOD
    REPORTS

    RANDOLPH
    AIR FORCE BASE

    WORK
    pH:(210) 565 2698


    Victim Victim <ins_raid_victim@yahoo.com wrote:


    American dream on hold for Indians Couple arrested in base raid last week





    American dream on hold for Indians Couple arrested in base raid last week

    American dream on hold for Indians Couple arrested in
    base raid last week

    (Last updated Thursday, Jan 27, 2000)

    By Sig Christenson Express-News Staff Writer

    Venugopal Sabbani and his wife, Rajshree Row, now five
    months pregnant, came to the United States to work and, perchance, to dream.

    But their tranquil, relatively obscure lives as computer
    programmers at Randolph AFB abruptly ended last week when they and 38 other
    Indian nationals were arrested by U.S. immigration agents.

    The Immigration and Naturalization Service raid at the
    Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph turned their American dream into a living
    nightmare, one in which the fear of deportation is punctuated by haunting
    memories of being handcuffed as co-workers looked on.

    "I have done nothing wrong here," Sabbani, 31,
    said, repeating it at times like a mantra. "I have nothing against the
    country.
    "I like the country."

    The INS has not accused Sabbani, his wife or the other
    workers jailed in the Randolph raid of knowingly being involved in a type of
    visa fraud dubbed "body shopping."

    The agency alleges that two Houston-based firms
    subcontracting for AFPC’s prime contractor on two computer projects may have
    broken the law by claiming they’d place the workers in Houston, then later
    shifting them to San Antonio.
    The companies,
    Frontier Consulting Inc. and Softech Consulting Inc., deny violating any laws,
    Alamo City attorney Joe De Mott said.
    He said the
    dispute centers over whether the firms, which helped the Indians obtain visas
    allowing them to work in the United States, were their employers, and whether
    the firms skirted federal rules requiring Labor Department approval to move the
    Indians to San Antonio.

    It was the Indians, however, who were taken to an INS
    detention center, where 27 later were freed on $5,000 bond. Another 13 were
    released on their own recognizance pending further investigation.
    They
    are likely to face court hearings next week that could lead to their
    deportation.
    It’s a tough turn for the programmers,
    who were brought to the United States on behalf of high-tech firms desperately
    in search of talented, degreed professionals.

    "We felt so humiliated when they handcuffed us in
    front of our fellow colleagues and paraded us down through the hallways looking
    for their van," a group of the Indians stated in an e-mail message sent to
    the San Antonio Express-News.
    The group members
    declined to identify themselves or submit to an interview, but their outrage was
    echoed Thursday by Indian Ambassador Naresh Chandra.
    "In
    India, we are not used to handcuffing decent people," he said by phone,
    explaining that such restraints are only used if a person is a flight risk.
    "These are not pickpockets, thieves or infiltrators. They are people who
    are doing their work."

    Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Karl
    Inderfurth this week told Chandra he regretted the incident and expects a report
    from the INS, State Department spokesman Len Scensny said.
    Thomas
    Homan, the INS assistant district director of criminal investigations, defended
    handcuffing the workers, saying it’s required by policy. He also noted that
    eight INS agents, all wearing business suits with their sidearms hidden, were on
    hand to arrest the programmers.

    As AFPC began the week with its own investigation, 13 of
    the Indians returned to work. Several, though, called in sick Thursday, reducing
    the number of Indian programmers there from a high of 76 to 25, said Lee Allen,
    a spokesman for ACS Government Services Group.
    ACS
    is the prime contractor.
    "I think they’re
    scared," Allen said.

    "They want to fight," De Mott said.
    "They’re a little angry, a little apprehensive."
    Sabbani
    and his wife just would like to go to work. The rent on their one-bedroom
    apartment in Universal City, $505, is due Tuesday. Then there’s the $400 monthly
    payment on his 1999 Toyota Corolla due Feb. 18. He and his wife went grocery
    shopping Thursday and have enough food to last a week or so.
    They
    are digging into their savings, but will be broke in a month or two without
    help. ACS’ Lee said he "could imagine" the subcontractors were
    arranging to help the families but conceded, "I haven’t any clue."

    Sabbani, in turn, is just as clueless about how things
    soured so fast.
    "We have been having a normal
    life," he said. "We’re expecting a baby and were happy, and suddenly
    this happens."
    Sabbani’s sojourn to America
    began with a phone call from Frontier in May 1997. Holding master’s degrees in
    computer applications and business administration, he won a job offer after
    fielding questions from his house in Hyderabad, a city in southern India.

    Once in America, he began working at Randolph as a software
    trouble-shooter. Rajshree Row, who has three master’s degrees, has worked at
    AFPC for three months.
    Drawn to America because
    "this is the Number One country," a place of opportunity and myriad
    personal freedoms, Sabbani is fascinated by its history and heroes. He has read
    of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and said he had dreamed of staying
    here after his six-year visa expired.
    But now
    Sabbani and his wife spend their days at their apartment where he reads
    "The Winning Attitude," a motivational book.

    Both wait. And hope. "We
    don’t like to sit at home," he said. "That’s the worst part."

    Source: San Antonio Express News