The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that they will resume premium processing for Forms I-140 and I-129 after suspending the service in late March. This service will resume over a series of four (4) stages within the next month and will be implemented depending upon the type of application and form being submitted. The first stage will begin on June 1st, where petitioners can begin to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions. 

Premium Processing is an optional service that allows petitioners to pay an additional fee to request an expedited processing time for specific employment-based applications. Under premium processing, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has fifteen (15) calendar days to adjudicate the petition.

Immediate Impact

USCIS plans to resume premium processing for eligible petitions over a series of four (4) stages. Specifically, USCIS has indicated that they will accept Form I-907 submissions according to the following timeline:

  • June 1st: USCIS will begin to accept premium processing requests for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.
  • June 8th: USCIS will begin to accept premium processing requests for pending cases filed prior to June 8th, and are either: 
    • Cap-exempt H-1B petitions; or
    • Eligible Form I-129 petitions that were filed for non-immigrant visa classifications other than H-1B.
  • June 15th: USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions that are filed concurrently with Form I-907on or after June 8th and  are cap-exempt because:
    • The employer is cap-exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, entity or organization (such as an institution of higher education, a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization); or 
    • The beneficiary is cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver under INA section 214(I)
  • June 22nd: USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for all other eligible Form I-129 petitions, including H-1B cap-subject petitions and all other Form I-129 petitions filed concurrently with a request for premium processing.

USCIS has reserved the right to make changes to this timeline if necessary and noted that the June 15th and June 22nd dates are especially tentative and subject to change.

Next Steps

Pryor Cashman will reach out to clients to discuss upgrading eligible I-140 and I-129 petitions to Premium Processing. As noted above, for this year's H-1B cap-subject petitions, the earliest that a request for premium processing can be filed is June 22nd.

We will continue to monitor and update clients on USCIS's implementation of premium processing. Please reach out to your Pryor Cashman team if you have any questions.

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.