U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has announced that it has resumed premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (“I-129”), and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers (“I-140”), in phases over the next month.
Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS is accepting Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.
Effective June 8, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for:
- H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication and are cap-exempt (for example, petitions filed by petitioners that are cap-exempt and petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical allocations).
- All other Form I-129 petitions (non-H-1B petitions) for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication.
Effective June 15, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for:
- H-1B petitions requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129 (or request for a petition filed on or after June 8) and are exempt from the cap because:
- The employer is cap-exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, entity or organization (such as an institution of higher education, a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization); or
- The beneficiary is cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver under INA section 214(l).
Effective June 22, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions, including:
- All H-1B cap-subject petitions (including those for fiscal year 2021), including change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status, for both premium processing upgrades and concurrently filed I-907s.
- All other Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing and requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129.
All dates are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests and USCIS will announce any changes to these dates accordingly.
On March 20, USCIS announced the temporary suspension of premium processing for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS continues to process any petition with a previously accepted Form I-907, in accordance with the premium processing service criteria. Petitioners who had already filed Form I-129 or Form I-140 using the premium processing service before the March 20 suspension, but received no action and a refund, may refile their Form I-907 consistent with the timeline above, barring any changes USCIS may announce in the future.
In light of USCIS’ announcement that premium processing has resumed for certain petitions, employers that have filed Form I-129 and I-140 petitions should confer with counsel on individual situations. We remain available to answer your questions.
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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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