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ajm
04-14-2006, 12:02 PM
What do people think about a premium processing option for all stages in the GC pipeline? I know that PERM takes 45-60 days and USCIS is supposedly on track to meet a 6-month processing time for all applications. But if comprehensive immigration reform becomes law there is no assurance that the targets will continue to be met. If history is any guide, processing times are going to be worse than they are now.

So why don't we push for amendments expanding premium processing to I-140 and I-485 forms? We already have that choice for H1B petitions. The legacy-INS had a plan to start I-140 premium processing back in 2001/2001 (which was shelved after 9/11). So I don't see any structural reason why UCSIS cannot adjudicate I-140/I-485 applications within a month or so. The reason they cannot do it right now is lack of resources. So rather than rely on Congress to allocate the funds every year why not offer to pay for better service?

Retrogression is important and needs to be tackled. But unless we also think ahead, we may find that all priority dates are current but GC applications still taking many years (because of massive USCIS backlogs).

GCBy3000
04-14-2006, 01:10 PM
I thought about this. This should be really good if considered getting into amendments. US Govt will make tons of money and we will also get what we want.

zigma
04-14-2006, 01:17 PM
IMHO, this will show the govt. that we are willing to fork over more money. They will just raise the fees and ask for premium processing.

H1B is unlike GC, in the sense that not everyone may require premium processing. But in the case of GC, everyone would want it.
H1 getting a transfer or those who do not have a problem with waiting do not pay extra.
For getting a GC, everyone would want it.

sertasheep
04-14-2006, 01:24 PM
ajm,

Here is an excerpt from a report I wrote on the USCIS. Its glad that there are several people who're thinking alike here. It may be a good idea for IV team to take a poll to see how many people are willing to pay a premium fee. That data could convince the USCIS to raise its fees, and be more effective.


QUOTE:

If the agency were to institute a premium processing fee for permanent visa processing, and even if at least 10% of the 130,000 applicants were to oblige, the agency could very well recover more than part of its operating expenses.

The graph above shows(not shown here) that if the application fees were to be increased one-time only to anywhere above USD 5817 per applicant for the current backlog, the USCIS would be able to generate enough revenue to sustain itself and not rely on federal budgets. Average costs in annual renewal of non-immigrant work permits are to the tune of $ 3,500 (mostly lawyer’s fees) on an average, and it is evident that applicants would be willing to pay an upfront fee to the USCIS rather than spend thousands of dollars every year in lawyers’ fees.

Past instances of fee increases for other USCIS programs have proven successful. The graph below (not shown) shows an increase in the number of H1 visa applications for the premium processing option alone, after it was instituted in June 2001. Additionally, the US State Department (as well as Departments in other countries) is known to expedite passport processing for an additional fee.

UNQUOTE.

Note: If the fee is raised to USD 5817 or higher, the USCIS would be able to recover its administrative and operating costs of $ 756 million even if only 10% of applicants were to pay up.

See link http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/reports/INS/a0314/tables.htm#month for statistics on increase in H1 premium processing applications after it was instituted in June 01. The same logic can be applied to GCs.

Question is: How many people are willing to pay a premium?

ragz4u
04-14-2006, 01:27 PM
We got turned down. We also asked if we can just pay 20K flat instead of paying these lawyers over and over again (definitely 10K+), but it did not fly :(

ajm
04-14-2006, 01:40 PM
IMHO, this will show the govt. that we are willing to fork over more money. They will just raise the fees and ask for premium processing.

H1B is unlike GC, in the sense that not everyone may require premium processing. But in the case of GC, everyone would want it.
H1 getting a transfer or those who do not have a problem with waiting do not pay extra.
For getting a GC, everyone would want it.

Depends on the amount of premium fees, doesn't it? The problem right now is that the fees USCIS charges to process our I-140/I-485 applications come nowhere close to the costs they incur in adjudication. So I don't see the problem in paying a few thousand dollars to get my GC in 3 months. If that is what it takes to get USCIS to allocate the resources, so be it.

I value the timeliness more than the money. I am sure there will be people who would prefer to wait a couple of years than pay the premium (those who just started on H1 or those who are in secure jobs). This is simply giving customers a choice of service levels: think first-class vs economy seats on flights.

ajm
04-14-2006, 01:55 PM
We got turned down. We also asked if we can just pay 20K flat instead of paying these lawyers over and over again (definitely 10K+), but it did not fly :(

Did they give any reasons? AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) is a powerful organization, so I understand why your $20K flat fee idea was a non-starter. That's also the reason we are not going to see a points based GC system in this country anytime soon (as in Canada/UK, e.g.).

