But those looking at extension of H-1B can still avail of premium processing.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Monday announced a temporary suspension of premium processing service for cap-subject H-1B petitions for fiscal year FY 2021.
This essentially means that those petitioners who are filing FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not be able to request premium processing when USCIS begins accepting cap-subject petitions on April 1.
The announcement on USCIS website says: “Until premium processing resumes for FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS will reject any Form I-907 concurrently filed with a cap-subject H-1B Form I-129.”
And while the news is bound to cause some confusion in the H-1B community as amid the COVID-19 breakout many consular services and visa interviews are being rescheduled.
The new development is entirely unrelated to delays caused by COVID-19 preventive measures.
This is not the first time that USCIS has come up with such temporary suspension.
Last year too USCIS had taken the step to reduce the overall processing time for H-1B visas.
USCIS, the announcement says, “will resume premium processing for FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status no later than May 27, 2020, and will notify the public before premium processing resumes for these petitions.”
“Petitioners must appropriately select response ‘b’ for Item 4 in Part 2 of Form I-129, and indicate ‘F-1’ for Item 5, ‘Current Nonimmigrant Status’ in Part 3 of Form I-129 to be eligible to file a Form I-907 as part of this first group,” it says.
The earliest date that USCIS will resume premium processing for all other FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions is June 29.
Petitioners filing FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions will be eligible to upgrade to premium processing by filing Form I-907 once premium processing resumes, as applicable.
USCIS will notify the public with a confirmed date for resuming premium processing for FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions.
At this time, premium processing remains available for H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap, such as extension of stay requests.”