U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumes premium processing for certain H-1B cap-exempt petitioners who are affiliated with institutions of higher education or governmental research associations. The news, which came out through a press release on July 24, means those who are eligible can again file premium processing forms together with an H-1B petition or separately for a pending H-1B petition.
Specifically, premium processing resumes for those petitioners falling into one of these categories:
- An institution of higher learning
- A nonprofit organization related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education
- A nonprofit or governmental research association
Additionally, the agency resumes premium processing for petitions that may also be exempt in cases where the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization or entity.
Eligible petitioners file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Form I-907 in conjunction with the H-1B petition.
When USCIS suspended premium processing on April 3, agency officials forecasted as much as six months before reinstatement of the program. The current decision by USCIS officials to resume premium processing comes less than one month after the program resumed on June 26 for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program as well as interested government agency waivers.
“USCIS plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit,” according to the release. And while the agency plans additional announcements with specific details related the resumption of premium processing in other categories, premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions. To this, the agency unequivocally states, “USCIS will reject any Form I-907 filed for those petitions, and if the petitioner submitted one check combining the Form I-907 and Form I-129 fees, USCIS will have to reject both forms.”
As previously reported, USCIS suspended premium processing on April 3, calling it a temporary move designed to reduce overall visa processing times.