H1B Visa ‘Premium’ Processing Starts; Indian Spouses Of H1B Visa Holders Sue US Govt. Over Delayed H4 Visa
It seems like the US cannot help itself from putting an end to the changes in rules and regulations it has been carrying on, regarding the policies of immigration. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on June 7 announced that it shall start the premium processing of H1B applications from June 10.
Along with this, reports have been in that Trump government has been sued by H4 visa holders, regarding delays faced in the H4 visa extension and renewals of work authorizations .
Premium Processing for H1B Visa Applications Begin; How Are They Beneficial?
The USCIS announced in March that it shall begin its premium processing in two-phases, to manage processing requests efficiently. The premium processing it announced from June 10, offers a great deal to individuals looking forward to entering the US for work, as it leaves them with enough time to appeal for the denial, if in case the application is denied, well before the Oct 1 when the 2020 session starts.
The 1st phase began from April 1 and the second will commence from today. The 1st phase covered the H1B applications requesting a change of status by students holding F1 visas, sponsored for H1B work visas by their employer of training programs.
As per the announcement, the 2nd phase will deal with the applications that didn’t entail a change of status.
Paying an amount of $1410, such applicants can upgrade to premium processing, ensuring adjudication of the application within 15 days. Once this request is received by the USCIS, it has to act in 15 days, either by approving the application or issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE).
The 2020 session has about 2.01 lakh applications received by the USCIS, while the annual quota of acceptance is only 85,000.
Why is Trump Govt. Sued by H4 Visa Holders?
Four spouses of H-1B visa holders have sued the US government over undue delays in their H-4 extension and work authorization renewal. They’ve claimed that the USCIS intentionally delayed the renewal process, putting the petitioners at a risk of losing jobs, insurance and even their driver’s licences.
To give you a preface, the Trump Govt on May 22 issued a notice to strip off the dependent H4 visa holders (the spouses of H1B visa holders) the ability to work in the country. They argued that it takes 24 minutes at an average for the USCIS to process the application to extend non-immigration status and about 12 minutes to process the application for employment authorisation but USCIS takes upto 8.5 months revert to the applications.
The petition also enlists complaints that unlike H1B, the H4 visa holder isn’t allowed to work until the extension approval is pending. This delay is putting a strain in the finances of the applicants and their families, resulting in losing jobs, pending house mortgages and many more problems.
We await to see how does the two cases unfold themselves in the near future.