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May 2016

J1 WAIVER: A STEP BY STEP GUIDE

in That Makes Sense by

212E

J1 waiver/ NORI application is a three stage process and is available only to J1
visa holders. The Indian consulates only handle Stage I and Stage III. The applicants have to handle Stage II themselves.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The Ministry of Human Resources Development has launched a new portal – http://nori.ac.in for inviting online application for NORI. The online application on the portal has commenced from 27th February 2016. The Ministry will continue receiving physical form of application for the next 90 days from commencement of the new website. Post 90 days, physical application will not be accepted for the purpose

Fee Structure:

Stage 1: $ 63 (Chicago/New York/Atlanta); $ 69 (San Francisco/Houston)

Stage 2: Un-accounted (it depends on your respective state secretariat honesty).

Stage 3a: $ 28 (Chicago/San Francisco/Houston); $ 23 (New York/Atlanta)

If you want to receive the attested documents back through mail, either send a traceable pre-paid return mailing envelope (USPS ‘Express Mail’ or FEDEX etc.) or enclose an additional money order/cashier’s check for $ 20 (twenty) payable to Consulate General of India – Chicago/New York/San Francisco/Houston/Atlanta.

Fees should be paid through Money order or Cashiers’ cheque drawn in favor of the ‘Consulate General of India, Chicago/New York/San Francisco/Houston/Atlanta.’ Personal cheques, debit cards, credit cards or other banking instruments are not accepted.

Stage 3b: $ 120

Please send a cashier’s check or money order in U.S. currency drawn on a U.S. bank, made payable to THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. Include your name, date and place of birth on whatever form of payment you submit. DO NOT SUBMIT MORE THAN ONE APPLICATION FEE PER PERSON:

Applying by Mail:

Mailing Addresses (select as per jurisdiction area):

Consulate General of India, Chicago
Misc. – NORI
455 North Cityfront Plaza Dr.
NBC Tower, Suite 850
Chicago, IL 60611

Consulate General of India
(Consular Wing)
No. 3 East, 64 Street,
New York 10065

Miscellaneous Cell
Consulate General of India,
540 Arguello Boulevard;
San Francisco CA 94118

Consulate General of India, Atlanta
ATT: MISCELLANEOUS SERVICE SECTION
5549 Glenridge Drive NE,
Atlanta, GA-30342

Consulate General of India

4300 Scotland st

Houston, TX-77007

www.cgihouston.org

Phone No: 713-626-2148/2149

 

HOW TO APPLY

STAGE I

  • Miscellaneous Services Form – Download the Miscellaneous Application form and complete the application form.

Attach the following documents with the application form:

  • Current Indian passport in original and photocopy of the first page and last page of the passports.
  • Proof of your US Visa Status:(copy of any one of the following)
    • DS 2019
    • Photocopy of the page containing visa on passport (H1B, H4 etc) and the copy of I-94
    • Clear Photocopy of Green Card
    • Employment Authorization Document (Work Permit)
    • I-797, I-140 or I-20 (If approval copy of these notices are pending, also attach a handwritten note detailing the efforts being taken to regularize status)
  • Proof of current US residence address: (copy of any one of the following)
    • U.S Driving license.
    • PG&E, Water or landline telephone bill displaying applicant’s address
    • House Lease Agreement
    • State Identification Card

NOTE: Bank/credit card/mobile phone statements are not accepted as residence proof

  • Submit all 4 original sets (full set includes one NORI form plus one affidavit: Please select from below as appropriate).

Chicago jurisdiction

New York jurisdiction

San Francisco jurisdiction

Houston jurisdiction (Affidavit)Houston jurisdiction (Biodata)

Atlanta jurisdiction (Affidavit)Houston jurisdiction (Biodata)

NOTE: Notarization is required if not submitting in person. In case the Consulate receives applications with incomplete documentation, the same will be returned unprocessed.

 

Send all the above documents and attachments either by post to your jurisdiction area or submit in person. No appointment is needed for personal submission at any of the above consulate. 

