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Immigration Papers: Is It Really That Hard To Get Them in US?

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In 2009, after struggling for about 8 years to travel out of Kenya, I finally got that elusive student visa. I had been denied visa 4 times at the UK embassy. I remember sometimes spending some nights sleeping outside the British High Commission offices in Upper hill- Nairobi, in order to make the cut for early morning visa appointment only to be denied after 2 minutes of interview. That was a very painful experience.

When I finally got the approval for US International student visa, It was a big relief. I could not hide my joy. I couldn’t wait to land in America. I quit my teller job at Equity bank almost 4 months before departure in order to “prepare” myself for the impending travel.

Fast forward, I arrived in the US, graduated with a master’s degree, but I had a big worry to deal with…. Immigration papers after graduation. As a non-STEM degree holder, I had only 1 year of work authorization post-graduation. Going back was not really an option for me, but I needed to be with the right immigration papers if I really wanted to stay here.

This is the predicament a lot of people find themselves in when they land in this country whether on a B-1/B-2 or F-1/J-1 non-immigrant visas. Prior to coming here, most of us usually have no idea about the impending immigration papers challenge waiting for us once we land into this country. We are usually just happy to have finally gotten that non-immigrant visa that would enable us to come to the states.

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In the US, it is estimated that there are about 12 Million undocumented immigrants. A big chunk of those did not cross the border illegally, but actually came through the airports and were cleared by the US border protection and customs agencies. Simply meaning they have overstayed their visas. It is very easy to find yourself in such a situation if you do not plan ahead. To happily live in this country, you have to be on the right side of the immigration law. A few missteps and you could find yourself back to your country of origin.

Every year, the US government gives away 140,000 employment-based greencards to skilled & unskilled immigrants who want to stay in this country. These are shared equally across the world and each country is allocated about 9,800 visas.

In addition, the US government gives a total of 85,000 H-1B non-immigrant work visas. 65,000 of those go to those with an undergraduate degree and 20,000 to those with a master’s degree from a US Institution. One of the most interesting statistic is that, majority of us Africans don’t even try to get any of these visas that are allocated to us, yet we struggle so much trying to find ways of living here permanently through other means.70% of these visas go to Indians.

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One of the big contributing factors  is because we tend to think that we do not qualify. We simply do not do our homework well. These employment based visas are given to those with skills in the fields where there is a shortage of American citizen workforce. The catch for E-B greencards and H1-B is that you must find an employer who is willing to sponsor you….and there are plenty of them especially if you are in the IT industry.

For those in America on F-1 visa, you are the ideal candidates for employment based greencards and H-1B visas. I was lucky to get into the IT industry and I got my papers through employment, so I have a good knowledge of the situation out there for the IT professionals. To get into IT you don’t need an IT degree, but you need a degree that is closely tied to IT.I personally hold an MBA and a BCom undergraduate degree and was able to get into the Industry by training on IT skills that are highly marketable in the American workforce today. I trained after I graduated, after observing closely what Indians were doing. Majority of Indians get immigration papers through employment.

If you are out there as a smart F-1 student, please make an effort of trying to find employers that can file for your immigration papers, and don’t just go for any Job after graduation. It is doable. You just need to do your homework. Most Indian-owned consulting companies will file your papers with no questions asked as long as you have the right skills.

READ ALSO:   MUST READ: US Gvt explains what happens to Green Card Holders who take long trips overseas [VIDEO]

By Bob Mwiti

About me, I am the founder and managing director of Appstec America LLC-A consulting company that helps immigrants find opportunities that are abundant here in the United States. For enquiries about my IT training programs, you can reach out to me at info@appstecamerica.com or call 813 573  5619 ext 402

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Diaspora

GOFUNDME: Kindly help Jackie Koli bury her mom and get justice

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Jackie Koli’s mom, Beatrice Wanjiku Gitura (pictured above), was murdered in cold blood after she went missing on Friday, May 22, 2020.
On Saturday May 23rd, her body was found in her car a few Kilometers from Embu Town.  Her throat had been slit, hands tied with a rope and a piece of cloth tied across her mouth. It was double tragedy since the sister to her mom (Jackie’s auntie) passed on the same day- Friday morning after battling with cancer.Jackie, an only child, needs our financial support as she prepares to bury her mom and seek justice. Any help will be highly appreciated.

