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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.

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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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Kenyans in the diaspora sent home ksh280 billion in 2019 

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By JUDITH GICOBI

According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) new annual record in 2019, Kenyans living and working abroad sent home approximately $2.7 billion (KSh280 billion).

The amount shows a 3.7 percent growth compared to the previous year, whose remittances roughly $2.6 billion (KSh272.3 billion). The lowest remittance was in 2015.

A weekly report bulleting from CBK that was released on Friday shows money sent by Kenyans in the diaspora increase to $250.3 million (KSh25.2 billion) in December 2019. An increase from $218.8 million (KSh22 billion) in November. 

Kenyans in North America accounted for the most substantial part of the remittance in December at 50 percent. Following closely was Europe at 20 percent and 30 percent from the rest of the world.

However, the 2019 total remittances did not meet the World bank’s target of Sh285.5 billion. The target amount would have achieved a five percent growth. “The rate of growth of remittance inflows will rise by just 5 percent compared to a 39 percent growth between 2017 and 2018,’’ World Bank said in December.

World Bank sees the reduced growth in diaspora remittances is due to the increasing economic concerns in the US and the United Kingdom, where a recession may be setting in despite strong employment data.

”With the world slipping into a recession, it is feared that remittance inflows may suffer as companies’ layoff staff in the developed world even as employers and employees adopt austerity measures,” World Bank’s report said.

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Diaspora

Miguna Miguna urges Kenyans in diaspora to stage protest against Uhuru as he visits the UK

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Kenyan-Canadian lawyer, Miguna Miguna, is urging Kenyans in the United Kingdom to partake in a protest against President Kenyatta as he plans to visit the country this week.

Miguna, through his twitter page on Saturday, addressed his supporters, asking them to stage a protest where President Kenyatta will be staying during his visit to the UK. The protest is to demand that the president obeys court rules requiring the government to allow him to enter the country. 

“Red Alert! Notice to all Patriots in London! Uhuru Kenyatta will be in London, UK, from January 20, 2020,” wrote Miguna.

He added: “He will be shuttling between the Town House located at 66 Lowndes Square, Kensington, and 10 Downing Street. Find him. Show him that No One is Above the Law!” 

The president is set to attend the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London from Monday, January 20th, former Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma confirmed.

“Arrived in London, ahead of H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta who, at the invitation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will join other leaders for the Africa-UK investment summit on 20th January 2020,” Dr. Juma wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Miguna is currently stuck in Germany after his return to Kenya on January 7 th was rendered impossible by the Kenyan Government that issued a red alert warning airlines not to fly Miguna to Kenya or any African nation. 

READ ALSO:   USCIS Announces Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Opportunities
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Diaspora

VIDEO: New laws which could have US Green Card holders deported take effect as thousands rush to acquire Citizenship

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If you are a Green Card holder in the US and you  think you can do whatever you like without running into  the risk of deportation, then think again. There are some new laws going into effect that could get permanent residents deported.

Under the newa Trump rules, a simple mistake is no longer an excuse and simply not knowing what the new rules are could get someone holding a green card kicked out of the United States for good. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has instituted some new rules that will take effect in 2020.

Some of the new green card rules for 2020 which could get you in trouble if not obeyed are:
  •  Failing to admit you’re an immigrant on your tax returns or failing to report some of your income could get you deported
  • Men between the ages of 18 and 25 who hold a green card must register with the U.S. Selective Service; failure to do so could lead to deportation
  • An extended overseas vacation could cost someone their green card – it could be considered “abandonment” of the green card. WATCH:

 

Young men between the ages of 18 and 25 who hold a green card and do not register with the Selective Service could also be deported.  Even a vacation overseas could cost someone their green card.

READ ALSO:   USCIS Announces Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Opportunities
Some are no longer willing to take the chance by simply holding a green card, which must be renewed every ten years, and instead they’re becoming U.S. citizens to avoid deportation.
She says calling these infractions a mistake is no longer an option.

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