STAGE II

On receipt of attested forms from the Consulate General of India, send one original set (set includes)

to each of the following:

  1. The Regional Passport Office (where your passport was issued initially), in India.
    2. The Home Department of State in India you belong to (usually to the visa section of the secretariat of applicant’s home state).
    3.   The Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, External Scholarship Division, 2nd Floor , Wing -6, West Block 1, R.K.Puram , Delhi – 110066 (Not applicable to practicing doctors).

IMPORTANT NOTE: 

Please note that it is applicant’s responsibility to obtain clearances from the offices in India. Consulate will not pursue this on their behalf. 

Applicants in most cases receive waiver from HRD and regional passport office within 1-2 months. Waiver from passport office may come via email (please clearly mention your email ID in cover letter/document). 

Applicant needs to be really on top of procedure for obtaining waiver from home department of state. Procedure from case study from UP is as follows:

  1. If possible get your waiver application to Home Department of State, submitted personally by friend/family and ask for a receipt. 
  2. Once received, the application is sent to the applicant’s hometown for verification from family. Be prepared to shell out some bucks (I know it’s not fair but its reality). Applicants legal guardians are required to submit a ‘no objection affidavit’, prepared by an attorney (ask them make at least 3 copies).
  3. Normally, two verification may be required, one by your local police department and another from magistrate office.
  4. Once both verification is conducted, the ‘no objection’ is sent to the Home Department of State, Secretariat.
  5. Upon receiving ‘no objection’ from legal guardian, secretariat processes a letter which is sent to applicants US consulate and a copy to the applicant.

STAGE III

On receipt of waiver clearance from all three offices mentioned in Stage II, applicants are supposed to prepare two separate packages:

PACKAGE 1

  • Fill DS3035 form with Department of State
  • It will generate a PDF package, which will include two sets of documents. One set, applicants have to send to DOS along with required documents:
    • passport (Copy of the data page of the exchange visitor’s current passport containing name and birth date)
    • Copies of all DS2019 issued
    • Copy of stamped VISA on passport
    • I-94
    • Statement of reason to receive a waiver of the two-year home country requirement (Statement of reason_Template)
    • Two self-addressed, stamped envelopes.
    • Cashier check of $120 (as mentioned above in Stage 3b under Fee Structure).

Send the whole package with DS3035 and all supporting documents to (ONLY USPS WILL WORK HERE AS OTHER COURIER SERVICES DON’T DELIVER TO P.O. BOX)

U.S. Department of State
Waiver Review Division
P.O. Box 952137
St. Louis, MO 63195-2137

PACKAGE 2

Prepare another package containing,

  • a copy of the all the three clearances from India
  • the CASE NUMBER  (provided after filling DS3035)
  • Third party barcode page created after filling DS3030 form.
  • Cashier check of $28 (as mentioned above in Stage 3a under Fee Structure).
  • If you want to receive the attested documents back through mail, either send a traceable prepaid return mailing envelope (USPS ‘Express Mail’ or FEDEX etc.) or enclose a money order/cashier’s check for $20 (twenty) payable to Consulate General of India – Chicago/New York/San Francisco/Houston/Atlanta.

Send this package 2 to your respective consulate with clearly mentioned CASE NUMBER on envelope.

 What to expect after sending out packages from step 3?

  1. Applicant will receive a copy of an attested document (recommendation for waiver) from his/her consulate, addressed to Indian Embassy in Washington (ONLY IF APPLICANT HAVE OPTED TO RECEIVE ATTESTED DOCUMENTS AND HAVE SENT A PREPAID ENVELOP/ CASHIER CHECK).
  2. Following which you can check status of your waiver from DOS here WAIVER STATUS using case number from ‘form DS3035’.
  3. Mostly applicant will see their status as ‘PENDING’.
  4. The review process only starts if the status page shows that all the following documents are received:
    1. No objection statement from Indian Embassy
    2. Fee
    3. Form DS-3035
    4. Form DS-2019
    5. Passport Data Page
    6. Statement of Reason
  5. It may take 3-6 weeks, following which a recommendation will be sent to USCIS and applicant’s status will change to ‘FAVORABLE RECOMMENDATION’ (in most cases).
  6. Within 1-2 week after step 4, applicant would receive a ‘Form I-797C Notice of Action’ from USCIS.
  7. In most cases, after a week or may be two, applicant would receive an official water-marked ‘Form I-797 Approval Notice’ from USCIS.