Kindly donate here via Gofundme

READ ALSO:   EXPLAINED: Everything you need to know about applying for 2021 US Green Card [VIDEO]
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VIDEO: Mom to Kenyan lady in US murdered in cold blood

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With great sadness we wish to inform you of the sudden and unexpected passing of Jackie Koli‘s mom, Beatrice Wanjiku Gitura.

She went missing on Friday May 22 and later found murdered in her car. Her throat had been slit, hands tied with a rope and a piece of cloth tied across her mouth.

The body was in the passenger’s seat and the car was abandoned on the roadside. Beatrice, 57, went missing on Friday after leaving work. Her body was found in Njukiri, Embu, about 20km from her residence.

The late Beatrice Wanjiku

It’s a double tragedy since the sister to her mom (Jackie’s auntie) passed on the same day- Friday morning after battling with cancer.
Jackie, an only child, needs our financial support as she prepares to bury her mom and seek justice. Any help will be highly appreciated.
Jackie Koli lives in Seattle, Washington State.

Kindly make your donation through either of these channels:

GoFundMe-Help Jackie bury her mom and seek justice

CashApp:

253-245-6057 – ($PriscillaMuiruri)
206-372-2899 – ($Jacklinekoli)
Zelle: 206-372-2899 – (Koli Ann)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

READ ALSO:   Trump now makes it harder for Immigrants to get Green Cards and deny citizenship to those who "can't support themselves"
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Diaspora remittances decline by Sh2.2b in April

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Money coming in from Kenyans living and working abroad dropped by Sh2.2 billion in April to total $208.2 million (Sh22.3 billion).
This is compared to Sh24.5 billion received in March, according to the latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). It was the lowest monthly remittance since February last year when Kenyans overseas sent back home $199 million (Sh21.2 billion at today’s exchange rate).
However, the cumulative inflows in the 12 months to April were higher at $2,801 million (Sh299 billion) compared to $2,750 million (Sh294 billion) over a similar period last year.
“Remittance flows from the US and Canada (contributing about 58 per cent of all remittances in April) remained largely unchanged from March, while inflows from UK, Germany, South Africa, EAC region, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia declined, reflecting the impact of Covid-19,” said CBK in its weekly bulletin.
CBK expects the Covid-19 pandemic which has disrupted economic activities around the world, to curtail the remittances, which have recently been critical pillars of the country’s exchange rate.
Foreign exchange
In March, diaspora remittances generally went up but inflows from South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius and Oman declined, reflecting the impact of the coronavirus disease on a critical source of foreign exchange for the country.
Nearly 40 million people in the US have filed for unemployment as Covid-19 wipes out livelihoods in the world’s largest economy, and where a lot of Kenyans live and work. So far, remittances from these regions have continued to flow in steadily. However, the tide of money from North America and Europe will not last forever as the pandemic hits these regions hard.
An article by CNBC showed that 70 per cent of companies in Dubai expect to go out of business in the next six months, a situation that would affect a lot of Kenyans working in the Gulf states.
Economists have noted that most Africans in the diaspora are employed in jobs that do not have safety nets, and are not eligible for the welfare cash that a lot of industrialised countries have provided for businesses and households in distress.
Currently, most of those abroad might have raised their remittances due to increased distress calls from relatives and friends back home who are feeling the heat of the pandemic.
Many Africans working overseas have either been laid off or sent on unpaid leave and are now living on their savings. Diaspora remittances have become Kenya’s key source of foreign exchange reserves, more than even tea, coffee and tourism.
In the region, the World Bank expects diaspora remittances to decline sharply.
Expected to drop
“In 2020, remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries are expected to drop by around 20 per cent to $445 billion (Sh47.6 trillion), from $554 billion (Sh59.2 trillion) in 2019,” said the global lender in a new report on remittances and migration.
“In the midst of this sharp decline, the relative importance of remittance flows as a source of external financing for low- and middle-income countries is expected to rise.” Nigeria remains the largest recipient of remittances in sub-Saharan Africa and is the sixth-largest beneficiary among low- to middle-income countries, with an estimated amount of $23.8 billion (Sh2.5 trillion) received in 2019, an increase of more than half a billion dollars compared to 2018.
Ghana and Kenya are ranked a distant second and third in the region, with $3.5 billion (Sh374 billion) and $2.8 billion (Sh299 billion) received, respectively.

READ ALSO:   US welcomed 756,000 new Citizens last year, set to welcome 34,000 this month
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