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Tahmina Watson Quoted in New Bloomberg Article “H-1B Domestic Visa Renewal Pilot Program Begins as Demand Soars”

Watson Immigration Law’s very own Tahmina Watson was quoted in a newly published Bloomberg article by Andrew Kreighbaum titled “H-1B Domestic Visa Renewal Pilot Program Begins as Demand Soars“.

The article discusses the U.S. Department’s newly initiated domestic visa renewal pilot program for H-1B workers, allowing them to renew their visas without leaving the country. This marks the first time in two decades that such an option is available.

The program, releasing 4,000 application slots initially and accepting a total of 20,000 participants over 5 weeks, aims to reduce consular workloads and improve overall visa operation efficiency.

The pilot is limited to H-1B workers wo meet specific criteria, with potential expansion considered after the program’s evaluation. It excludes dependent visa holders like spouses and children on H-4 visas, prompting questions about possible inclusion in the future.

The State Department anticipates processing times of 6-8 weeks for domestic visa renewals compared to longer wait times at consular offices.

In the article, Tahmina acknowledges the challenges faced by H-1B workers in travelling abroad for visa renewals and expresses optimism about the new domestic renewal pilot program. She highlights the frustration among workers, especially due to pandemic-related consular backlogs, and anticipates potential expansion of the program to include family members and other visa categories. Tahmina also advises patience as the initiative gets underway and emphasizes the importance of allowing time for effective processing before expecting broader implementation.

Click this link to access the article: