The US Waives Interviews for Several Visa Programs
The US temporarily suspends interviews for multiple visas
On Thursday, December 23, the DOS (Department of State) announced that it will temporarily suspend (through 2022) in-person interviews for applicants of certain non-immigrant visas.
The visas involved in the new measure are:
- H-1B visa for highly skilled foreign workers in fields such as science and technology. Other H visas such as the H-3 and H-4 visas.
- The L-1 visa program for inter-company transfers.
- The O-1 visa for foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities.
- Other visas such as the P or Q visas.
According to the DOS, exempting non-immigrant visa applicants from face-to-face interviews, which is the last step in obtaining a visa, will help to:
- Reduce waiting times for visa applications at US consulates across the world.
- Mitigate the impact of the global Coronavirus pandemic among federal employees and applicants, especially now that the new variant called Omicron is spreading uncontrollably.
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What does this mean for local employers?
Hundreds of American or US-based companies are celebrating the DOS decision to exempt certain non-immigrant visas from in-person interviews, especially because it involves visa programs for highly qualified foreign workers.
Given alarming labor shortages across the country, local businesses welcome this news with great hope as it could expedite and optimize the adjudication of legal immigration status for workers from all over the world, who can help fill labor gaps.
You may also be interested in: Report: Highly Skilled Workers Boost the National Economy
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Waiting times could decrease for applicants
There is currently an alarming backlog of immigration cases of all kinds resulting from the slowdown in processing amidst the global health crisis and restrictive policies implemented by former President Trump’s administration.
Therefore, the DOS’s decision to suspend in-person interviews for certain visa programs could possibly streamline the processing of non-immigrant visas and substantially reduce waiting times for both applicants and local companies that benefit from foreign workforce.
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