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Program allowing expedited H1-B status reinstated

On July 24, the federal government reinstated a program that allows some employers in Arizona and throughout the country to gain faster H-1B visa consideration. Employers must not be subject to the annual visa cap in addition to paying a fee of $1,225. The premium program had been suspended by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in March 2017. Hospitals and non-profits are generally exempt from the annual H-1B visa cap.

The expedited process allows an employer to find out within 15 calendar days whether or not a worker is eligible for a visa. Typically, it can take several weeks or months for a company to find out about a worker's status. The program had been restored in June for physicians who were eligible to receive a waiver. According to the USICS, the suspension had been in place to decrease acceptance times among all visa applicants.

An H-1B visa is generally reserved for skilled workers who have an employer willing to act as a sponsor in the United States. Without it, it may not be possible for a citizen of another country to work in America legally. Those who have questions about who may be eligible for this visa or how to apply for it may wish to consult with legal counsel. Those who are in the country on such a visa may also benefit from talking with an attorney.

This is because a worker may need to return home once the visa expires. Failure to do so could lead to deportation or other penalties. However, an attorney may be able to explain to a judge why an individual overstayed a visa or provide evidence that it is still valid. If a visa expired or will expire soon, it may be possible to ask for an extension or look for other ways to keep a person in the country legally.

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