USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions
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.”