H-1B visas are nonimmigrant work visas for certain types of skilled workers. What options are available for employers and workers when it comes to the pursuit of such visas can be affected by many things. Sometimes, the U.S. government will take actions which temporarily remove a given option from the table. Recently, such an action was taken when it comes to the H-1B premium processing program.
The premium processing program allows an H-1B visa petition to be put into a fast-track for processing in exchange for an extra fee. The federal government recently announced it is temporarily suspending this program. The suspension will begin on April 3. One of the reasons given for the suspension is to give immigration officials the chance to address the backlog when it comes to H-1B petitions.
There have been suspensions of this processing program in the past. One thing that stands out about this most recent suspension though is that a firm date has not been given for how long it will last. Rather, it has been announced that the suspension could go for up to six months.
One wonders how long the suspension will end up going and what overall impacts it will have.
Temporary suspensions in some of the options available related to pursuing an H-1B visa or other work visa can leave employers and foreign workers with many questions and uncertainties. They may be unsure about how best to pursue their overall goals in the wake of the change. So, when an employer or worker has worries or concerns related to such a change, they may want to promptly go over the matter with a skilled immigration lawyer. Such attorneys can be a helpful source of guidance when uncertainties arise in relation to employment immigration.
Source: CNBC, “The US government changed H-1B visa rules. Here's what it means for tech,” Anita Balakrishnan, March 6, 2017