USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions
Today USCIS issued the below press release, indicating they have resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions requesting an extension of stay. USCIS adds that “Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions.” However, this message is unclear, as not all H-1B petitions are covered in this or prior announcements. Specifically, H-1B petitions not subject to the cap but which request a change of status or consular notification were not previously re-authorized for premium processing, nor are these categories specified in today’s release.
LAC believes USCIS intended to announce the availability of premium processing for all H-1B types of petitions today, as the agency recently advised the immigration bar that it planned to resume premium processing for all H-1B filings on October 3rd, and this is consistent with some of the language in the press release. However, if USCIS provides contrary information we will update you accordingly.
A request for premium processing may be concurrently filed with the H-1B petition, or added to any petition pending adjudication with USCIS. The USCIS filing fee remains $1225, for which USCIS will guarantee a response within 15 calendar days “or your money back.” Note that the response may be an approval, denial, or request for additional evidence.
USCIS Press Release
October 3, 2017
Premium Processing Now Available for All Petitioners Seeking H-1B Visas
WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions.
H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, engineering, and mathematics. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time. If that time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application.
In addition to today’s resumption of premium processing for H-1B visa extension of stay petitions, USCIS had previously resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap, petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers and certain H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap.