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H-1B Visa News and the Updating of the EAD & SSN Process

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In today’s political climate, shifts in immigration policy are happening at a rapid pace, and this week is proving no exception. While DACA and the refugee cap are making headlines, two smaller announcements could have a big effect on foreign-born individuals looking to work in the United States.  
Premium Processing Resumes for all H-1B Visas Petitioners
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the resumption of premium processing for all H-1B visa petitions. This service is crucial to both individuals and businesses, as it keeps them out of a potentially months-long visa limbo, allows them to quickly plan for their future, and guarantees processing within 15 calendar days. If the USCIS is unable to meet the 15-calendar day processing time, the premium processing fee is refunded, and expedited processing continues. 
This announcement is welcome news for many H-1B visa petitioners, as the premium processing fee is a small price to day for a clearer vision of their future. For many, the premium processing service has been suspended since April with the exception of interested government agency waivers, certain H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap, and petitions filed on the behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program (premium processing for these physicians resumed in late June).
Updated Form Streamlines EAD & SSN Process 
The immigration process for foreign nationals in certain categories and classifications has been streamlined, allowing them to apply for work authorization (EAD) and a social security number (SSN) simultaneously. This change addresses an operation inefficiency and reduces the likelihood of an individual or employer neglecting one of these critical documents.
This effort toward increased efficiency comes as the result of a new information-sharing partnership between the USCIS and the Social Security Administration (SSA). Facilitating this change is the use of the updated Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, which now includes questions that allow applicants to apply for a social security number. 
Going forward, the USCIS will transmit the additional data collected by Form-I-765 to the SSA for processing. Applicants who receive their approved Employment Authorization Documents from the USCIS should also expect to receive their Social Security card from the SSA within the following two weeks. 
The United States immigration system is complex and constantly changing, and that has never been more true than it is today. GoffWilson’s sole focus is immigration, and for over 30 years we’ve helped businesses and individuals navigate the intricacies of the U.S. immigration system. If you have any questions about your H-1B visa petition, Form I-765, or any other immigration issue, contact us today. 
Filed under:H-1B Visa, Immigration Law