USCIS announces H-1B visa process to commence April 2

US announces H-1B Visa

The USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) announced that H1B visa application process will start April 2, 2018.  The H-1B visa allows IT companies to hire and recruit a greater number of employees from countries like India and China, this non-immigrant visa being on highlight among Indian IT specialists. But, the premium processing of H-1B visa which is subject to annual caps will be suspended on a temporary basis in an effort to lower the overall processing time, nevertheless, will last till Sept.10, 2018.

A lot of H-1B visa holders from India will be affected by this. 2.2 million Petitions from highly skilled Indians were received between 2007 and 2017, USCIS said. India was followed by China with 301,000 petitions during the period.

The filing and submission of visa application are expected the beginning of October 1, 2018, for the fiscal year 2019.

Premium processing requests for petitions that do not come under fiscal 2019 cap, shall, however, be continued to be accepted, the USCIS said. It will be notified to the public before the start of the premium process for cap before making any updates on the same.

While the premium processing is suspended, the USCIS says that a petitioner may submit a request to expedite FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition meets the expedited criteria.

The interim suspension of premium processing will be able to take care of long-pending petitions, as at present, due to a large number of petitions coming in, and requests over the past years, USCIS has been unable to take up the premium processing and prioritize in taking decisions on disputed matter of H-1B cases that are nearing the 240-day mark.

The contestant may be admitted for a time length of three years, as H-1B non-immigrant and time period can be extended but does not go more than 6 years, barring some exceptions.

Every fiscal year, the H-1B visa has a yearly numerical limit cap of 65000 visas as authorized by the US Congress. The first 20000 petitions filed by individuals with US master’s degree or anything higher are exempt from the cap. Other H-1B workers who are employed at a high-level educational institution or is associated with non-profit entities or research organizations are also not subject to this numerical cap.

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