H-1B visa rule change sparks fear of skilled-worker shortage

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - The Trump administration has suspended expedited processing of H-1B visa applications, starting April 3, saying the move could last as long as six months.

Under current rules, applications for H-1B visas, which are intended for skilled foreign workers and are distributed by lottery, can take up to six months to process, according to CNN. However, for a $1,225 fee, the government guarantees a review within 15 days, something it refers to as “premium processing.”

In its announcement, the government said it aims to “reduce overall H-1B processing times,” particularly applications that haven’t been addressed in nearly six months. But some observers suggest the change is but foreshadowing of an even bigger change to the H-1B visa program: shifting from a lottery to a merit-based system.

CNN quoted Neil Ruiz of the Center for Law, Economics and Finance at George Washington University saying that removing the expedited processing means the administration may be able to “pick who to prioritize in the wait times for H-1B visas.”

Read more at the Denver Business Journal: http://bizj.us/1p31zg

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