On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an immediate and temporary suspension of the premium processing service for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions until further notice due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Premium processing allows petitioners to expedite their petitions within a 15-calendar-day period.

All requests for premium processing that were mailed before March 20, 2020 but not yet accepted will be rejected. In these cases, USCIS will refund the $1,440 filing fee to the petitioner, and will process the petition via regular processing times. However, USCIS will process any petition with a previously accepted premium processing request, in accordance with the premium processing service criteria.

The temporary suspension includes petitions filed for the following categories:

I-129: E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, LZ, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1, TN-1 and TN-2.

I-140:  EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3.

This guidance includes suspension of premium processing requests for all H-1B petitions, including H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year 2021, petitions from previous fiscal years, and all H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap.

USCIS will notify the public with a confirmed date for resuming premium processing.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.