Donald Trump administration has decided to suspend the H-1B visa’s premium processing temporarily. The H-1B visa is popular among Indian IT professionals but the US government has decided to suspend it for some time the petitions for the fiscal year 2019, which begins on October 1, 2018. The decision comes less than two weeks before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) begins accepting applications. The suspension will last until September 10.
“This temporary suspension will help us reduce overall H-1B processing times,” USCIS said. “By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to…process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years,” it added.
Here are the things to keep in mind:-
* H1-B visa premium processing allows applicants to fast-track the visa granting process, from the usual three to six months to 15 days, for an additional fee of $1,225 (approx Rs 79880).
* Although the USCIS has suspended the H1-B visa premium process they will still accept requests for petitions that are not for FY19.
* The United States government had earlier notified an annual cap for H-1B category at 65,000. Not all H-1B non-immigrant visas are subject to this annual cap, the agency states on its website.
* “We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions or making any other premium processing updates,” USCIS said.
* Until the time the suspension stands, the US will reject, “Any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filed with an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form I-907 and Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, we will reject both forms.”
* On one hand, I-907 is used for request of premium process service, while Form I-129 is used by petitioners filing on behalf of nonimmigrant workers who are planning to go to the US temporarily to perform labour or services or to receive training.
* The USCIS noted that during the temporary suspension of premium processing, a candidate needs to submit a request to fast-track FY19 if s/he meets the expedite criteria.