Tahmina quoted in Bloomberg article

We are so honored to share this article “How Tech Startup Founders Are Hacking Immigration” written by report Ellen Huet and published in Bloomberg. Thanks to Bloomberg for discussing the important challenges that immigrant founders face everyday.

This is why I wrote my book The Startup Visa: Key to Job Growth & Economic Prosperity in America and why I urge anyone who wants to see a Startup Visa and high-skilled immigration reform to watch the movie For Here or To Go? which will screen at the Seattle Asian American Film Festival on Feb. 21st at noon. 

Thank you again to Bloomberg!

Attorney James W Taylor on Tahmina’s radio show on Tuesday 9th Feb at 10am @Desi1250am

Tahmina Watson Showcard-color-NFWe are honored to have attorney James W. Taylor on the show tomorrow.  A practitioner of IP and Entertainment Law, James will talk about his experience assisting a victim of human trafficking- an interesting and complicated area of immigration law.

Lawyer TaylorJames W. Taylor, Of Counsel at the Jacobson Law Firm represents the firm’s west coast clientele. During the 1980’s, Mr. Taylor acted as Of Counsel to the firm assisting with the negotiation of complicated media deals. Taylor brings more than 30 years of diverse legal experience and will be based in Seattle, Washington. He provides legal services to entertainment law clients in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Mr. Taylor’s experience includes former positions in Fortune 50 corporations, national law firms and with federal and international governments. He also has film production experience including screenwriting and short story development as well as script and screen credits. He has been legal counsel for several feature films and advised artists on copyright and intellectual property law. He also produced television commercials for the U.S. Air Force, was the Executive Producer of a Discovery Channel documentary and has won film awards for some of his productions.

Taylor received his law degree in 1980 from the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, a University of the Pacific school. He holds the Master of Laws and Master of Arts degrees from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  He received his Bachelor of Arts from the Miami University in Ohio. Taylor is admitted to practice law in California, the District of Columbia and Washington State. In 1987, he was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court. He has been a long-time member of the American Bar Association and formerly was the Associate Editor of an ABA professional journal.

His entertainment-related memberships include The International Documentary Association, Northwest Screenwriter’s Guild, Washington Lawyers for the Arts and he previously was a Board Member of Seattle’s 911 Media Arts Center and the ACME Theatre Company in Davis, California. Mr. Taylor is married with four adult children and, although he travels extensively in his lawyer capacity, he lives in the Seattle, Washington area.

James will be on my talk show “Immigration with Tahmina”at 10 am on February 9th on Desi 1250 AM.  You can tune into your radio at 1250 AM or listen online at www.desi1250am.com.



Interview recording of Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us with Tahmina @Desi1250am

In this episode we talk to Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us. A day after the Iowa primaries, Todd shares his insights on the primaries, election and immigration. Thank you to Todd for taking time out of his busy day to join us my radio show on Desi 1250 am.

March 2016 Visa Bulletin Commentary

March 2016

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: F2A category advances 21 days to priority date at 22 September 2014, 7 days movement forward in F2B preference with PD at 22 of May 2009; F4 category advanced 23 days to PD at 1 July 2003; EB2 is current and, and EB3 advances 92 days to PD of 1 January 2016.

For India only: F2A category advances 21 days to priority date at 22 September 2014, 7 days movement forward in F2B preference with PD at 22 of May 2009; F4 category advanced 23 days to PD at 1 July 2003; EB2 advances 76 days to PD at 15 October 2008; EB3 progresses by 30 days taking PD to 15 July 2004.

EB5 China- Non-Reginal Center moves 7 days to PD of 22 January 2014, and RC

PD is 22 January 2014.

Can file your immigrant applications if PD before:

F2A 15 June 2015; F2B 15 December 2010; F4 01 May 2004 for both All Areas and India (Same as October 2015)

EB2 and 3 All Countries are current; EB2 India remains at 1 July 2009 (retrogress after revised October bulletin originally at 1 July 2011; EB3 India remains at 1 July 2005.

