Introduction: Sushil Adhikari

Mr. Sushil P. Adhikari, upon completion of Law Degree from Nepal Law Campus, established Maitri Law Firm in Bagbazar, Kathmandu in 1991. He is still an Active Member of Nepal Bar Association. His four years stint at the Central Bureau of Statistics proved advantageous in his legal career. He acknowledges Mr. Khagendra GC, a lawyer himself by profession and a close family friend for inspiring him to be what he is today. Mr. GC is also another successful Nepali Lawyer in USA. He completed Master’s of Law in Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, Texas in 1998 earning a Master’s Degree in Comparative & International Law from SMU. Immediately after the completion of his studies in 1998, he got affiliated with Pant Law Firm followed by the Law Office of Michael J. Williams PC (Professional Corporation) where he is still working as a Legal Consultant. His expertise ranges from various types of Immigration Visas to other Company & Corporation Law like Contracts & Foreign Investments. His clientele includes 90% of Nepalis and 10% of non-immigrants from Liberia, South Africa, India and other countries. At least 3 cases a week comes his way and between 1998 to April 2005, he has handled as many cases as 1500. He is a busy legal consultant and to deal with his busy schedule he has four attorneys working for him.

Visa Waiting times in US Embassies Worldwide

Here’s a link to a site that allows people to see when the exact waiting period for visa interview is, in all US embassies:

http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/tempvisitors_wait.php

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Time Is Running Out For H-1B Visa Cap To Be Raised–Or Is It?




The current cap of 65,000 H-1B visas for foreign workers—including techies—isn’t likely to be raised before Oct.1, the start of fiscal 2007. But that’s not stopping some American programmers from worrying or tech employers from lobbying.

Mid-term election campaigning is going into full throttle, and because the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives don’t agree on many big, hot-potato immigration issues, it’s unlikely Congress will pass a comprehensive–and controversial– immigration reform bill anytime soon. For one thing, Senate and House calendars are full, say Washington insiders.

But despite their differences, the Senate and House immigration bills both have common provisions to raise the number of H-1B visas allotted annually to foreign workers from 65,000 to 115,000, with options to increase the cap by 20% yearly, based on employers’ needs.

Those increase proposals are also included in separate legislation introduced in May by Sen. John Cronyn (R-Tex.), whose “Securing Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership,” or “Skil Bill,” focuses only on H-1B and green-card– or permanent residency–reform, and not on other sticky immigration issues, such as border security.

“The senator would like to see the [Skil] bill move, but the calendar is quite full right now,” says a Cronyn spokesman.

Nonetheless, those bills’ common H-1B-related provisions are fueling uneasiness among some U.S. tech workers and hopefulness among vendors, even though time seems to be running out for passage of a large immigration reform bill by current members of Congress.

“Sometimes we think these things are dead, and then someone slips something through at 5 pm on a Friday,” says Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild, an American IT worker advocacy group that opposes raising the H-1B cap. “I’m worried they’ll stick these provisions onto another bill without a hearing,” he says.

Indeed, it’s still possible that Congress will pass provisions as part of another bill or as separate legislation to raise the H-1B cap during a lame duck session before new members are sworn in next January, depending on the outcome of the elections, says Microsoft director of federal government affairs Jack Krumholtz.

“There’s still a window of opportunity Congress will pass H-1B and green card reform post-election,” says Krumholtz. Microsoft and other tech vendors will continue “to push for high-skill relief” by lobbying for increases in the annual cap of H-1B visas and green-cards, which allow foreign workers to work permanently in the U.S.

At Microsoft, “we have a couple thousand open technology positions that we’re not able to fill,” including development positions, says Krumholtz. “It’s getting harder and harder to find people,” he says. “There’s increasing pressure to look for other avenues,” including doing work outside the U.S. if talent can’t be found here, he says.

