Trump takes new measure to protect high-skilled American workers

A process that cuts the H-1B visa petition review from several months to two weeks was suspended Friday by the Trump administration.

The suspension of premium processing for H-1B visas, often referred to as high-skilled visas, will go into effect Apr. 3 and last up to six months, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services (USCIS).

U.S. companies are allowed to temporarily employ foreign workers with specialized skills through the H-1B visa program. Companies wishing to hasten the acquisition of visas for their workers in specialty occupations have been allowed to petition for premium processing through payment of a $1,225 fee.

Related News: Foreign Workers in U.S. Fear New H1-B Visa Restrictions

Normally the USCIS takes from three to six months to issue a judgment on an H-1B visa petition. Those paying for premium processing typically receive a response within 15 days.

H-1B visas are widely used to employ foreign workers in the tech industry. Companies in Silicon Valley are likely to be the most affected by the suspension.

The USCIS said the suspension will allow them to process a large backlog of non-premium petitions.

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