The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notified on Monday, July 24, 2017 that it will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions with immediate effect. Premium processing allows petitioners to receive a decision from USCIS within 15 calendar days upon payment of a certain fee.
Premium processing will resume for the following petitions, 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.
USCIS had announced a temporary suspension of premium processing for all H-1B petitions on April 3, 2017. After that announcement, petitioners were not able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form I-129, or Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
However, following the latest notification from USCIS, petitioners who are eligible for premium processing can now file their petitions in the respective categories. As per the notification, Form I-907 can be filed together with an H-1B petition or separately for a pending H-1B petition.
The notification also states that USCIS plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit and will make additional announcements with specific details. Premium processing will remain temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions until then.
USCIS had earlier 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.
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.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov