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Premium Processing of H-1B Visas likely to Resume: USCIS

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Published on : Jun 29, 2017

There might be good news for Indians looking to work in the US once again. The US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) is mulling resuming the fast processing of the ‘as workloads’ permit for H-1B visas. It was announced in March this year that USCIS will be suspending premium processing of these visas. Those most affected by this move were Indian IT companies as it meant a longer waiting period for employees that were to be sent onsite for crucial projects.

In a statement by the agency, the US Citizen and Immigration Services said that they plan on continuing the fast processing of other H-1B requests under workloads permit. Additional announcements will be made in the near future that will shed light on specific points on when the petitions for premium processing will be accepted. Over the past week, the agency began fast processing for all H-1B requests filed for interested government agency waivers and for medical doctors under a waive program.

The “Tatkaal” Scheme of H-1B Visas

Many in India equate the premium processing of H-1B visas with the “tatkaal” scheme for the railways. Under this fast processing, applications may be processed in under 15 calendar days at a price of US$1,225 per application.

When the US Citizen and Immigration Services suspended the premium processing of H-1B visas in March, it had said that the move may last for as long as at least six months, giving the agency sufficient time to tackle the backlog of petitions. The USCIS had said that it had been unable to process incoming petitions owing to their sheer volume over the past couple of years. They also wanted to take time out to prioritize those cases that were nearing the 240-day mark.