USCIS TO RESUME PREMIUM PROCESSING OF H1B VISAS
H1B Visas Processing
The United States of America has announced on its USCIS website that it is resuming premium processing for H-1B non-immigrant visas for all categories. According to the update provided by USCIS on their website, the resumption would be subject to? the existing 2018 caps on H1b visas for both the general category and cap-exempt category. In addition to this, the USCIS had earlier resumed premium processing for petitions that were filed on behalf of physicians. It is to be noted that the premium processing would be applicable to only existing petitions and not new applications. Also, this service would not be extended to other categories of petitions such as the extension of stay for the present but may be introduced in the future if a requirement is found. In the meanwhile, however, they remain temporarily suspended.
What is an H1b visa?
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that permits companies in the USA to employ workers from outside the US in certain occupations that require specialist skills and technical expertise. The H1b Visa is popular among technology companies who depend on it to hire a huge number of employees every year. Premium processing of an H1b visa allows a company that sponsors an H1b visa applicant to obtain a guarantee of 15 days processing time from USCIS on payment of an additional premium processing fee. In case USCIS is unable to process the application in 15 days then the USCIS will refund the premium processing fee.
[Read More: New Changes to H1B Visa Underway ]
Debate on H1b visa program for Immigration.
The H1b visa has been in the limelight lately for the alleged misuse of the Visa Program by firms who are accused of using it as a means to hire cheap labor. The program was first introduced with an intention of finding a lasting solution to the problem of a skilled labor shortage in America. It allows US employers to sponsor a limited number of skilled workers from the outside USA. These positions are presumably vacant as no Citizen of the USA is available to fill them. On the one hand, many opponents of the visa program have argued that the H1b Visas are being miss-utilized by companies, who are using it as a backdoor to hiring Tech workers and other labor as lower wages from third world countries like India and China.
Many of the opponents are strong advocates of the rights of the American people to protect their jobs. This had led to an Anti-Immigration stance among the government as well as a significant portion of the general public and had caused a number of petitions to be filed which would scale back or restrict the H1b Visa Program.
Restrictions on Immigration
In March 2017, President Trump signed a number of executive orders restricting and adding more scrutiny to the H1b Visa Process.
New visa bills were also introduced in the Senate, which sought to reduce the rate of acceptance for H1b visas and to place additional restrictions on employees who hire overseas talent through the H1b visa route. The bills which were named "H1b Visa Reform Act of 2017" and "theProtection of Americans Jobs Act" aimed to bring changes to the visa process.
Timing of Announcement to resume premium processing
The announcement comes five months after premium processing was suspended on a temporary basis in order to handle the huge number of applications. The news of the announcement which comes amidst debate on the DACA act and the general atmosphere of heated debate on Immigration is expected to herald a more positive shift towards the acceptance of legal immigrants in the country. Many in the USA now believe that legal immigration is to be encouraged as it provides an economic boost to many interiors towns and counties in the USA which benefit from the Influx of Immigrants.
Benefits of Immigration
The benefits of Immigration though readily visible when concerning the immigrant himself, it is often not clearly visible when it comes to the country that the immigrant enters. Immigration however when pursued in the right manner, can have tremendous benefit to the host country as well. Most Immigrants to the USA are highly vetted during the immigration process and are amongst the cream of the talent in their own countries. These immigrants are generally among the high-income earners and make significant contributions to the innovative atmosphere of the United States as well as to the economy through their spending.
Also, many of the Immigrants who come through the visa program come with their families and join their children in the local schools. Many of them make contributions to the school PTA program and fund the schools where their children study in various ways. All of these have led to a softening of the stance on the part of the government, where Immigration to the USA by legal means is concerned.
To know more about the H1b Visa Program and how you can benefit from it contact Global Tree at Begumpet Hyderabad, the Most Trusted Immigration Consultant in India.