- Indian IT firms traditionally dependent on H1B visas looking at alternatives
- IT companies pursuing urgent H1B visa applications but not keen on premium processing
- Local hiring being seen as a better alternative
Indian IT firms have traditionally been dependent on the H1B visa to get specialist employees to the USA. However, a few days after the window for H1B visa applications for the year 2020 opened, authorities were not sure that they would receive enough applications to meet the annual 85,000 cap.
Simultaneously, Indian IT firms have also shown that they are not too keen on using the premium processing option for these visas.
Premium Processing Of H1B Visa Applications
Two-phase premium processing for H-1B applications for the year 2020 was opened by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after having been suspended for the last few years.
The first phase began in on May 20th and the second phase began on June 10th. The first phase was directed towards H1B petitions for a change in status while the second phase includes all of the H1B visa petitions for FY 2020.
The fee for premium processing was set at $1,410. By applying for premium processing, companies cannot ensure that they get a visa but will know whether their application has been approved or returned or if any additional information is required within 15 days. This streamlines the process for companies.
Premium Processing Of H1B Visa –Why The Shift?
As a result of the many changes brought into the immigration process, Indian IT firms have faced prolonged delays and higher rejection rates for H1B visa applications.
As of March 2019, Indian IT firms, Cognizant, TCS and Infosys saw the highest number of H1B visa extensions rejections. This creates a high level of uncertainty, increases costs and affects the company’s competitive edge.
Many of these companies have started hiring local talent from US-based universities to counter this. While Indian IT firms are still pushing for urgent applications, fewer companies are willing to shell out a premium fee.