The US is temporarily suspending expedited processing of H-1B visas, eliminating the option of shorter wait times for the program that helps highly skilled foreigners work at US companies.
Under the current system, companies submitting applications for H-1B visas for potential employees can pay extra for expedited processing, which is referred to as premium processing.
Premium processing costs an additional $1,225 and ensures a response from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services in 15 days or the fee is refunded. Processing of standard H-1B applications — those that are not premium — takes between three to six months.
The suspension is effective April 3, and could last up to six months, according to USCIS.
The change comes as President Donald Trump is said to be drafting a new version of his court-halted executive order that banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. The new ban will exclude existing visa holders, sources familiar with the plan have told CNN.
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SOURCE: CNN, Faith Karimi