03/03/2017 - USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for H-1Bs

USCIS just announced hours ago that it will not honor any requests for premium processing of any H-1B petitions received on or after April 3, 2017.  The suspension is reported to be “up to six months” and USCIS will notify the public when this suspension is lifted.  USCIS reports that this suspension is to allow for the processing of backlogged H-1B cases.

What does this mean?

•    Premium processing is the option for a petitioner to request that USCIS provide a response to its H-1B petition within 15 days of filing by paying an additional processing fee of $1225.
•    Given that H-1B cap cases cannot be filed until April 3, 2017, a petitioner filing an H-1B cap case can no longer request premium processing. (An H-1B cap case is one where the beneficiary is seeking H-1B status for the first time or has not held H-1B status within the last six years.)
•    Any other H-1B petition, such as a change of employer or an extension, also will not be able to seek premium processing.
•    H-1B cap exempt petitions, such as those where the petitioner is a college, university, government research organization, or non-profit research organization, also are prohibited from seeking premium processing.
•    Premium processing for other eligible immigration benefits (e.g., L-1, O-1, TN, E-1/E-2, I-140 immigrant petitions, among others) will continue.

The above has been provided by Clark Lau LLC for informational purposes only.  Please contact your Clark Lau LLC attorney to see how the above may impact your circumstances.

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