H-1B September 2017 — UPDATE: USCIS Resumes H-1B Premium Processing

H-1B September 2017 — UPDATE: USCIS Resumes H-1B Premium Processing

After nearly 6 months of being deprived of premium processing, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has finally brought it back! On September 19, 2017, the USCIS stated that they resumed premium processing of H1B work visas in all categories for the Fiscal Year, FY 2017.

As you probably know, premium processing was temporarily suspended, effective April 3, 2017, due to the large backlog of petitions waiting on responses. The decision to bring back premium processing by the USCIS affects all applicants wanting to apply for premium processing after the above mentioned date.

For many, there is nothing worse than waiting for important documents to be assessed or approved in order to make huge life decisions. Getting something like an H1B visa processed and granted can dramatically change a person’s life and get him/her on the path towards his/her career goals in a new country. An H1B approval means the petitioner who applied for the visa will be able to live and work in the United States, which is a lifetime goal for many applicants.

The granting of the visa is not only in the best interest of those with the desire to come work to the United States, but also in the best interest of many big tech companies wanting to get responses on whether or not employees will be able to work for them.

We will explain the importance of premium processing in this article!

The H1B Visa

The H1B Visa is a visa which was established under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Qualified companies are allowed to hire a foreigner whose line of work qualifies as a specialty occupation. This basically means they can contract a highly skilled worker that has at least a bachelor’s degree and specialized knowledge in a fields such as biotechnology, chemistry, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical science, medicine and health, business specialties and more.

The amount of H1B visas that can be granted is limited to a total of 65,000 for the regular cap (those with bachelor’s degree or equivalent specialized experience) and 20,000 for the master’s cap (those with an advanced degree or equivalent specialized experience).

What’s the big deal?

The big deal is that huge technology companies in the US, like those in Silicon Valley, depend on employees with highly specialized skills to stay competitive in the tech battlefield. With premium processing, companies can make human resource decisions  and bring on the kinds of workers that add incredible value to their businesses. These companies especially depend on people from India, as Indians are well-trained and highly-skilled in IT professions.

How do Indian IT Companies Benefit from Premium Processing?

Premium processing is highly important to Indian IT companies, because the big tech companies plan their projects in-line with the workers they have available. Basically, these technology companies pay an extra fee of $1,225 USD, in order to have a 15-day processing time guaranteed, whereas the normal processing time could take up to 6 months or more.

This is one of the reasons why the suspension of H1B premium processing had such an immense impact on these kind of companies — because without premium processing, companies struggled with the planning of the next steps in their business.

Companies are very glad that premium processing is available again because they can simply pay the premium processing fee and get the result of the H1B visa within 15 days. HR Managers can now finally start to plan when their employees will be able to start work and get their projects up and running. Believe it or not, but these workers play a crucial role for the operations of technology companies in the US because they have skills and specialities that are rare to find in the United States. Companies have become extremely dependent on foreign workers because of this, especially specialized workers from India.

So now that premium processing is back on again some workers will be able to get their responses and start working as early as October 1st.

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Who Can Use Premium Processing Now?

The USCIS has resumed premium processing of H1B work visas in all categories; this includes all petitions which are subject to the FY 2018 cap for the regular cap and the master’s cap.

Fast-Tracking Business Results

The suspension of premium processing has affected many companies trying to move on with special projects they have ready for specialized workers to start on. This makes the availability of premium processing extremely effective and useful for companies to continue with planning projects that they need specialized workers for.

We wish you the best of luck, and hope you get your approval soon!

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