Applicants of the H-1B Visa can finally take a breath: the Trump administration has good news for them!
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), last week, announced its plans to resume premium processing for H-1B petitions with effect from today, January 28. They announced that petitioners whose Requests for Evidence — RFE for short — have been sent to them and who await the 2019 FY cap captions should send all their requests for premium processing along with their RFE response.
The H-1B visa is a highly sought-after visa scheme among other US visa categories. It is the visa that grants skilled workers from foreign countries access to the American job market where they can work for up to 6 years.
Before one can apply fully for the visa and pay the corresponding fees, they must first be shortlisted through a lottery process. Those who are shortlisted then proceed to pay the $1,225 to quicken the process as a premium application. This premium processing route ensures that they get the outcome of their appeal within 15 days.
In March of last year, due to an enormous backlog in H-1B visa applications, the Trump government halted the premium processing route until September. However, the government extended the suspension.
With the premium route not available, an H-1B visa can last from 2 — 6 months before it is granted. In some cases, it takes longer than that.
The H-1B application process may still not be easy
The CEO and founder of EB5 BRICS — an immigration firm — Vivek Tandon said that lifting the suspension on premium processing will not make the process for securing an H-1B visa any less-difficult. The former method of adjudicating applications based on merit still stands. Applicants will again go through strict and tedious means to meet the criteria for the H-1B visa requirements.
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