EB5 China (RC and non RC) -01 May 2015

‘Tis The Season of…. H1bs! Deadline April 1st 2016

Image courtesy of the internet.

Image courtesy of the internet.

I often refer to April 1st as the business immigration lawyers ‘tax day’.  Every year, the government has a cap of 65000 H1b visas for people with a Bachelor’s degree and an additional 20,000 reserved for those who have a Master’s or higher degree from a US university. The visa starts from October 1st each year, which is the beginning of the government fiscal year.   One can apply for a work visa 6 months in advance of the start date.  And April 1st is 6 months in advance of October 1st.  Hence the deadline!

As the economy has recovered and companies are hiring again, there are simply not enough visas to meet demand. Therefore, filing on April 1st is the holy grail.  However, if for any reason, one cannot file on April 1st, the government keeps the filing window open for 5 days. So, the last day one can really file is April 5th. Closer to the time, USCIS will issue a notice of when the last date will be.  Once all applications are received, USCIS will enter those on the database. Around April 28th (each year, the government will specify a date), the computers conduct a random selection process- commonly referred to as the ‘lottery’.   If you ‘win’ the lottery, your application will then be processed.  If you are unfortunate not to be selected, it can take upto June to receive the entire filing back, including your filing fee checks, with a blue sheet on top basically stating ‘thanks for applying, better luck next time!”.

If your application is selected, and you file via premium processing or ‘expedited services’, then you will receive an email around April 29th with a case number. It will then take 15 days for the USCIS to process your case or to send you a request for further evidence (RFE).  If you receive an RFE, you will be given a deadline within which to respond. My advice to all is respond as quickly as practicable (never skimp on quality to save time!).  Once the response is received by USCIS, a decision will be made within 15 days.

If your case is filed under regular processing, a receipt will likely take about 2-3 weeks to arrive.  You will then hear back within about 2-3 months with either an approval or a request for further evidence. If an RFE is issued, you will be given a deadline and upon receipt of your response, USCIS will likely take another month or so to make a decision.

If you receive an approval and you are in the US changing from another status, you can transition into H1b on October 1st. If you are outside the US, you will apply for a visa at your local embassy.  10 days prior to Oct 1st, you will be allowed to enter into the US on H1b status.

Preparation for H1bs can take several weeks- comfortably about 5-6 weeks. However, at a minimum it can take 3-4 weeks.  One of the prerequisites of filing an H1b is to obtain a certified Labor Conditions Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL). If your company has not applied for an H1b before, DOL will need additional time to enter company information on the DOL database.  But as we get closer to the month of March and the DOL usage rises to its peek, the website either slows down or crashes.  So, it is imperative that H1b cap applicants take that into account for preparation time.

Last year, USCIS received about 225,000 applications.  My guess is that USCIS will receive more than last year, likely closer to 300,000.  So getting your application together sooner rather than later is important.

Good luck!

Todd Schulte, President-FWD.us on Tahmina’s Radio Show on 2/2

Tahmina Watson Showcard-color-NFWe are incredibly thrilled and honored to have the President of FWD.us Todd Schulte on Tahmina’s radio show “Immigration With Tahmina”  on Desi 1250 am this Tuesday 2nd February at 10am. With the Iowa caucuses ending on Feb. 1st, it is extra special that Todd is taking time out of his incredibly busy schedule to join us. Tune in to listen to his valuable comments and insights about immigration reform and the forthcoming presidential election! todd1 (1)

As President of FWD.us, Todd Schulte manages the organization’s staff and departments, its internal operations, and its political engagements in Washington and throughout the country.  Mr. Schulte previously served as Chief of Staff at Priorities USA Action, the Super PAC supporting President Obama’s re-election. Prior to that he served as Congressman Scott Murphy’s (NY-20) Chief of Staff and worked at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He resides in Washington, DC with his beautiful chocolate lab Pippa and even more beautiful wife Lindsey.

