In a bid to speed up the visa processing and clear the current visa backlog, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will move the processing of some H-1B visa petitions to a new centre.
USCIS Transfers Certain H-1B Petitions to the California Service Center
The federal agency in charge of the visa process stated that certain H-1B petitions and fiscal year (FY) 2023 H-1B cap petitions awaiting intake at the Vermont Service Center (VSC) are being transferred to the California Service Center (CSC) for data entry and adjudication.
“We are transferring these cases in response to the H-1B receipt issuance delays at the VSC,” the USCIS further added.
This shift in workload will allow USCIS to provide receipt notices for correctly filed H-1B applications more quickly.
“Please allow time for the CSC to process the transferred cases and do not submit duplicate petitions out of concern that your previous submission did not arrive or has been misplaced. If your petition is transferred, you will not receive a transfer notice, but you will receive a receipt notice as soon as your petition is receipted. Petitions will be worked to completion at the CSC once transferred. For inquiries about case status, please use the petition receipt number.”
Delay In Visa Processing
It is worth mentioning here that the Visa processing has been delayed in recent months due to a large backlog and a lack of manpower at service centres.
Following the completion of the H-1B visa lottery last month, the selected applicants were needed to submit their applications in order to be eligible to begin working in the United States on October 1, 2022.
Many of these applications also seek visa extensions, without which the petitioner would be unable to continue working in the United States.
1.5 Year Extension For Expiring Work Permits
To relieve some of the pressure associated with the visa backlog and longer processing, the US government led by President Joe Biden announced in May 2022 announced a 1.5-year extension for expired work permits, including those for H-1B spouses.
The 180-day extension term will be automatically extended to 540 days from the expiration date on the present Employment Authorisation Cards (EADs)
This means, instead of six months, it would be automatically extended for an additional 18 months from the date of expiration on their job authorization documents.