 

WELL DONE…….. YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR WAIVER AND NOW ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR GREEN CARD/H1B OR ANY OTHER IMMIGRATION DOCUMENT!!!!!  

 

Originally published at https://sciash.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/j1-waiver-step-by-step-guide

Ashoo

About the author: In his website (http://www.ashootoshtripathi.com), Ashootosh says, “I am a scientist with specialization in drug discovery, microbial genetics and biosynthetic chemistry at University of Michigan. I believe humans and microbes share planet earth from completely different perspective but our existence today is as much dependent on them as they pose threat to our race. According to recent reports, pathogenic (disease causing) microbes were accounted as one of the top ten causes of deaths in USA. Interestingly, microbes also express themselves as producer of majority of drugs ranging from antibiotic to anticancer consumed all over the world and hence acting as a saviour.”

Entrepreneurship and IP Part II: Patent strategy and business value

in Sci-IP/SciBiz by

Lipika 2

Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity” -Michael Porter

There are several challenges for a start-up company, including developing a viable product or service, business development, employee recruitment, business value creation, tackling competition from bigger companies and new entrants, technological advancement and also managing legal and regulatory compliances. Typically start-ups are flooded with recommendations and advice from friends, peers, mentors and investors about business challenges and patent strategy they should follow.

One of the expensive mistakes a start-up entrepreneur can make is messing up their intellectual property right policies.  Irrespective of size of the company, effective and diligent IP portfolio management is vital for any emerging company. Bigger companies have the resources to address IP issues with relative ease, but what about start-up company? Are the filing strategies for start-ups different from that of established enterprises? Should start-ups wait for venture capitalists to fund their patent filings? Should they focus on business development or prioritize patent protection? Should they wait for patent protection till they have conducted enough customer discoveries?

Patent rights are important because they create a legal barrier to competition, important drivers of risk reduction, adding value to business and for raising seed or venture funding by licensing or transferring IP rights. A start-up needs to manage its own IP rights while avoiding the IP rights of others.

According to WIPO, “A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application.”

First thing we need to understand start-ups usually have a tighter budget to address IP issues. In addition, filing strategies differ for start-ups and bigger companies. The key difference is that, the latter have a validated business model, products in the market, qualified customers and established new product development channels. Whereas, the former should validate the actual paying customers who will buy the product or technology within start-up’s business framework. If the start-up cannot validate the actual paying customers for the innovation, then protecting such innovation is expensive waste of time and resource unless there is an actual customer demand for the start-up’s product or technology. The business value from patents should be measured for it to be managed well. Patenting decision should be backed by data. Once they have established that a strong demand exists they must move quickly and ensure a strong IP protection to restrict competitors.

The second most important point for start-ups is to remember that patenting decisions must go hand in hand with business processes, as opposed to being an event or an output of product development process. Patenting decisions should be integrated into business strategy on an ongoing basis. We always let our clients know the viable option to integrate IP strategy in innovation process. Proactive IP strategies can help overcome patenting mistakes.

There are few important things you need to know as a start-up to address patenting issues efficiently and in cost effective manner.

1. Specifying protective IP provisions in employees, contractors, partners and suppliers agreements/contracts:

Start-ups usually start their business with consultants, suppliers, partners, contractors and employees. If these stake holders develop an invention during their working time with the start-ups, the invention will belong to the start-up if IP ownership clause is covered in the agreement/contract. However, the stakeholder will always retain her/his right to be mentioned as inventor. All stakeholders including owner and executive board members should sign agreement and assign all IP rights to the start-up if generated using start-up’s resources.

2. Accountability for IP process

Large companies have an in house IP counsel who has the knowledge of company’s ongoing innovation process and are often in charge of IP protection. However, for start-ups with limited budget, it does not make any sense to hire full time IP counsel. Start-ups could look for training one of company’s managers in IP processes who could be accountable for IP protection. Another viable option for start-ups could have an external IP strategist who could be part of the innovation team and has access to product development pipeline on a part-time basis.

