Foreigners aiming for temporary jobs at high-tech United States companies will undergo a longer visa approval process after the Trump administration announced it will temporarily suspend expedited applications for H-1B visas.
The United States offers 85,000 H-1B visas every year, most of which are snapped up by Indian outsourcers whose employees fill a skill gap in U.S. engineering.
The H-1B allows a foreigner to stay and work for three years, with options to renew the visa. Dick Durbin, who claim it is being abused to replace US workers with low-priced outsourced labor. "It is the petitioner's responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and we encourage petitioners to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request", the notice said. Several government representatives have earlier said that India was engaged with the administration of new US President Donald Trump, as well as members of the US Congress on concerns regarding the H-1B visa issue.
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.
The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows the companies in USA to employ graduate-level workers. The department, in a statement, said that the suspension may last up to six months and that it was a move by the administration to speed up all the applications.
Apparently, the reason for this temporary suspension is to "process long-pending petitions". By temporarily suspending premium processing, the agency said it will be able to process long-pending petitions, which it has now been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years. It will also further decrease the overall H-1B processing times.
The statement said that due to the surge in H-1B petitions, USCIS chose to temporarily halt the premium processing service.
"Applications will be scrutinised more now.There will be an impact on next year's lottery because of this greater scrutiny", he said.
According to the bill, the employers would now first offer a vacant position to an equally or better qualified American worker before seeking an H-1B or L1 visa holder.
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