In a fresh woe to Indian IT companies, ‘The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)’ have announced, that in order to clear a backlog of regular H-1B visa applications, it is suspending a special program for 6 months that allows some IT companies to jump ahead of the queue for a faster processing of H-1B visas by paying an extra fee.
Not to be mistaken, USCIS is not suspending H-1B visas. But, only the "Premium Processing", which allows IT companies to pay 1,125 USD to go the top of the queue ahead of those waiting for visa applications to be processed.
USCIS said that "This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times".
H-1B visas are temporary work visas given to people with special qualifications and it is widely used by Indian IT companies to send their candidates to the United States.
The suspension of “Premium Program” is to come into effect from April 3rd.
Under the “Premium Processing”, just within 15 days a decision is made on the H-1B application, while the regular H-1B applications take more than three months, the period that has lengthened because of a surge in "Premium Processing" applications.