USCIS Suspends Premium Processing Until July 27 for Extension of Stay H-1B Petitions; New Form In Effect
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has suspended premium processing for all H-1B extension of stay petitions until July 27, 2015. During this time frame, 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, requesting an extension of stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant.
Also, USCIS has implemented a new version of the I-907 (edition date: 01/29/2015) and will no longer accept previous versions as of June 1, 2015. USCIS issued the new version on May 1 and continued to accept old versions during the transition period, which ended May 31.
USCIS said the temporary suspension will allow the agency to implement its final rule on employment authorization for certain H-4 spouses in a timely manner and to adjudicate applications for employment authorization filed by H-4 nonimmigrants under the new regulations. USCIS said it anticipates receiving an “extremely high volume” of Form I-765 applications and needs to temporarily suspend premium processing “to ensure that we can provide good customer service to both H-1B petitioners and H-4 applicants.”
The agency said it will monitor its workloads closely and “may resume accepting premium processing requests before July 27, 2015, if we determine that we can once again provide customers with the level of service offered with premium processing.”
During the temporary suspension, USCIS will refund the premium processing fee if:
- A petitioner filed an H-1B petition before May 26, 2015, using the premium processing service, and
- USCIS did not act on the case within the 15-calendar-day period.
Premium processing remains available for all other I-129 H-1B petitions, including petitions subject to the H-1B cap that are requesting a change of nonimmigrant status or consular notification.
USCIS noted that petitioners may request expedited processing for their H-1B extension of stay petitions during the temporary suspension period. The agency said it will “review all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and grant the requests at the discretion of the Director. The burden is on the petitioner to demonstrate that one or more of the expedite criteria have been met.”
- Information on how to request expedited processing is available here
- The announcement is available here
- The final rule noted above is available here