And despite recent layoffs in the tech industry—including Intel’s announcement this week that it’s eliminating 10,500 jobs—the specific talent Microsoft is looking for is “apples and oranges” compared to jobs being shed, Krumholtz says. “The jobs we’re looking to fill are not just IT engineers,” although Microsoft might call them that or “developers” internally,” he says. Microsoft is seeking “top computer scientists” with advanced degrees and the “latest training and skill sets,” he says.

Each year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services begin accepting petitions on April 1 for H-1B visas issued in the next fiscal year. For the last couple of years, the U.S. had received enough petitions for the annual allotment of 65,000 H-1B visas months before the new fiscal year begins. For fiscal 2007 beginning Oct 1, the U.S. hit its H-1B visa cap in late May 2006, about two months after the government began accepting requests for the petitions on April 1.

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Visa Waiting time in Kathmandu

Here’s a link to a site that allows people to see when the exact waiting period for visa interview is, in all US embassies:

http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/tempvisitors_wait.php

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Condolence: Tribuite to Late Dr. Gopal Sharma, Ph.D.

ANLUS NEPAL

Sad demise of Professor Dr. Gopal Sharma Ph.D.

Please join us in expressing our deepest condelence at this hour to the sad demise of our beloved law professor Dr. Gopal Sharma Ph. D.

It has been notified to ANLUS that Dr. Sharma passed away last night in hi own room. Details are yet to ome. We will update you with the latest on this.
Dr. Sharma will live for years to come within the hearts of his students. He taught International Law in Nepal Law Campus. He is also decorated as the forst Ph.D. in Law from Nepal. Dr. Sharma had a pure dream of establishing a national law library starting with his own personal contribution of books and literature. Dr. Sharma wanted to establish a Law Foundation that would assist law students gain global level legal education.
During his last years, he was deviated towards astrology and was keenly observing astrology, hindu ‘tithis’ and studying some selected individuals.
He always believed in ‘simple living and high thinking’. Those who have visited his room have been stunned by the simple lifestyle and his dedication towards law and leagl development.

May his soul rest in peace.

You can email your condolence and expressions to anlusnepal@gmail.com

For updates:

www.anlus.wordpress.com
As stated by our correspondent and associate member Advocate Rabin K.C. from Nepal 17:30 PST.

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H Visa and Nurses.

Temporary workers:

Professionals, agricultural, seasonal or trainees H-1B visa (Speciality Occupation) The H-1B visa enables professionals in “specialty occupations” to make a valuable contribution to the American economy. A maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas are issued every year. The H-1B visa is issued for up to three years but may be extended. This provides a maximum stay of six years. The H1-B visa holder can apply for a Green Card if a company wants to sponsor his/her application. The H-1B visa is available for individuals who are coming to the U.S. temporarily to work in a “specialty occupation” or as a fashion model. A “specialty occupation” is defined by law as an occupation requiring specialized knowledge normally acquired through obtaining a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. Generally, to obtain an H-1B visa, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent or education, training, and on-the-job experience that are equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. To get an H-1B visa, you need a specific job offer from a qualified employer in the U.S with H-1B status. Unlike most other temporary visas, you may apply for an H-1B visa even if you have plans or have taken preliminary steps to settle permanently in the U.S. When approval of H-1B petition is revoked on the basis of fraud or the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, one number shall be restored to H-1B cap in the fiscal year in which the petition is revoked, regardless of the fiscal year in which the application was actually approved. If you plan to work for multiple employers, either full time or part time, each employer must file separate H-1B petition.

