U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it is temporarily suspending premium processing of H-1B skilled worker visa applications for up to six months, beginning on April 3. USCIS said the suspension is intended to “reduce overall H-1B processing times” by allowing the government to “process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years.”
A CNN article noted that premium processing costs an additional $1,225 and provides a guarantee that an application will be reviewed within 15 days or the premium fee will be refunded, whereas normal processing takes three to six months. Universities hire many foreign-born employees on H-1B visas, and the H-1B provides a route by which some international alumni of American universities get the right to work long term in the U.S. Many in higher education have been watching to see whether President Trump -- who has been critical of what he's described as “abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker” -- will push for changes to the H-1B visa program.
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