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USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for All Petitions

March 26, 2020 Leave a comment

On Friday March 20, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the immediate and temporary suspension of premium processing service for all Form I-129 (H-1B, L-1A, L-1B etc) and I-140 petitions (EB-2, EB-3 etc) until further notice due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  USCIS will not accept any new requests for premium processing. USCIS will process any petition with a previously accepted in accordance with the premium processing service criteria. Petitioners who have already filed a Form I-129 or Form I-140, using the premium processing service and who receive no agency action on their case within the 15-calendar-day period will receive a refund.

This temporary suspension includes petitions filed for the following categories:

  • I-129: E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, LZ, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1, TN-1 or TN-2.
  • I-140: EB-1, EB-2 or EB-3.

H-1B Cap Premium Processing Suspension was Initially Announced

Earlier (March 16, 2020), USCIS announced the temporary suspension of premium processing service for FY2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions. The petitioners filing FY2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not be able to request premium processing when USCIS begins accepting cap-subject petitions on April 1. Petitioners filing FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not be able to request premium processing when USCIS begins accepting cap-subject petitions on April 1. Until premium processing resumes for FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS will reject any Form I-907 concurrently filed with a cap-subject H-1B Form I-129.

Two-Phased Implementation Approach: As USCIS has done in the past, premium processing will resume in a two-phased approach during the FY 2021 cap season so that USCIS can best manage premium processing requests. The first phase will include FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status. The second phase will include all other FY 2021 cap-subject petitions.

USCIS stated that it will resume premium processing for FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status no later than May 27, 2020 (but this could change in light of the recent announcement of total premium processing suspension), and that it will notify the public before premium processing resumes for these petitions.  The earliest date that USCIS will resume premium processing for all other FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions is June 29, 2020 (but this could change in light of the recent announcement of total premium processing suspension).

USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee

November 6, 2019 Leave a comment

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that beginning on December 2, 2019, it is adjusting the filing fee to request premium processing for certain employment-based petitions.  The premium processing fee will increase to $1,440 from the current fee of $1,410 for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

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