The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed premium processing of H-1B visas. Experts say this will be beneficial for companies as it will help them plan their human resource requirement better.
The USCIS will start accepting H-1B petitions starting April 1. It announced in early March that it is resuming its H-1B for FY2020 petitions, which it suspended last year.
Processing of H-1B visa can take anywhere between two to six months from the time of filing the petition and getting the visa. Sometimes the process takes even longer with requests for further documentation.
With premium processing, employees and companies can plan better. Premium processing costs between $1,225 and $1,410 per application. However, unlike regular processing, the USCIS is mandated to clear the H-1B petitions in 15 days failing which it will refund the premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the petition.
Vivek Tandon, Founder & CEO of EB5 BRICS said, “The re-introduction of premium processing will lead to faster processing times (15 calendar days) and allows companies time to plan their human resource requirements accordingly.”
“For the applicants, this means a quicker end to uncertainty associated with their applications so they can make personal and professional plans accordingly,” he added.
Why was it suspended last year?
The USCIS has suspended premium processing temporarily from April to September 2018. According to the USCIS statement, the temporary suspension was to help reduce overall H-1B processing times.
The regulatory authority had said that with premium processing suspended it can process long-pending petitions, which it had been unable to process due to high volumes and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years.It would also help the regulator prioritise adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240-day mark, the statement added.