H-1C Visa (Working Nurses)

The H1C visa is for nurses who wish to work in health professional shortage areas. Only 500 H1C visas are granted annually. The visa is valid for three years and cannot be extended. In order to qualify for the H1C visa, the nurse must be licensed or have obtained a nursing degree in the US and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Since the H1C visa is in such short supply, most nurses choose to skip the H1C visa and apply directly for the nurse green card. Spouses and children of H1C visa holders may enter and remain in the US in H4 status. H4 visa holders may attend school in the US but cannot accept employment. What are the requirements for obtaining an H1C Visa? To qualify for the H1C visa, a nurse must have a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the country where he/she obtained his/her nursing education, or have received nursing education in the US; have passed an appropriate examination (determined by the DHHS), or have a full and unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse in the state of intended employment; and be fully qualified and eligible under the state laws and regulations of the state of intended employment to practice as a registered nurse immediately upon admission to the US.

H 2 Visa (Agriculture Visa)

The H-2 visa category is divided into 2 subcategories H-2A & H-2B. Both subcategories require your employer to show that your services are needed on a temporary basis. The H-2A visa allows you to come to the U.S. temporarily to perform agricultural-related work. To get an H-2A visa, you need a specific job offer from a qualified employer in the U.S. With H-2A status, you are allowed to remain in the U.S. for a maximum of 3 years, including any extensions. The H-2B visa allows you to come to the U.S. to perform temporary or seasonal work. The work may be either skilled or unskilled, but it must be temporary in nature. Unlike an H-1B visa that requires a college degree, an H-2B visa does not have such a requirement. Individuals in the entertainment industry or athletes coming to the U.S. who do not qualify for an O visa or a P visa may be eligible for an H-2B visa. To get an H-2B visa, you need a specific job offer from a qualified employer in the U.S. With H-2B status, you are allowed to remain in the U.S. for a maximum of 3 years, including any extensions.

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O-1 Visa – Alien with Extraordinary Abilities

O-1 status is only provided to people with extraordinary abilities.

O-1 Visa is Suitable For:
1. Foreign nationals who have received major prizes or awards or other recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of arts, sciences, education, business or athletics and with a job offer from a U.S. company
2. Foreign nationals who have produced original scientific or scholarly contributions in the academic fields and with a job offer from a U.S. company
3.Artists and entertainers of extraordinary ability affiliated with motion picture or television industry
4.U.S. companies to hire foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the field of arts, sciences, education, business or athletics Read the rest of this entry »

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Immigration’s Latest Debate: Is U.S. Big Enough?

By JUNE KRONHOLZ, Wall Street Journal
July 11, 2006; Page A5

Two’s company, but what’s a crowd?

The latest point of debate between supporters and opponents of the Senate’s expansive immigration bill is whether the country, with 3.5 million square miles of land, has room for more people — or whether it is already too crowded.

The Senate bill and a competing enforcement-only measure in the House are stalled as the two bodies hold hearings around the country this summer. But as passed in May, the Senate measure would legalize millions of illegal immigrants and allow their families to join them in the U.S. It also would admit hundreds of thousands of temporary workers each year and would more than quadruple the number of jobs-based permanent visas available annually.

Immigration supporters say the U.S. needs a steady supply of workers to offset its falling birth rate, and many demographers say the country can absorb more people. “Will we run out of space? It seems unlikely,” says Kenneth Prewitt, a former director of the U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S. population is expected to hit 300 million in October, an increase of 19 million people since 2000 and almost 100 million since 1970. Even so, that averages only one person for every 7.6 acres of U.S. land area. But those who favor limiting immigration say that huge new flows of foreigners will add to urban sprawl, strain public services and put new demands on limited natural resources. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Legal Outsourcing the New Gold Rush?

