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PERM Processing Labor processing through PERM

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2013, 05:39 PM
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zanyguy can only hope to improve
Thumbs up Indian CA's (Chartered Accountants) can get EB2!

Hi Fellow IV'ers,

This week, on Monday, my GC journey finally came to an end with the receipt of an automated message from USCIS with the 3 golden words: "Card Production Ordered".

It was one of most joyous days of our lives. I wanted to share my experience for the benefit of other filers, especially those who have a B.Com. (Bachelors of Commerce) degree and an Associate / Fellow Chartered Accountant qualification from ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) also commonly known as CA ACA or FCA.

As many of you may have been informed by employers, attorneys as well as bulletin boards, that the only route to get a GC is through EB-3 which is currently languishing in 2003 PD.

Well, either they are all misinformed or I was very lucky - but I was able to get my GC under EB2!

The most important step is to get a really good attorney who can give you at least 50% chances (and of course having an employer who is willing to give flexibility to their employees in terms of attorney selection - most small to mid-sized companies / start-ups should be able to do that). We were lucky enough to be able to go with one of the most famous Law Firms.

And then to get a really good educational evaluation done by none other than AACRAO. This if the official body for evaluating foreign educational credentials and is pretty much the only agency whose certificate the USCIS accepts. Given the proper information (including all the B.Com. and CA marksheets and degree certificates) they should be able to equate our qualification to a single-source US Bachelors degree. Having a good academic record helps. This is the most important hurdle to be crossed, and once this is done, everything else including PERM and I-140 should be straightforward.

As a backup, those of you who meet the eligibility criteria under EB2 Exceptional Ability will have that to fall back on. It is ideal to meet as many of the criteria as possible (10+ years of work ex, salary, professional group affiliation, etc.) so that in case EB2-advanced degree doesn't work out, this is second fall-back option.

Feel free to share any questions that you have and I will try to answer...
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2013, 08:57 PM
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seshansrini is on a distinguished road
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Hi Zanyguy,

First of all my hearty congratulations on your getting GC.

I appreciate your intent to encourage people with similar education background to give a try for EB2. I have the same credentials as yours (B.com followed by chartered accountancy certification) and have post CA qualifcation experience in finance/accounting managerial functions of 15 years. Since the company lawyers were not confident, we sought EB3 classification and got the approval. PERM has the following words in H-14.
"Employer will accept any combination of education and or related professional experience, license,designation or other credentials found by recognized credentials evaluator as equivalent to a US bachelors degree in Business administration, Finance, Economics or related field.

Job title is "Manager- Finance/Accounting" and primary requirement in H-4 is mentioned as "Bachelors" in Accounting,Finance,Economics or related field with 8 years post qualification experience. H-8 (acceptability of alternate combination of education and experience ) is answered as "NO".

Credentials evaluation refers to AACRAO EDGE entry stating that "passing of ICAI final examination is comparable to US Bachelors degree"

Please advise if the above PERM could be used to apply I-140 again seeking EB2 classification.

Thanks.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2013, 07:38 PM
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Hi seshansrini,

I am not an expert on your particular situation and it would be best to go with what an experienced attorney says, but having said that, I will give you the relevant facts from my case to help you decide:

H.3 Job title: Business Analysis Manager, IT
4. Education: Bachelor's
4B. Major Field of Study: Management, Finance, Accountancy, Bus. Admin or related
6. Experience in the job offered required for the job? NO
7 and 8 (alternate field of study / combination of education and experience acceptable) NO

Purely based on the AACRAO Edge credential evaluation, I would say in layman's terms that your application should be qualified for EB2. After mine came through successfully, I read somewhere else as well that nowadays CA's are routinely being accepted under EB2 without issues.

Here is my Edge evaluation for your reference:
"... the applicant also received Associate Membership in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. This membership is based on a series of examinations and is comparable to a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from a regionally-accredited college or university in the United States. Please note that this comparability is not based on the combination of the previous study, but is an independent qualification."
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2013, 08:16 PM
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Hello Zanyguy,

Thanks a lot for your reply.

Your observation that "nowadays CAs are routinely being accepted under EB2" makes sense, considering the fact that even by EB3 was approved under "Professionals" sub-group. The wording of "Bachelor's degree requirement" is same for both EB2 and EB3 professionals category and hence there is no reason why USCIS would not approve an EB2 petition if the academic credentials was acceptable for EB3 professionals classification.

Let me speak to my company's attorneys again and see if i can convince them to try for an EB2.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2013, 08:50 PM
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Hello Zanyguy,

There was a type in my earlier post. I meant to say "even my EB3 was approved under Professionals category".

It would be a great help if you could let me know if "combination of education acceptable to employer" language was used in H-14 of your PERM. In order to protect the PERM as back-up for an EB3 petition, we used this language in H-14. But eventually due to 6th year timelines pressure, we ended up filing i-140 under EB3 in order to get the 7th year extension. (since denial of i-140 would have forced me to leave the country). Now my concern is whether the inclusion of this language would in any way throw the job out of EB2 purview. Please share your views.

