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USCIS Plans to Resume Premium Processing Services

Worldwide ERC® - Jun 04 2020
Published in: Public Policy
The USCIS announced its phased rollout plan to resume premium processing for petitions.

On 29 May, The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a rollout plan to resume premium processing services for petitions. Throughout the month of June, USCIS will begin to accept premium processing petitions for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers.

Premium processing is a USCIS service that provides for expedited review of qualifying employment-based petitions. USCIS guarantees processing within 15 calendar days as opposed to normal processing timeframes.

  • Beginning 1 June, USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.
  • Following this, on 8 June USCIS will accept premium processing requests for cap-exempt H-1B Form I-129 petitions (H-1B petitions) filed before 8 June that are pending adjudication. Premium processing requests will also be accepted for any other non-H-1B Form I-129 petitions, if they are filed before 8 June, and are pending adjudication.
  • Then, beginning 15 June, premium processing requests will resume for cap-exempt H-1B petitions that are concurrently filed with a premium processing request.
  • Finally, premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions for visas like E, L and O, for instance, will resume on 22 June. Included in this phase are all H-1B cap-subject petitions, change of status for F-I visas and more.

How This Impacts Mobility

The USCIS previously suspended premium processing for all I-129 and I-140 petitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic on 20 March. As the workforce continues to adapt to changes in these difficult times, the phased rollout of premium processing signals the return to certain employment-based immigration processes. However, mobility employers and professionals must bear in mind that we anticipate a not yet issued nonimmigrant visa executive order to be issued by the administration in the coming weeks that potentially may limit access to specific nonimmigrant visas. Worldwide ERC® will continue to update its members on such developments as they affect workforce mobility.