Daily Journal – Jun 28, 2006
By Anne Marie Ruff
      Daily Journal Staff Writer

      MUMBAI, India – Sanjay Kamlani is co-chief executive officer of Pangea3, a legal outsourcing firm where 55 Indian lawyers work elbow to elbow in spaces smaller than what most law firms reserve for their water cooler.
      But he thinks he is onto something big: legal process outsourcing.
      “Every week, at least one person from a Fortune 500 company is visiting our office,” Kamlani said. “They’re calling us; we’re not calling them.”
      Pangea3 is among a growing number of Indian firms that offer a range of legal services, from transcription and document coding to patent drafting and motion writing.
      “Outsourcing is becoming the new gold rush,” said Abhay Dhir, president of Atlas Legal Research, a legal process outsourcing firm with offices in Dallas and Bangalore. “Every [Indian] lawyer who has a cousin in the U.S. thinks they can start outsourcing.”
      For India, legal outsourcing is viewed as a rich source of new jobs. One study estimates India could have 79,000 jobs in the industry by 2015. For the American legal community, outsourcing is viewed as a mixture of threat and opportunity.
      Corporate general counsel have been using legal process outsourcing services for several years in an effort to cut costs. Big law firms also are starting to use such Indian services, but many remain reluctant to confirm that they are sending work offshore.
     
      Intellevate is an American firm with 160 lawyers in India that provides so-called low-end services like transcription, document coding and docketing. Intellevate Chief Executive Officer Leon Steinberg said a number of intellectual property law firms are clients. But he declined to identify them.
      “It is still a taboo topic,” said Raj Mahale, co-chair of the international business practice group at Murtha Cullina in Stamford, Conn. “Lawyers don’t understand the LPO space. Many lawyers fear that they are going to be losing jobs.”
      Alok Aggarwal is president of Evalueserve, a market research and legal process outsourcing provider. Aggarwal acknowledged that the legal processing market is growing fast but from a very small base.
      “The problem with all the offshoring businesses is that people hype it too much,” he said.
      According to Evalueserve’s own research, only 1,400 people provide legal and paralegal services in India. Aggarwal predicts that, by mid-2010, 6,000 to 6,500 people will work in the industry, which will generate $250 million to 300 million a year.
      “This is a pittance compared to the U.S., where there are 700,000 lawyers and 300,000 paralegals,” he said.
      Despite Aggarwal’s sober assessment of the industry, Kamlani in Mumbai is bullish on the future of his company, Pangea3.
      The firm has grown to 55 lawyers since it opened in October 2004 with 12. Despite Mumbai’s expensive real estate market, it is relocating to bigger offices in anticipation of hiring another 30 lawyers by August.
      Steinberg said Pangea3 “does a great job of recruiting people.”
      “We have a few of their employees now working for us,” he said.
      Dhir believes that whole legal process outsourcing firms may start shuffling around, just as individual Indian lawyers within the industry are doing.
      “There’s going to be a rise in the number of companies in the industry in the next three to four years, and in four to five, there will be a shakedown,” he said, as smaller companies merge or are bought out by larger companies.
      Dhir predicted that, “in 10 years, it will be a much more stabilized industry.”
      Today, 35 firms offer legal process outsourcing services. They have evolved along four different models. The first is essentially an in-house offshore legal department of a multinational company like General Electric, Cisco or American Express.
      The second model is a so-called captive firm, such as Atlas Legal Research and Intellevate, which started as offshore legal service providers working exclusively for a U.S. law firm.
      The third model is a third-party niche service provider, such as Pangea3 and Mindcrest. They work for a range of clients and usually have only a marketing office in the U.S.
      Those using the fourth model are more generalized business process outsourcing providers such as Office Tiger and Evalueserve, which also offer legal services.
      Legal process outsourcing firms offer a range of services, from low-end services such as transcription, document coding and docketing to high-end services such as prior art searches, patent drafting and due diligence.
      Much of what is called legal processing services is actually paralegal services and, in the U.S., would be done by paralegals. But in India, the work is done by trained lawyers.
      Kamlani said, “Almost nobody is doing real legal work. We are. There are only a handful of us.”
      He described a motion, which Pangea3 drafted for a litigator in New Jersey, that was filed directly with the court and that won the litigator his case. But such services are rare.
      Most outsourced high-end legal work comprises prior art searches, patent shopping and patent drafting.
      Several legal process outsourcing CEOs acknowledge that getting an Indian lawyer up to speed on the nuances of U.S. patent law and writing in American-style English requires a lot of training.
      “To think that you can train a [practicing] Indian lawyer to write U.S. patents in a couple of years is foolhardy,” Steinberg said. “I know because I tried it.”
      Dhir and Kamlani have tapped into the pool of recent law-school graduates because they believe training young lawyers is faster than retraining established lawyers.
      When Intellevate was approached by a corporation that had a backlog of 1,000 patents that needed to be proofread, the firm was able to provide the bulk low-end services needed. But Intellevate subcontracts high-end patent drafting work out to Evalueserve, which Steinberg describes as “head and shoulders above the competition.”
      Not all legal services are appropriate for outsourcing.
      “I had a client who took contract work to India,” said attorney Mahale. “I said, ‘Good, because I know you will be back when your contract-related litigation goes up.’ Intellectual property-related issues continue to be done well in India. Contracts, I’m not 100 percent sold on.”
      The legal process outsourcing industry is based on the cost differential between American and Indian lawyers. The average Indian lawyer earns less than $2,000 a year. Lawyers from the top 10 Indian law schools earn $6,000 to $7,000 a year. Legal process providers pay at the higher end of the scale and therefore attract a lot of interest from lawyers and law students.
      Kamlani said he and his partner, David Perla, interviewed a thousand lawyers when they started their company. They hired 12.
      The cost differential means outsourcing can be attractive for general counsel, especially if they have a fixed budget for patent filing, but it poses an ethical question for big firms and may be one of the reasons law firms are not forthcoming about when they use outsourcing providers.
      Mahale described a situation in which a client may hire a big firm to file a number of patents and the firm then sends some of the research work to an outsourcing provider. The firm charges $350 an hour, and the offshore provider charges $75 an hour. Does the firm charge the client for the outsourcing services as an expense, or does the firm simply charge its higher rate and pocket the difference?
      “There are no rules yet on this,” Mahale said. “I think in the next few years the American Bar Association will develop some requirements for disclosure of outsourced work.”
      Whether the hype or the more sober predictions of the legal process outsourcing industry growth are correct, what is certain is that the industry is growing.
      “A lot of people think that, by ignoring us, outsourcing will go away,” Dhir said. “But we won’t. And there are ways that big firms can benefit.
      “We are not competing with them. It is just a question of big firms feeling comfortable incorporating us into their business model.”

