USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Tuesday, October 3rd that it will resume premium processing all types of H-1B petitions and for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. This change is effective immediately.
USCIS also resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap, which is set at 65,000 visas for 2018, and 20,000 for workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher educational degree. Premium processing is also reinstated for petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program, interested government agency waivers, and certain other H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap.
The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a U.S. company to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. More than 40,000 companies submitted H-1B visa applications in 2016, predominantly in the IT and computer-related sectors.
However, Fortune magazine reported in early August that the number of H-1B visa petitions for Indian candidates in 2017 actually declined for the first time in 7 years. The number of computer-related petitions also decreased for the first time in 4 years – “indicating that
foreign interest in these sorts of American jobs may be declining under the Trump administration.”
Margaret Riley is an immigration attorney at World One Law Group in Bellevue, Washington. World One specializes in employment and business immigration, family-based immigration, naturalization, as well as asylum, DACA, VAWA, and U-Visa cases.