On Friday March 3rd just before 3pm PST, USCIS dropped a bombshell that premium processing for H1b will be suspended from April 3 for about 6 months. Below is a copy of the email. This is particularly upsetting for cap-subject H1bs. In other words, the H1b lottery will be affected. For cap cases, it is important to note the following:
- Premium processing Form I-907 and the filing fee check will be rejected if filed.
- If filing fee checks are sent in one check combined for both the Form I-129 and the Form I-907, the check will be rejected. That means the entire case will be rejected!
So, do NOT file Form I-907 if you are filing a cap-subject H1b petition on April 3rd.
It is also important to note that while April 1 is generally the date USCIS accepts H1b applications, as it falls on a Saturday this year, USCIS will accept petitions on Monday April 3rd.
Send us questions if you have any. But for now, read the below message carefully.
|Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.
Who Is Affected
The temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. Since FY18 cap-subject H-1B petitions cannot be filed before April 3, 2017, this suspension will apply to all petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B regular cap and master’s advanced degree cap exemption (the “master’s cap”). The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt.
While premium processing is suspended, we will reject any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition. If the petitioner submits one combined check for both the Form I-907 and Form I-129 H-1B fees, we will have to reject both forms.
We will continue to premium process Form I-129 H-1B petitions if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before April 3, 2017. Therefore, we will refund the premium processing fee if:
This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to other eligible nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129.
Requesting Expedited Processing
While premium processing is suspended, petitioners may submit a request to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and we encourage petitioners to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request.
We review all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership.
Why We Are Temporarily Suspending Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions
This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times. By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to:
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