Premium processing has been suspended for all H-1B petitions since April 3, 2017. The program was put on hold in an effort to reduce overall H-1B processing times. A high volume of premium processing requests over the past few years put a strain on USCIS making it difficult to process long-pending petitions and to prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases nearing the 240-day mark.
On June 26, USCIS announced that premium processing of H-1B petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program would be resumed. It also announced plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit.
Well, processing times must be improving, because on July 24, USCIS announced that it would resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions. This means, premium processing will resume, effective immediately, for petitions that may be exempt from the cap if the H-1B petitioner is:
- An institution of higher education;
- A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or
- A nonprofit research or governmental research organization.
Here is how it will work. Cap-exempt petitioners who are eligible for premium processing can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Form I-907 can be filed with an H-1B petition or separately for a pending petitions.
If you are interested in applying for an H-1B or have questions on the H-1B category, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!