immigration law

Understanding the Latest H-1B Visa Decision

immigration lawLawful immigrants account for three-quarters of the foreign-born population in the United States. That being said, at the end of August, the USCIS announced its decision to ‘extend and expand’ its premium processing suspension for H-1B petitions. This can mean many different things for both immigrants and their employers — here’s a quick guide that will tell you what you need to know about this immigration decision.

What is ‘premium processing?’

Premium processing services are offered for certain employment-based temporary and permanent petitions that have been filed with the USCIS. For an extra fee of approximately $1,225, which is expected to rise in October to $1,410, the USCIS will adjudicate the petition in no more than 15 days. Otherwise, the extra fee will be returned to the original petitioner.

How does the USCIS’s announcement change immigration laws?

More than sixty percent of immigrants in the United States today have lived here for at least 15 years, and while this change may seem small, it will impact employees and employers alike:

“USCIS just reduced substantially the number of H-1B petitions eligible for premium processing for the next five months. No H-1B petition filed on behalf of an H-1B professional changing employers — or changing jobs or location with the same employer – can be filed with premium processing during this suspension,” writes Stuart Anderson on Forbes.

Some H-1B employees who have plans to travel internationally may need to put them on hold if they still need their H-1B petitions to be approved in order to legally return to the United States. Furthermore, they’ll need to make sure that all of their future employment opportunities have been approved for H-1B status.

The number of foreign-born individuals in the U.S. population has more than quadrupled since 1965 and is expected to reach 78 million by 2065. That being said, this immigration law change should primarily affect the employees in H-1B status that are trying to leave their current jobs for a higher paying position. If you need help navigating the complexities that come with these changes to immigration laws, contact an immigration attorney right away. For more information and immigration legal help, contact Reeves Miller.