I had the distinct privilege of meeting Todd in person last year.  Under his leadership, FWD.us is making significant contributions to the ongoing debate on immigration reform. I  am excited for you to listen to him talk immigration with me!


Todd will be on my talk show “Immigration with Tahmina”at 10 am on February 2nd on Desi 1250 AM.  You can tune into your radio at 1250 AM or listen online at www.desi1250am.com.  Please call into the show if you have questions!



Tahmina’s article urging citizenship in the Seattle Globalist!

Thank you to The Seattle Globalist for publishing my article. I have been wanting to urge people to apply for citizenship for a while. The Seattle Globalist gave me that voice.  Read the article below:

Apply for citizenship! America needs your vote November

Becoming a U.S. citizen in 2010 was a profound moment for me.

As I stood at the oath ceremony I realized that, while I’d never had that clichéd dream of becoming an American, America had been a key part of making all my dreams come true.

When James Truslow Adams coined that term “the American Dream” back in 1931, he described the belief that, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement … regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

Read the rest here. 

Desi 1250am Interview recording with WA State Rep. Brady Walkinshaw

In this episode, we discuss the drastic new Visa Waiver rules that revoke ESTA clearances of people who hold dual citizenship with a European country as well one of the following- Iran/Iraq/Sudan and Syria. We also provide news update on the STEM OPT extension issue- STEM OPT will be extended until May 10, 2016.

We are also very honored to speak with WA State Representative Brady Walkinshaw who is also running for Congress. In this insightful interview, we learn about his family that immigrated from Cuba. He grew up in the agricultural industry and has much understanding about immigration around these issues. I learned much from the discussion!

We thank Brady for joining us and hope you will enjoy the interview.

Tune into Desi 1250am every Tuesday at 10 am and every Friday 12:30pm to hear Tahmina’s radio show “Immigration with Tahmina”

State Representative Brady Walkinshaw on Tahmina’s Radio Show!

Tahmina Watson Showcard-color-NFWe are thrilled to announce our next guest Washington State Representative Brady Walkinshaw!  With immigration in his family background, Brady is a strong supporter of immigration reform. brady walkinshaw headshot

Raised in a rural community in the Nooksack Valley in northeast Whatcom County, Brady grew up around many of the challenges and opportunities we face today.

Brady’s mom, Vicky, teaches English Language Learners in Nooksack Valley Schools – the same schools where Brady graduated. She came to the United States from Cuba with her parents, who put their three kids through college working their way up from washing dishes to becoming successful restaurant owners. On his dad’s side, Brady is a fifth generation Washingtonian. His dad, Charlie, is an agricultural educator and was born and raised in the 43rd Legislative District.

After graduating high school, Brady attended Princeton University on a scholarship where he studied public policy. On graduating, he went on to study as a Fulbright Scholar in Honduras. In Honduras, Brady founded Proyecto Villa Nueva, a non-profit that works to foster youth leadership and prevent violence in urban slums. In 2011, the Organization of American State recognized the program for its contributions to building a culture of peace.

Through his career, Brady has focused on promoting economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and human rights. Brady worked as a Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supporting sustainable and productive food systems for the poor in developing countries. He spent time in Washington, D.C. working on interfaith dialogue for environmental and social justice with Georgetown University and the World Bank.

At home, Brady serves as the Vice Chair of the Trust for Public Lands’ Washington State Advisory Board and on the board of Intiman Theatre. As a legislator, Brady is committed to putting his values into practice through policies that support economic opportunity for all, preserve our environment for the future, and invest in the education system we need for our kids to succeed from pre-K thru college.

Brady lives on Capitol Hill with his partner Micah Horwith, a Seattle native and a marine biologist with the State’s Department of Natural Resources.



I met Brady recently and he is delightful! He will be on my talk show “Immigration with Tahmina Watson”at 10 am on January 26th on Desi 1250 AM.  You can tune into your radio at 1250 AM or listen online at www.desi1250am.com.  Please call into the show if you have questions!


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