Premium processing of H1B visas applications has been suspended. Know everything about it. For H1B visa aspirants, April is an important month as visa petitions for the fiscal year 2019 will be accepted from the 2nd of April onwards.
However, this year, President Trump’s administration has announced that the premium processing facility will not be available until September 10th. The timing of this decision may hit a number of IT firms and top Silicon Valley players.
What is premium processing of H1B visas?
The H1B visa is the most applied for US visa. This permits an individual with the visa to work in the United States and also paves the way for possible citizenship in the future. Through the regular route, a company-sponsored H1B visa can take anywhere between 1 month and 6 months to be processed.
In comparison to this, the premium processing route is much faster. When filed through premium processing, an application is usually processed within 15 days. For this, an extra fee of $1,225 is payable.
Why is premium processing suspended?
According to the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services ), temporarily premium processing of H1B visas route will reduce the overall time taken to process H1B visas through the regular processing route. It will also allow the USCIS to process applications that have been pending for a long time.
These applications have currently been pending due to the high volume of H1B applications and surge in premium processing requests. Incidentally, premium processing for H1B visas was also temporarily suspended in 2017 for a few months.
Who will be the impacted by the decision?
The suspension of premium processing of h1b applies only to companies that work for profit. The total number of visa applications that can be processed for these companies is 85,000. Nonprofit companies and research institutions can still apply for H1B visas through the premium processing route.
Leading Indian tech companies such as Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are most likely to be hit by this suspension. These companies may find it difficult to now find local workers to fill up their vacant spots. Tech companies may also need to postpone certain projects and ventures that were dependent on H1B engineers.
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