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US resumes H1-B visa fast processing after 5-month halt

US resumes H1-B visa fast processing after 5-month halt

Washington: Fast processing of H1-B visas has been resumed by the United States after a halt of five months.

The processing of visas was suspended five months ago following a huge rush of applications for H1-B by Indian IT professionals. In a major relief to Indian IT professionals on Tuesday, the US citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) said that it has resumed fast processing of H1-B visas subject to the fiscal year 2018 cap that has been set at 65,000, reports India.

Premium processing also resumed for the annual 20,000 additional petitions that are set aside to hire workers with a US higher educational degree. “If the 15- calendar day processing time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with the expedited processing of the application,” the USCIS said.

The USCIS also previously resumed premium processing H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver programme, as well as interested government agency waivers and for certain H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap.

The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

Earlier this month, a top US official had claimed that Indians were the largest beneficiaries of H1-B visa programme after US President Donald Trump came to power. Over the past nine months, the grant of H1-B category visas for Indians increased by six percent, the official said, adding that 70 percent of the total visas issued under the scheme went to Indians.