On May 29th, USCIS announced that it would resume the premium processing program in phases for certain applications, beginning on June 1st. The premium processing program is reserved for Form I-129 and I-140 petitions, which grant immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to qualifying workers.
Each type of petitioner can apply for premium processing on the following dates:
- June 1st: all eligible Form I-140 petitioners
- June 8th: all cap-exempt H-1B petitioners with pending applications filed before June 8th and all other Form I-129, non-H-1B petitioners with pending applications filed before June 8th
- June 15th: H-1B petitioners filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129 (or for an I-129 filed on or after June 8th); prospective place of work must be cap-exempt, or the beneficiary must be cap-exempt because of a Conrad/IGA waiver
- June 22nd: all other Form I-129 petitioners
USCIS stressed that these dates are subject to change.
Normally, the adjudication process for Form I-129 and I-140 petitions takes several months and potentially longer than a year, but the premium processing program guarantees a 15-day turnaround. When it was suspended on March 20th, innumerable U.S. employers were unable to secure qualified workers for specialized positions, many of which were sorely needed in the wake of COVID-19. Hopefully, the system will not experience additional suspensions or delays as our public health crisis continues to develop.
To apply for premium processing, you will need to use Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. The fee is currently $1,440.
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