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ANNUAL CONFERENCE- AILA 2006

AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS ASSOCIATIONANNUAL CONFERENCE- AILA 2006 

Santosh Giri 

SESSIONS/EVENTS ATTENDEDWednesday5:00 PM- 8:30 PM RegistrationThursday9:00 AM- 10:00 AM Keynote Address10:00 AM- 11:00AM Agencies that Affect Immigration Lawyers11:00AM- 12:20 PM NIV Overview-Key Concepts1:00PM- 2:00 PM AILA Infonet Training/Searching2:00 PM – 3:20 PM Cutting Edge Issues in Asylum3:30PM-4:30 PM AILA Infonet Training/Basics7:30 PM- 10:00 PMPub CrawlFriday8:00 AM-9:15 AM Preparing I-129 petitions for Nonimmigrant Workers9:30 AM- 10:45 AM Non-employment based Immigrant Visas10:05 AM- 11:20 AM Athletes, Entertainers and Artists (Os & Ps)12:00 PM- 2:00 PM AILA Indian Sub-continent Interest Group Meeting2:00 PM-3:20 PM Consequences of Criminal Conduct3:00 PM- 4:15 PM Nuts and Bolts of PERM Application4:30 PM- 5:20 PM PERM StrategiesSaturday9:00 AM- 9:50 AM Study break: Keeping F-1 and M-1 students in Status10:00 AM- 10:55 AM L-1B-What’s so special About you?2:00 PM- 5:15 PM PERM workshop9:00 PM- 12:00 AM AILA Saturday Night Party Read the rest of this entry »