H-1B visa premium processing service for stay petitions has been resumed

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The service that enabled H-1B visa petitioners to expedite their application for a fee was temporarily withdrawn in March.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Tuesday that it has again made available the premium processing facility for the extended H-1B visa stay petitions.

According to the statement, “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions.”

The service enables the work visa petitioners to reduce the processing time for the adjudication of their application.

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“H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, engineering, and mathematics. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time,” the USCIS statement said. “If that time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application.”

With Tuesday’s announcement on extended stay petitions, the agency now provides the premium processing for all types of H-1B visa applications.  The expedited service for other categories of the H-1B visa were resumed last month.

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Interestingly, the statement read that more information on the work visa program can be obtained from the “ Buy American, Hire American: Putting American Workers First page”

The work visa program has been in discussions as Trump administration has proposed to overhaul the work visa program. Since January, many Indian politicians and Indian American lawmakers have criticized the administration for issuing harsh statements on the visa category.

Several American lawmakers have pointed out that the visa program is being misused to bring cheap labor from other countries in the name of highly skilled workers. They say that the provision for the work visa was made to bring in foreign workers only if no native worker is available for the listed job. Over the years, however, it is being argued that many companies hire H-1B workers for lesser salaries than what they would have paid to an American worker for the similar work.

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