The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has suspended the premium processing for all H-1B petitions starting from April 3. It is said to be a temporary suspension on the premium processing of H-1B but, it is expected to have a drastic affect.
“This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing time,” the USCIS said.
The move is seen as to reduce overall processing time of the visas that are widely used by Indian IT majors.
The USCIS has said that temporary suspension of premium processing will be able it to process long-pending petitions, which they are currently unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years and prioritise adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240-day mark.
Companies in the Silicon Valley, many of which employ large number of H-1B holders, this move could signal that waiting time for approval may get much longer.
The present system works like that, a company that is sponsoring a potential employee or current employee’s H-1B petition may fill out a form to expedite the processing of that petition. If an additional $1,225 fee is paid for this service, the USCIS responds within 15 calendar days, whereas standard H-1B petitions may take between three and six months to receive a judgement.