US Suspends Expedited Processing Of H-1B Visas

06 March, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Michele Stevens
  • Getty Images

Notwithstanding the delays that are expected to be faced by Indian IT companies in premium processing due to the temporary suspension of H-1B visas by the USA, the development won't come as a "significant impediment", industry body Nasscom said on Sunday in a statement. The lobby group, however, added that the move would not be a "significant impediment" for the $110-billion outsourcing industry. "We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions", states a press release put out by the USCIS.

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows the companies in U.S. to employ graduate-level workers.

It is being said the temporary suspension will help in reducing a backlog of long-pending visa petitions.

Under the premium route, companies can get H-1B visa application processed in 15 days by paying additional fee of $1,225 against three to six months under normal circumstances. The ban is not what may please Indian government as New Delhi pressed for a fair and rational approach on the H1-B visa matter considering the trade and business practicalities.

The US market contributes about 60 per cent of the export revenue for the Indian software sector, led by TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL and others.

India's foreign secretary S Jaishankar recently was on a visit to the United States recently along with other high-ranking Indian officials, to put forth India's view that the issue surrounding the visa regime was a matter of trade and not immigration.

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Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's tech lobbying group FWD.us has sought an expansion of the H1-B visa program, U.S. senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) sent a letter to Trump administration on Friday morning asking the president to deliver on his campaign promise to crack down on H-1B visas.

The suspension is effective April 3, and could last up to six months, according to USCIS. It will also further decrease the overall H-1B processing times.

H-1B visas are particularly used by the tech industry, and Silicon Valley companies will likely be hit by the change.

The number of H-1B visas issued has increased substantially over the years. Americans are unable to vie for the positions offered through H-1B visas-a point critics are trying to resolve through new legislation.

However, it will continue to premium process Form I-129 H-1B petitions if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before April 3.

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