The US Citizenship and Immigration Services will accept petitions for H-1B visa from April 2. The federal agency, however, said it has suspended premium processing of all H-1B petitions which is expected to last until September 10, 2018.
The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that enables US companies to employs foreign workers in jobs that require theoretical or technical skills. Technology companies mostly use this visa to hire thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
The USCIS said it is temporarily suspending premium processing of all cap-subject visas for fiscal 2019, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.
This suspension is expected to last until September 10, 2018. “During this time, we will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap,” the USCIS said on Tuesday in a release.
During this temporary suspension, it will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filed with an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form I-907 and Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker, we will reject both forms.
The agency said it will notify the public before resuming premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions or making any other premium processing updates. The agency said the temporary suspension would help in reducing overall H-1B processing times.
“By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to process long-pending petitions, which we have currently 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; and prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark,” it said.