Last month, U.S. immigration services announced that the window for the quick processing of H1B visas is once again in action. The special process was shut down for 4 months because of the backlog of applications over the past few years, leading to delays of up to 240 days.
USCIS announced that it was reinstating the express processing program for H1B temporary work visas for foreign doctors that work under the Conrad 30 program, something that helps improve healthcare access for American citizens.
This is an important exception to the current rules that USCIS has taken under the Trump administration’s overhauls.
Conrad 30 Program
The Conrad 30 program authorizes certain doctors to stay in the United States under the sponsorship of a temporary visa after finishing their medical training in order to work in rural areas and in cities where there may be a shortage of doctors.
“This program improves access to healthcare for Americans that live in areas with scarce medical care and we are pleased to reinstate the express processing program for these applications,” says USCIS interim director James McCament.
At the end of the statement, McCament added that there were “plans to reinstate the express processing of other H1 applications” within “what our workload allows.”
“We will make additional announcements with specific details related to the date when we will be able to accept Premium processing of these applications,” he said.
This year, only normal H1B visas were accepted for processing. The normal processing of these temporary visa applications started on April 3 and the limits of maximum number of applications set by Congress was reached within 4 days.