Accountability of IP process ensures that the IP created are adequately protected and unrecoverable errors that open unwelcome competition are minimized. Furthermore, it reinforces that IP creation and protection are aligned with company’s business processes

3. Protecting valuable innovations with patents

It is true that not all companies create patentable invention, and it is also true that patents can be obtained for simple safety pins to complex automobiles.

Sometimes companies decide not to protect innovations with patent filings for various reasons like; cost factors, strength of protection, time factor or wrongly informed etc. At times these are business decisions.

If you don’t protect your invention, and the product becomes successful, competitors may copy your product. Smaller competitor may sell at lower price as they would not have incurred research and development expenditure. Also, larger organization has the advantage of volume and scale; they can compete for a reasonable market price.

Also, chances are there that someone else may patent same or equivalent invention and could legitimately exclude you from manufacturing or may ask you to pay a licensing fee for the use of invention.

However, you may also consider disclosing your invention to the public without patenting it. Then it becomes prior art for all future applications. This is commonly known as defensive publication. In such scenario, no one (including yourself) can file patent for the same invention due to lack of novelty.

4. Patents are territorial

Patents are territorial rights, granted and enforced by national patent office as per the law of that country. At present, there is no “Universal patent” or “World patent”. However, there are few regional patent offices like, “European Patent Office (EPO)” and the “African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)” that accept regional patent application and grant patent for that region.

Again, if you are seeking patent protection in multiple countries, you may consider filing an international application under ‘Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)’. PCT has 148 participating nations; any resident of these nations can initiate a single international patent filing process through PCT. However, the grant and enforcement of patent will be done by national patent office that you will choose.

5. Invention has to be unique universally

Though patents are territorial rights, but the invention has to be unique world wide, in order to be patentable. Before incurring the expense for patent filing, it is highly recommended to conduct a worldwide patent search to identify similar patents, to understand the novelty and inventiveness of the invention.

6. Have cost effective strategies for patent filings

Patent application drafting, filing, prosecution and maintenance can be expensive when you have too many international filings. So it is important to develop good strategies to minimise cost on managing IP assets. Start-ups should work closely with a patent attorney or patent agent and should do some initial work by themselves to save money. They should be actively involved in patenting process and understanding the patent procedures.

7. Patent claim coverage

Patent should provide long term business value and competitive advantage to company. Patent claims should cover more than just the product. It should cover the reason why the customer will buy your product. Patent claims should capture the value of the product. It should cover functional benefits of the product and claims should have sufficient scope to prevent your competition from providing the same value to your customer.

Conclusion

Intellectual property rights, especially patents, help in safeguarding a start-up’s innovation, serve as an indicator for potential VC funding and a guide to discover potential alliance partners.

Innovation to a large extent happens in start-ups, smaller companies, research labs and universities. As company becomes too large, decision-making process becomes slower. Large companies usually do not stay responsive to support a vibrant innovation ecosystem. Most of the times they prefer to buy smaller start-up companies with a thriving innovation process and good IP assets. Without legal ownership of technology, both sides may find it difficult to disclose the invention for the fear of idea or concept being stolen. Therefore, start-ups should have a good patent portfolio to trade with. Patents are tools that can help facilitate a deal with other company that may want part of your right though license or technology transfer. How will you trade the interesting things the other company has to offer if you don’t have anything to trade for?

References: 1, 2, 3

This post is the second in the series of articles on “Entrepreneurship and IP”.

Disclaimer: The materials in the blog are solely for the purposes of informing, assisting and educating the readers and are not in anyway a substitute for professional opinion or advice. They do not constitute legal advice or legal opinion or solicitation.

