H-1B Premium Processing Suspension Extended Through 2019

Express News

By Express News Desk|Updated: September 12, 2018

The Trump administration is tightening up H-1B visa guidelines even more.

Photograph of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has revealed an extension to its temporary suspension of premium processing for H-1B petitions. The extension, which started Sept. 11, will go through February 19, 2019.

” While H-1B premium processing is suspended, we will turn down any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service filed with an affected Type I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Employee,” reads a note on the USCIS site. “If a petitioner sends one combined check for the Kind I-907 and Type I‑129 H-1B fees, both forms will be turned down.”

For those who don’t follow the minutiae of the visa system very carefully, such “premium processing” allows individuals (frequently business acting upon behalf of an applicant) to accelerate the evaluation of a petition. The extension will make it tough for H-1B holders to quickly leap jobs or move to a new company workplace.

” The broadened short-term suspension applies to all H-1B petitions submitted at the Vermont and California Service Centers (excluding cap-exempt filings as kept in mind listed below),” included the USCIS note.

USCIS initially declared that the suspension, announced in March 2017, would provide it space to clear through a huge backlog of petitions and “focus on adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark.” At the time, nevertheless, some critics saw an ulterior motive in the decision.

” I think that getting rid of premium processing may allow the administration to choose who to prioritize in the wait times for H-1B visas,” Neil Ruiz, executive director of the Center for Law, Economics and Finance at George Washington University, informed CNN at the time.

Lots of business claim that the visa allows them to hire employees otherwise unobtainable, but many workers (and more than a few pundits) assert that the system is consistently abused to displace American staff members in favor of cheaper labor. During the 2016 project season, then-candidate Donald Trump hinted that he would gut the H-1B program.

Although some expected, based on those words, that President Trump would start a significant overhaul of the visa system, modifications have actually been mostly incremental, and huge tech business in fact used more H-1Bs between 2016 and 2017.