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UNITED STATES – USCIS Announces Resumption of Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt H-1B Petitions

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions effective immediately.

Who is affected?

Premium processing will resume for petitions that may be exempt from the cap if the H-1B petitioner is:

  • An institution of higher education;
  • A non-profit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or
  • A non-profit research or governmental research organization.

Premium processing will also resume for petitions that may also be exempt if the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization or entity.

Effective immediately, those cap-exempt petitioners who are eligible for premium processing can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Form I-907 can be filed together with an H-1B petition or separately for a pending H-1B petition.

Background

in order to reduce overall H-1B processing times, USCIS temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions starting 3 April 2017. This suspension of premium processing applied to all regular-cap and master's-advanced-degree-cap petitions, as well as to cap-exempt H-1B petitions.

Last year, in response to "historical premium processing receipt levels and the possibility that the H-1B Cap would be met within the first five days of the filing season" USCIS suspended premium processing of cap-subject H-1B petitions until 12 May 2016.

USCIS previously announced that premium processing resumed on 26 June 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 we 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.

What is Premium Processing?

The premium processing service permits employers to request USCIS to adjudicate H-1B petitions within 15 calendar days by submitting Form I-907, a Request for Premium Processing Service and an additional filing fee of $1225.

Action Items

  • Applicants for H-1B visas should consult an immigration specialist for the latest advice on premium processing.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by USCIS.

Peregrine, a CIBT company, builds software and provides consultancy and training for global immigration management.

Newland Chase, also a CIBT company, provides specialist immigration services worldwide.

CIBT is a world leader in short-term outbound visa requirements for expats and businesses.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.