dglobalnews.com U.S. suspends fast processing of high-tech visa applications
Published: Sun, March 05, 2017
National | By Glenda Ortiz

U.S. suspends fast processing of high-tech visa applications

"We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions", Immigration services said. The suspension is set to take effect on April 3 and could last up to half a year.

It is however not clear until when the process will be suspended.

"While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification", the news release read.

The statement said that due to the surge in H-1B petitions, USCIS made a decision to temporarily halt the premium processing service.

The Indian National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has been cozying up to US software giants to help them lobby with the Trump administration for more relaxed visa policies, according to Business Standard. This bill provides protections for American workers and visa holders.

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While no new law or executive order has been passed yet, experts nearly unanimously agree that the H-1B visa programme will most certainly undergo a change, impacting Indian IT companies. Besides the latest directive of USCIS, there are numerous legislative Bills that have been introduced in U.S. legislatures seeking to curb outsourcing of IT-related work and reducing the number of H-1B visas.

Nasscom, the trade body representing the Indian IT industry, has already met key officials in the USA to put forward their point of view by seeking to explain how there is a shortage of knowledge professionals and the companies from India are only filling in these shortages.

Lawmakers for years have debated proposals to change the popular H-1B visa program, with suggestions for how to fix it a highly contentious topic.

Under the current system, companies submitting applications for H-1B visas for potential employees can pay extra for expedited processing, which is referred to as premium processing. It's said that it is the petitioner's responsibility to demonstrate to meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and petitioners shall have to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request.

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