But I cannot think why they would not be willing to institute premium processing for non-H1 applications, while retaining the current lawyer-friendly process. Unless there are influential behind-the-scenes interests who don't want us getting a GC quickly...

ajm
04-14-2006, 02:01 PM
Question is: How many people are willing to pay a premium?

IV admins, can we setup a poll on this question? Does the forum software have that feature? I am willing to help in formulating the poll choices.

softwareguy
04-14-2006, 02:38 PM
Great Idea!!!:)
They love it in H1 B. This would make their mouth water ...

zigma
04-14-2006, 03:43 PM
We got turned down. We also asked if we can just pay 20K flat instead of paying these lawyers over and over again (definitely 10K+), but it did not fly :(

Ofcourse!!!!!!!

Think about it.
The GC is supposed to be sponsored by an employer (in case of EB)
What you are insinuating is that the employees are paying for it and that will never fly with the govt as then a lot of people with limited resources will not be able to apply.

Secondly, you asked that lawyers be eliminated from the process. Most of the politicians are, or were, lawyers. It was like asking them to suffocate their own brethren.
(Have you ever wondered why most of the politicians are lawyers)
Its because you can take the time off to be a politician and then if you are not re-elected you can go back to your practice. Which other profession allows this benefit?????)

admin
04-14-2006, 03:58 PM
Did they give any reasons? AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) is a powerful organization, so I understand why your $20K flat fee idea was a non-starter. That's also the reason we are not going to see a points based GC system in this country anytime soon (as in Canada/UK, e.g.).

But I cannot think why they would not be willing to institute premium processing for non-H1 applications, while retaining the current lawyer-friendly process. Unless there are influential behind-the-scenes interests who don't want us getting a GC quickly...

ajm,

USCIS and DOL are in a constant state of denial. For e.g. when the issue about premium processing for BEC Labor was talked about, the reply was that BECs are anyway going to finish them by Sep 2007(as if they expect us to believe it), so why set up premium processing. What we have heard from them is also that they are trying to make more and more processing through the internet similar to the PERM process and so much of the processing would be automated and fast. So I do expect them to refuse this request by denying that I-140 and I-485 will be backlogged heavily to require this processing.

But that being said, we would raise this in our next meeting with the administrative officials as there is a lot of merit in it.

va_il
04-14-2006, 04:06 PM
I still don't understand how this is going to solve the problem. Our problem is with limited visa numbers and quota. How can premium process would make 485 fast?

ajm
04-14-2006, 04:21 PM
I still don't understand how this is going to solve the problem. Our problem is with limited visa numbers and quota. How can premium process would make 485 fast?

Like I said in my first post, this is independent of retrogression. But we all know the backlogs that can develop and then take years to clear. A premium processing option would give people a choice between a fixed fee and an uncertain wait.

posmd
04-14-2006, 05:59 PM
Anti immigrants will have a field day over this.

I can just about hear the headline on Lou Dobbs, "H1bs buying greencards, which should after all be a priviledge and not a comodity for trade on wall street."

AILA will never support this and will matter of factly lobby against it behind the scenes, the more mess and confusion and delays in the system the more work for them. The only reason they support increasing EB numbers is that on the net effect (faster processing vs increased volume of applications) they come out ahead. This is always the case with lawyers, they are exceptional at looking after the interests of their profession and in this case you are asking them to cut the hands that feed them.

All in all, it is a great idea but will never fly in my view and furthermore will be construed in a negative light. It will backfire.

bkam
04-14-2006, 11:15 PM
Premium processing is a good idea and most poor souls like us would be glad to waste several more $k and to go on with their lives with no constraines. But it will not fly. Some members above already explained why. Just to confirm - lawyers would not allow it due to potential loss of business, anti-immigrant groups would not allow it because ex-immigrants do not want new-comers, employers would not support it due to a lack of interest, government agencies would not be able to handle it due to proven impotency. The list continues...

But let's try, I say.

sertasheep
04-16-2006, 04:55 PM
Members,

I have created an online poll(I hope they work). Please visit the following links and cast your votes. Please note that I am not one of the core-members, but a normal member like yourselves, so IV forum does not (yet) subscribe to this poll.

