05 Mar USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for H-1B Visas
March 5, 2017
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) is temporarily suspending accelerated processing known as “Premium Processing” of skilled worker visas under the H-1B visa program. The Premium Processing offers employers a 15-calendar day turn-around time for H-1B visa applications for an additional fee of $1225.
This new announcement comes as U.S. companies prepare for the yearly H-1B lottery that occurs every year starting April 1. The H-1B lottery system is needed because over 230,000 new visa applications are received every year for 85,000 new visa slots (20,000 new H-1B visas reserved for applicants with U.S. master’s and Ph.D. degrees and 65,000 visas for all applicants).
The suspension goes into effect on April 3 and may last up to six months.
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