How Will the H-1B Visa Premium Processing Suspension Affect You?

How Will the H-1B Visa Premium Processing Suspension 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 due to a just affected H-1B premium processing suspension. 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 longer wait.

“Premium processing” of an H-1B visa 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 of their visa application. 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 visa petitions. This is terrible news for employers.

What can be done? Unfortunately, not much in the way of your H-1B employees. The H-1B visa premium processing suspension will slow things down. 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. The TN visa may be a good alternative and does not require as long of a wait, making it a better option than an H1-B visa as it pertains to wait-time.

Are You Willing to Wait Slightly Longer (closer to 18 months) but Avoid the “lottery” of the H-1B Visa?

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 for answers on all of your immigration and visa questions. We’re happy to give you answers.


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