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H-1B Premium Processing Suspension: How will this affect you?

H-1B Premium Processing Suspension: How will this affect you?

If you’re one of the tens of thousands of employers who wishes to hire a professional employee via an H-1B visa, the wait just got longer.  Effective April 3, 2017, there will be no premium processing for those employers trying to hire someone with a degree for a “highly-skilled” job opening.  What does this mean for you? A long wait.

“Premium processing” is currently allowed for employers who pay an additional fee.  With that additional $1,200-plus you get faster service – 15 days or your money back.  Those who don’t pay the fee have to wait at least three months for service.  Now, the minimum three-month wait will likely be longer and will include every employer.  In other words, we are likely headed for a backlog similar to that of the family-based petitions.  This is terrible news for employers.

What can be done? Unfortunately, not much in the way of your H-1B employees.  However, there may be other ways to get your employees here.  Here are a few questions to ask to see if there may be another way for your employee to work in the U.S.

Is your potential employee from Canada or Mexico?

If so, he or she may be eligible for a TN visa.   

Are you willing to wait slightly longer (closer to 18 months) but avoid the “lottery” of the H-1B?

You may want to try a more permanent immigration option, an EB visa.  

Has your potential employee won any major internationally-recognized awards for excellence?  Or, has this employee received a National Interest Waiver?

This employee may be able to self-petition, which means that you don’t need to formally offer a position to the person.

As USCIS mentions, this suspension is temporary – at least for now.  In the coming months, we will see if the suspension turns into a permanent cancellation.  If you have any questions about hiring a foreign national, please do not hesitate to contact us at Rupert Law Group.  We’re happy to answer your questions.