US to slow processing of visas for high-skilled workers

US to slow processing of visas for high-skilled workers
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The Trump administration on Friday said it will suspend premium processing for H-1B visa petitions for high-skilled workers.

U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services (USCIS) said the suspension — which affects an option cutting the visa petition process from several months to two weeks — will take effect April 3 and last up to six months.

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H-1B visas, often referred to as high-skilled visas, let U.S. companies temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Companies had been allowed to petition for premium processing by paying a $1,225 fee. 

Under premium processing, USCIS typically responded within 15 days. Under norma procedures, H-1B petitions take between three and six months to get a judgement, according to The Verge.

H-1B visas are particularly used by the tech industry, and Silicon Valley companies will likely be hit by the change.

USCIS said the suspension will help them work through a large backlog of non-premium petitions.