Applications for premium processing for H-1B petitions will start from June 8, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said. Premium processing is expedited processing, wherein the visa of those who choose this service will be processed in 15 calendar days for a fee. The fee for premium processing is currently $1,440.
People can file Form I-907, which is the request for premium processing, from June 1 onwards for Form I-140 petitions. This is the form filed by a prospective employer to petition for an alien worker — for someone who is eligible for an immigrant visa based on employment — to apply to be a permanent resident of the US.
From June 8, the USCIS said it would accept premium processing petitions for H-1B petitions that have been filed before June 8 for which a decision is yet to be taken and are cap-exempt (this includes petitions filed by petitioners under cap-exempt categories such as higher education institutions, non-profits associated with higher education institutions, and non-profit research or government organization. Petitions filed by people who have previously been counted in the annual quota also are cap-exempt).
From June 8, premium processing will also be available for Form I-129 petitions (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker – these are non H-1B petitions) “for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication”.
From June 15, USCIS said it plans to resume premium processing for H-1B petitions who fill the form along with the I-907 (or request for a petition filed on or after June 8) and are exempt from the cap.
Premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions including H-1B cap-subject petitions (including those for fiscal year 2021), including change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status is expected to start from June 22.
“All dates are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests and USCIS will announce any changes to these dates accordingly,” USCIS said.
Processing of premium processing of all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions was suspended on March 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Petitions for premium processing that have already been accepted will be processed.
“Petitioners who had already filed Form I-129 or Form I-140 using the premium processing service before the March 20 suspension, but received no action and a refund, may refile their Form I-907 consistent with the timeline above, barring any changes USCIS may announce in the future,” USCIS added.