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Suspension of H-1B premium processing now fully lifted

Time can be of the essence for a company when it comes to filling a given staffing need. Delays in a business being able to bring a prospective hire on board could impact the hiring’s ability to achieve the company’s workforce goals. So, one of the concerns a business may have when navigating immigration issues related to hiring a foreign worker is how long the process will end up taking.

There are various things that could cause employment immigration matters to take a fair deal of time. The processing of petitions can sometimes be a lengthy process. Also, certain mistakes by an employer could create delays in the process. So, when a company is hoping for a speedy resolution of an employment immigration matter, it can be critical for it to understand what options it might have for speeding the process up and how to avoid missteps that could slow the process down. Businesses can seek out advice from skilled immigration lawyers on what can be done to try to keep employment immigration matters smooth and speedy.

Recently, one option for speeding up the processing of a certain class of employment immigration petition, those related to H-1B visas (specialty worker visas), was once again made fully available.

The option is premium processing. Under premium processing, a party submitting an H-1B petition in relation to a foreign worker can pay a fee to get guaranteed 15-calender-day processing of the petition. If the guaranteed processing time is not met, the fee is refunded.

The federal government had put this premium processing program under temporary suspension for H-1B petitions. Following the suspension, little by little, the program was reopened to certain categories of such petitions. This process continued to the point where, this week, the program had officially been reopened to all types of H-1B petitions. So, the suspension has now been fully lifted.

One wonders how common use of this program will be now that it has been fully reopened in relation to H-1B petitions.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Premium Processing Now Available for All Petitioners Seeking H-1B Visas,” Oct. 3, 2017

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