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  Nepali immigrants among those eligible for US job, visa  


KATHMANDU, Feb 21: Temporary Nepali immigrants in the United States will now have an opportunity to get a job in the country if they are skilled and have lived in the United States for at least two years. In addition, they will get what is arguably the most sought-after visa in the world.

The job is in the US Army, though, which has been engaged in various conflict hot spots around the globe, according to a New York Times report of February 14.

Besides Nepalis, immigrants who can speak one or more of 35 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Igbo (a tongue spoken in Nigeria), Kurdish, Pashto, Russian and Tamil are eligible for recruitment. Spanish speakers are not eligible, neither are illegal immigrants staying in the country.

The program will begin small — limited to 1,000 enlistees nationwide in its first year, most for the army and some for other branches, the report said. If the pilot program succeeds as Pentagon officials anticipate, it will expand for all branches of the military. For the army, it could eventually provide as many as 14,000 volunteers a year, or about one in six recruits.

The US Army´s one-year pilot program will begin in New York City to recruit about 550 temporary immigrants who speak one or more of the 35 languages. The army’s program will also include about 300 medical professionals to be recruited nationwide. Recruiting will start after Department of Homeland Security officials update an immigration rule in coming days.

The newspaper said the recruiters expect that the temporary immigrants will have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist, helping the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis.

“The American Army finds itself in a lot of different countries where cultural awareness is critical,” said Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, the top recruitment officer for the Army, which is leading the pilot program. “There will be some very talented folks in this group.”

This is the first time since the Vitenam War that the US Army has opened its doors for the immigrants to enlist.

Immigrants who are permanent residents, with documents commonly known as green cards, have long been eligible to enlist.

About 8,000 permanent immigrants with green cards join the armed forces annually, the Pentagon reports, and about 29,000 foreign-born people currently serving are not American citizens.

Recruiting officials pointed out that volunteers with temporary visas would have already passed a security screening and would have shown that they had no criminal record.

“The Army will gain in its strength in human capital,” General Freakley said, “and the immigrants will gain their citizenship and get on a ramp to the American dream.”

The NYT said Pentagon officials expect that the lure of accelerated citizenship will be powerful. Under a statute invoked in 2002 by the Bush administration, immigrants who serve in the military can apply to become citizens on the first day of active service, and they can take the oath in as little as six months.

For foreigners who come to work or study in the United States on temporary visas, the path to citizenship is uncertain and at best agonizingly long, often lasting more than a decade. The military also waives naturalization fees, which are at least $675.

Published on 2009-02-21 08:09:11
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Nepali Immigrants Among Those Eligible For US Job, Visa
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i am happy to see when i give oppurtunities. [more]
  - rupa acharya adhikari
This is certainly something good to hear about. Not to forget the global economic crisis which led to the loss of great deal of jobs for Nepalis living there.Won´t be a easy thing to actually compete for those limited seats but it´s better than having nothing. [more]
  - riwaaj lamsal
Is getting visa a joke. "Temporary Nepali immigrants in the United States will now have an opportunity to get a job in the country if they are skilled and have lived in the United States for at least two years." this stament wants to say that no other nepali who have not been to usa ut are hoghly qualified then the usa ones can not get job on nepal . this is fully rediculous . job in usa is best but the on ewho came to nepal from economic crisis are the good ones? [more]
  - sushant agrawal
why only immigrants, why not other nepali people living in nepal. [more]
  - deepak
their old and simple way of getting dangerous work done through other nations people, where they have no chance to find their own citizens. [more]
  - kgee
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