Dr. Lipika Sahoo, Founder & CEO of Lifeintelect Consultancy Pvt. Ltd., a registered Indian Patent Agent having 16 years of experience in academia and industry. She holds a Ph.D from Indian Institute of Science (IISc). She holds triple masters; MSc from Sambalpur University; PGDIPR from National Law School of India University (NLSIU); PGCBM from Xavier Institute of management (XIMB); and advanced certifications from World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Patents and Patent Drafting. Dr. Lipika is also an inventor and passionate about technology & innovation; likes music, history & architecture.

lipika@lifeintelect.com | https://in.linkedin.com/in/lipikasahoo |

 

Image source: Google http://bit.ly/1WR16gz

 

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This work by ClubSciWri is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

My PhD journey: changing views, changing priorities

in That Makes Sense by
books-1012088_960_720

When I had joined IISc as an M.E. student in 2008, I was a single-minded careerist. My aim was to complete M.E., publish papers and secure an admission in some top university in US. There I would launch a career in research, and publish lots of papers. I had no intentions of settling in USA, I wanted to come back to India, become a prof in some IIT, and continue research there. I do not know WHY I wanted all these things. Perhaps it was peer pressure to shine academically, which had got ingrained in my mind from the higher classes in school. It was very probably an ego issue rather than any real purpose. But it drove me, and I focused on work (my M.E. project) single-mindedly.

My detailed plans and draining efforts came crashing down. 2010 was like an “Annus Horribilis” for me. All applications to US universities were rejected, as were research papers based on the M.E. project. I was left without a Plan B. I continued in the same lab for PhD, submitted a journal paper based on the work done during ME, and still hoped to quickly publish many research papers thick and fast, and build a tremendous research career in machine learning and computer vision. But on 11 Jan 2011, when the journal paper was also rejected with very discouraging reviews, I was well and truly deflated. I had no success to draw encouragement from, and no direction to move forward. My dreams were well and truly crushed.

It is at this time that the question first arose in my mind: “Why at all am I trying to do research?” Suddenly I realized that, mainstream academic research in Computer Science does not **directly** aim to benefit any significant part of the society around me. Most of mainstream research in CS focuses on solving abstract theoretical problems, or develop efficient computing technology or build fancy intelligent applications. When I tried to discuss this issue with others, I received comments like research should be done just for it’s own sake, as computer science researchers we should focus on our own field only and leave social development to government and activists, etc. I was far from convinced, and spent weeks of sleepless nights. I often felt that my PhD is going nowhere, and in any case academic research is useless according to my interpretation of “use”. But if I quit PhD, then what would I do? I did not know about things like “Young India Fellowship” or “SBI Youth for India Fellowship” at that time, and in any case would probably not have the courage to deviate so far from the mainstream. Joining the civil services also may not have worked, since by nature I am shy and mild-mannered/soft-spoken and would probably not make a good administrator. And I never considered computer industry job as an option. So I continued in PhD, deciding to look at it as a learning and training experience. I would train to do research, and all the while keep thinking of how I could put this training to “real use” later in life. I started to keep myself better informed about social and political issues. I started reading books and articles on a wide range of topics. I was disturbed by conflicting and polarized opinions on issues related to poverty and development, economics and environment.  I started feeling that most political intellectuals, left and right, take stances based on their views and beliefs rather than concrete reasons and evidences. This made me start thinking about evaluating and assessing impacts of public policies via data-driven simulation of society and the environment, on which I hope to work.
From the nadir of early 2011, things started improving for me. It was still very far from a smooth journey, but better than the first two years.  I managed to work with some good researchers in IISc, Yahoo Labs and IBM-IRL. I managed to do some intellectually stimulating work in Bayesian nonparametrics and videos. Gradually papers also got accepted- not great papers, but decent ones. The process took longer than I expected, but finally it is nearing its end. In pure academic terms, it has not been a great PhD- it is at best a decent one. I don’t have any best paper awards or Google/MSR/IBM fellowships to show. Still I feel I have made a reasonable utilization of these 5 years. I now have some ideas about how to do “useful” work even without veering away too much from academics (though I have not attempted that during PhD!). The best thing is that, I am no know longer the no-nonsense careerist I had been when I first started. I still want to do research, but it is no longer driven by ambitions for personal success. I no longer care about publishing truckloads of papers.

Adway Mitra

13040899_10209360355476212_2856212066487056522_o

Adway graduated in Computer Science from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and earned Masters’ degree and Phd in the same field from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He is currently trying out interdisciplinary research.

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