On July 24, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions effective immediately. Previously, on April 3, 2017, USCIS temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions. The H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Additionally, there is an annual “master’s cap” of 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.
Premium processing has resumed for petitions that may be exempt from the cap if the H-1B petitioner is:
- An institution of higher education;
- A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or
- A nonprofit research or governmental research organization
Premium processing has also resumed for petitions that may also be exempt if the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization or entity.
USCIS previously announced that premium processing resumed on June 26, 2017 for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program as well as interested government agency waivers.
USCIS plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit. USCIS will make additional announcements with specific details related to when USCIS will begin accepting premium processing for those petitions. Until then, premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions. USCIS will reject any Form I-907 filed for those petitions, and if the petitioner submitted one check combining the Form I-907 and Form I-129 fees, USCIS will have to reject both forms.
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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.
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