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USCIS resumes premium processing for various petitions in phases

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Pasricha & Patel

USCIS will begin to resume premium processing requests for certain immigrant and non-immigrant petitions based on a multi-phase time table. The dates in the latter part of June 2020 are still tentative though.

Previously, in late March 2020, USCIS had suspended all premium processing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning on June 1, 2020: USCIS will begin to accept premium processing requests for all eligible Form I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions.

On June 8, 2020, USCIS will begin to accept premium processing upgrade requests for certain I-129 petitions that were filed prior to June 8, 2020 and are still pending with the USCIS:

  • Cap-exempt H-1b petitions (note: these are the cases filed by cap-exempt employers and those petitions whose beneficiaries were already counted against the H-1B cap before. They include H-1B extensions, H-1Bchange of employer, and H-1B amendment petitions), and
  • Other non-immigrant petitions that are eligible for premium processing, such as L-1 and O-1 petitions.

Then, starting on June 15, 2020, the USCIS plan to allow premium processing requests for the following types of cases:

  • H-1B petitions file concurrently with form I-907 premium processing request, as long as the petition is cap-exempt due to:
    • The U.S. employer is cap-exempt, or because the beneficiary will be working for a qualifying cap-exempt institution or organization(such as a university, or non-profit research organization), or
    • The beneficiary is cap-exempt because of CONRAD/IGA waiver under INA section 214(l)

Then, starting on June 22, 2020, the USCIS plan to resume premium processing for all other form I-129 petitions, such as:

  • All H-1B cap petitions (those filed in fiscal year 2021), for those who want to upgrade their pending cases, or are concurrently filing the I-129 with premium processing request, as well as
  • All other Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classification that are normally eligible for premium processing.

The June 15 and June 22, 2020 dates remain tentative, and the USCIS may announce changes as time goes on.

Due to the fluidity of the premium processing situation, we do advise readers to check back on this site for any further updates on this matter.
And should you have any questions regarding I-129 and/or I-140 petition filings, we recommend you contact our office to schedule formal consultation to discuss further.