Federal immigration authorities have resumed fast processing of some visa requests by foreign high-tech workers

After a four-month break, federal immigration authorities have resumed fast processing of some visa requests by foreign high-tech workers, the government announced Monday.

So-called expediting of H-1B visa applications, in which the government guarantees a decision within 15 days in return for a $1,225 processing fee, will resume immediately for applicants who plan to work at American universities or research organizations.

The change is more an esoteric tweak of regulations than a major shift in policy, activists on both sides of immigration policy agreed, and probably will affect only a few thousand immigrants bound for jobs across the United States.

The Trump administration had suspended expediting H-1B processing in March, shortly after taking office, in what pro-immigration forces labeled an attack on foreign workers and anti-immigration activists said was the closure of a major loophole.

The difference of opinion revolved around an oddity of the H-1B law, which caps the visas (overwhelmingly used by computer programmers and other high-tech workers) at 85,000 — and awards them all at once in a drawing on April 1.  Because about 60 percent of the H-1B applicants asked for expedited processing, it meant the government had two weeks to investigate more than 55,000 applicants.

“Mostly what they were doing was rubber-stamping,” said John Miano, an attorney and co-author of Sold Out, a 2015 book harshly critical of the visa program. Doing away with expedited applications, he said, would give the government time to make at least cursory investigations of the applicants.

Many immigration supporters, on the other hand, suspected that the suspension of the expedited visas was the first step in a crackdown on H-1Bs. But in June, the government once again offered quick action on visas for doctors, who aren’t covered by the 85,000 cap. And now it has resumed fast-tracking visas for workers at colleges and research institutions, which also are not included under the cap.

The government was apparently just trying to get over the biggest hump in the applications before going back to expedited processing, said Coral Gables immigration attorney Nicole Alvarez. But she cautioned against viewing the new rule as a relaxation of the Trump administration’s vow for tougher immigration requirements.

“This doesn’t affect many people,” she said. “And they can always take it back tomorrow.”


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Attorney Saman Movassaghi, Esq.

Caring and compassionate, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is a Florida immigration attorney dedicated to producing the results her clients need. She has over 17 years of experience helping both corporate and individual clients with an emphasis in employment/investment cases and family adjustment cases.

As the Managing Attorney at Florida Immigration Law Counsel, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez and her team are capable of representing and helping individuals looking to attain a Family VisaWork Visa, and Citizenship/Naturalization. Her experience successfully representing clients in front of the Department of Justice for cases involving Deportation/Removal Proceedings will lead to success in your case.

Her experience and expertise in immigration litigation has led to multiple Avvo awards and other accolades, including the Clients’ Choice for 2017 Immigration Attorney. Her clients also consistently post positive reviews on her Facebook page. Her experience has also allowed her to teach a new generation of lawyers as an adjunct professor of law at Nova Southeastern University, and she also regularly gives speeches on immigration matters.

Counselor Gonzalez is also experienced in helping corporate clients through the process of filing for Employment Visas, Labor Certifications, and Business and Investment Visas with the Department of Labor. She takes on the entire case from start to finish, simplifying the process for her clients and allowing them to focus on their business.

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Farsi – Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is dedicated to making her clients feel comfortable and assured in making her their go-to immigration attorney in Florida. Her goal is to ensure that those who want to live the American dream have a professional fighting for them and making the process as painless as possible.

Saman’s passion for immigration law stems from her personal life as the daughter of immigrants. Her parents were recipients of the student F1 visa in 1971. Her father came into this country with the goal to improve his life and the life of his children. He earned a PhD in Civil Engineering and Business, instilling in his daughter a strong work ethic that she carries to this day. Saman saw firsthand what it means to be an immigrant and achieve the American Dream.

Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez can personally understand the struggle of immigrants and the children of immigrants navigating through the bureaucratic process of immigration law. Because of this, she dedicates herself fully and provides her personal attention to every case. She prides herself on developing a strong relationship with each and every client, and she is not afraid of pushing the envelope and looking for answers where other attorneys have failed.

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