Thanks.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2013, 12:59 PM
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H-14 in my PERM just has "N/A".

I am really not sure about what the implications of the text in your PERM would be, sorry, would be wrong for me to misguide you. An informed attorney should be able to guide you, or maybe some other experts on this forum.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2013, 02:43 PM
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Hello Zanyguy,

Thanks for your reply.

Your original post and your subsequent reply posts are good enough for me to try to convince employer/attorneys to give a shot at EB2.

You mentioned that you read somewhere that of late USCIS has started accepting CA qualification for EB2 purposes. If possible, please send me details on where to find such success stories. This way I can build a strong case before I speak to my company attorneys.

Thanks once again for your encouraging post.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2013, 07:15 PM
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zanyguy can only hope to improve
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I am not able to locate it now, but if you search with a various combination of keywords, you should get something.

Most importantly the problem is that when people's cases get rejected or go to appeal, they are active on the forums. But people who successfully get their GC's seem to go all quiet, and withdraw completely from the forums.

Unfortunately, that may be one reason we are not able to find much success stories. But if I can get it, surely you also stand a good chance. Good luck!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2013, 08:50 PM
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Hello Zanyguy,

I fully agree with your statement that mostly negative outcomes get posted in forums .It is indeed rare to see people like you sharing positive outcomes. With due respect to those who got what they needed, it is quite natural that they carry on with other things in life and do not think much about what they have already got. To be honest, it has been awhile since I have been to H1B discussion forums.

Just one last question. I see your priority date as Oct 2006 in your profile. Was your EB2 1-140 approved sometime in 2006-2007 or you ported from EB3 to EB2 in the recent past? I keep hearing that USCIS move its goal post back and forth quite often and hence this question. I am primarily interested in knowing what USCIS' position is now in 2013. If you don't mind I would also like to know the service center where your EB2 petition was approved.

Once again my best wishes on your securing the much awaited GC. Wish you and your family the very best.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10-17-2013, 01:16 PM
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Yes Seshansrini, my case was ported recently from EB3 to EB2. It was originally filed in 2006 under EB3 with my employer at that time. Then when I changed employers, we re-filed under EB2 and ported the original priority date over. All my cases have been filed / approved in Nebraska Service Center (all the receipt nos. started with LIN).
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 10-27-2013, 02:51 PM
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Hello Zanyguy,

I spoke to my company attorneys on the possibility of EB2 and unfortunately they still believe that a 3 years bachelors degree followed by CA certification is not eligible for EB2 classification.

On a different note, may I know in which sub-classification (skilled or Professional) your original EB3 was approved in 2006? You will have the sections either 203(b)(3)(A)(i) or 203(b)(3)(A)(ii) mentioned on the approval notice.

My EB3 approval notice shows section 203(b)(3)(A)(ii) which is "professional" sub-class. I am only trying to understand the porting pattern (from EB3 professional to EB2) or (from EB3 Skilled to EB2) of your case. Another thing is to get some idea on the approach of USCIS in handling EB3 cases of Indian Chartered Accountants with 3 years bachelors degrees.

My apologies if I am asking too many questions. Please bear with me.

Thanks.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 10-28-2013, 03:46 AM
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No problem Seshanshrini, and I'd definitely like to be of any help that I can. My prior I-140 approval notice has the wording "Skilled Worker or Professional, Sec. 203 (b) (3) (A) (i) or (ii)." So it is not very clear, but I remember my attorney telling me that there is no difference between them and in fact we would go with Skilled Worker to be on the safer side. This older attorney firm along with my previous employer wanted to play it on the ultra-conservative side.

Also remember that the employer has nothing to gain from moving you to EB2 classification (with EB3, you will be their bonded laborer for a longer time). In fact, many a times the game is rigged against you, by employers and attorneys acting in collusion to push you down to EB3.

The key is if you can get a educational credential evaluation done by AACRAO Edge certifying that the CA is equivalent to a single-source bachelor's degree, then they should not be able to deny you EB2. The only problem is I don't know if we as individuals can approach the AACRAO Edge, or it is only lawyers who can do that.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 10-28-2013, 09:28 AM
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Hello Zanyguy,

Thanks for your reply.

In my case, I don't think the lawyers/employer have any issues with EB2 processing. It is just that the plain language of the regulation (203(b)(2)) that makes anyone believe that it is unlikely. And all the AAO decisions I see on USCIS site affirms this conclusion.

Only thing that I am hoping for (and that is what your case demonstrates) is that may be USCIS look at the petitions on a case to case basis.

I believe that one can directly get an evaluation done by EDGE AACRAO with a specific note that it is for immigration purpose and not for MS enrollments.

I also need to check if my approval under EB3 professionals category is "by mistake". Will keep you posted.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2013, 07:19 PM
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Hello Zanyguy,

I have been talking to the employer's attorneys on the probability of EB2 classification. They still believe that it is unlikely. If you dont mind, can you provide details of the law firm that handled your case? This way, I can speak to them and get a better idea on this subject. You may email me at seshansrini@yahoo.com

Thanks.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2013, 02:58 PM
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Sent.
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