Suspension of H-1B Premium Processing Costs USCIS up to $100 Million

by David Tuteur

Suspension of H-1B Premium Processing Costs USCIS up to $100 Million

by David Tuteur

by David Tuteur

Last week, USCIS suspended the premium processing program for H-1B petitions, a program that would normally allow employers to pay extra to reduce the wait time from as long as eight months to only two weeks. Although this suspension won’t affect the number of H-1B visas ultimately issued, it will increase wait times and reduce the amount of funding the agency receives from fees. According to USCIS, the suspension of premium processing will result in up to $100 million in lost fees.

Premium processing began in 2000 in an attempt to both pay for processing and provide needed funds to modernize the agency’s processing system. The modernization program, known as “ELIS,” or Electronic Immigration System, remains over budget and is projected to be completed in March of 2019, five years after its initially scheduled completion date. Without the continued revenue from premium processing fees, however, it is unclear if USCIS will be able to complete the modernization program within the revised timeframe.

 

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