USCIS Plans to Resume Premium Processing Services

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.
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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.