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Expedited processing for H-1B visas suspended

Arizona business owners may be interested to learn that, starting April 3, expedited processing for H-1B visas were scheduled to be suspended. These particular visas are used by U.S. companies to sponsor foreign talent and allow them to stay in the country for up to six years.

This suspension hits the technology industry particularly hard as some observers believe that there are not enough U.S. workers with the skills needed to fill all of the positions that will be left open. According to the co-chair of the American Competitiveness Alliance, companies who do not have the ability to hire people with the skills that they need to expand will be hit hard and may have trouble competing and surviving. Firms that have plans for large-scale projects, universities and some nonprofit groups may also be impacted.

The only exceptions to the suspension, which is expected to last about six months, are U.S. government applications. The USCIS said that the suspension will allow it to work through a large order of petitions that it was unable to process earlier. The backlog included about 236,000 petitions for 2017.

Because US immigration law can be difficult to understand, an attorney may be able to help. If a business is looking to hire a foreign worker because it cannot find a domestic worker with the skill set that it needa, the attorney may walk it through the H-1B petition process. Since there is a cap, the attorney may assist with ensuring that the sponsorship application is submitted as soon as possible, When the expedited processing for H-1B visa petitions is suspended, the attorney may help the employer look for other options.

Source: Next Shark, “The U.S. Just Made it Harder for Foreigners to Get Work Visas“, Ryan General, March 6, 2017