Question: Would you be willing to pay more for Premium GC processing?
http://micropoll.questionpro.com/akira/MicroPoll?mode=html&id=9472

If yes, how much?
http://micropoll.questionpro.com/akira/MicroPoll?mode=html&id=9470

CaliHoneB
05-05-2006, 03:13 PM
Hi,
i am glad somebody took initiative to create a Poll but as we can see there are very few responses as it may not be visible for many people rightaway.. I am not sure how this is done but I think we need to make people aware of this thought process..and put this Poll where everybody can see it..

Cheers

Members,

I have created an online poll(I hope they work). Please visit the following links and cast your votes. Please note that I am not one of the core-members, but a normal member like yourselves, so IV forum does not (yet) subscribe to this poll.

Question: Would you be willing to pay more for Premium GC processing?
http://micropoll.questionpro.com/akira/MicroPoll?mode=html&id=9472

If yes, how much?
http://micropoll.questionpro.com/akira/MicroPoll?mode=html&id=9470

knnmbd
05-05-2006, 03:17 PM
We got turned down. We also asked if we can just pay 20K flat instead of paying these lawyers over and over again (definitely 10K+), but it did not fly :(

You will not get any amendments that will exclude lawyers. Its a very obvious thing. We can suggest paying up on top off what we pay the lawyers; say a fee to expedite the process and that could fly, considering how crunched USCIS is for money. Any thing that will leave lawyer will be a NO SELL.

CaliHoneB
05-05-2006, 03:21 PM
Hi Guys,
I think some of the folks seem to agree that this is a good idea but are pessimistic about this becoming reality..I say we should be little more optimistic here..if a congressman thought of having a provision for premium processing for I485 I believe there is hope..I know AILA may not support it but who cares..and why should we care they are here to help us facilitate not to hinder our path to GC..I believe IV foundation it self is based on immigrants trying to help them selves ( .. enough of bhashan) so we should keep this thread alive and ask more people to support this initiative..

Cheers

knnmbd
05-05-2006, 03:29 PM
Hi Guys,
I think some of the folks seem to agree that this is a good idea but are pessimistic about this becoming reality..I say we should be little more optimistic here..if a congressman thought of having a provision for premium processing for I485 I believe there is hope..I know AILA may not support it but who cares..and why should we care they are here to help us facilitate not to hinder our path to GC..I believe IV foundation it self is based on immigrants trying to help them selves ( .. enough of bhashan) so we should keep this thread alive and ask more people to support this initiative..

Cheers

You will have to care of how AILA will feel about excluding them from the entire immigration process. You will be putting them out of business and not to mention the fact that they have a greater clout than you and I or all of the "Legal" immigration community put together.

CaliHoneB
05-05-2006, 04:31 PM
You will have to care of how AILA will feel about excluding them from the entire immigration process. You will be putting them out of business and not to mention the fact that they have a greater clout than you and I or all of the "Legal" immigration community put together.

Does AILA care about immigrants more than Immigrants? If not then we don't need to worry about AILA.

sertasheep
05-07-2006, 02:43 PM
calihone, i'd asked the moderators to move the poll questions to elsewhere more prominent, but i haven't heard from them. I can reset the count anytime if this is available in a more prominent place.

knnmbd
05-07-2006, 05:03 PM
Does AILA care about immigrants more than Immigrants? If not then we don't need to worry about AILA.

I guess you do not realize the muscle of the AILA. Any thing that will leave them out will not be a viable resolution to our issues.

CaliHoneB
05-07-2006, 07:43 PM
I dislke the idea that we are getting bogged down thinking about an organization whose very existense depends upon serving immigrant community if AILA tries to sabotage our efforts sooner or later it will come out and that will act against AILA and probably that will make people realize that nobody is going to help them except themselves. I hope we realize it sooner than later.
I do not see how AILA can lobby against it (*premim processing*) publicly and claim to work for immigration community. They may not help us but they can't cause hinderance publicly.
It also makes me think why should there be any attorney involved in this in the first place, like drivers license do we actually need an attorney to apply or a passport. I am not suggesting that the GC process is that simple but attroney him self is another layer..


I guess you do not realize the muscle of the AILA. Any thing that will leave them out will not be a viable resolution to our issues.