Premium processing of H-1B US visas has been resumed by the US across all categories, several months after it was temporarily put on hold to cope with the large influx of applications for the popular work visas.
Premium processing was suspended in April due to the enormous influx. Last month, the US decided to reopen certain H-1B US visa categories for the speedier processing. But now, all kinds of H-1B petitions have been reopened, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, yesterday. The H-1B US visa is a non-immigrant US visa enabling companies in the US to hire overseas workers for specialty jobs that need technical or theoretical expertise. Tens of thousands of workers are hired every year by the tech firms that predominantly make use of the category.
Congress has mandated that no more than 65,000 H-1B US visas can be issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services per year, with 20,000 going to individuals who have gained a higher education in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics field (STEM) from a US higher educational institution. Categories such as research and academic institutes are exempt from the limit mandated by Congress.
When a petitioner requests the premium processing service offered by US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency guarantees to process within 15 days or it will refund the fee. The H-1B US visa program is currently under review by the Trump administration, which believes it to be being misused by firms to replace US workers.