USCIS resumes premium processing for H-1B, green cards 

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Pending premium processing requests filed before March 20 suspension may be refiled.

Prospective H-1B visa and green card seekers caught in a limbo due to covid lockdown have something to cheer with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resuming premium processing starting June 1.

Employers will be able to begin submitting premium processing requests for eligible I-129 petitions for temporary foreign workers and I-140 petitions for permanent residence in phases over the next month, the immigration agency announced Friday.

USCIS had announced the temporary suspension of premium processing for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions from March 20 due to covid-19.

From June 1, USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.

From June 8, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication and are cap-exempt.

RELATED: USCIS suspends premium processing of all petitions due to COVID-19 (March 21, 2020)

These include petitions filed by petitioners that are cap-exempt and petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical allocations.

All other Form I-129 petitions (non H-1B petitions) for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication too will be accepted from June 8.

From June 15, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129 (or request for a petition filed on or after June 8) and are exempt from the cap.

This includes cases where 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).

Other cases include where the beneficiary is cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver allowing J-1 foreign medical graduates (FMGs) to apply for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program under section 214(l) of the Immigration Nationality Act (INA).

RELATED: Premium processing suspended for H-1B cap subject petitions (March 16, 2020)

From June 22, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions,

These include all H-1B cap-subject petitions (including those for fiscal year 2021), including change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status, for both premium processing upgrades and concurrently filed I-907s.

All other Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing and requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129.

All dates are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests and USCIS will announce any changes to these dates accordingly, the agency said.

USCIS said it continues to process any petition with a previously accepted Form I-907, in accordance with the premium processing service criteria.

However, petitioners who had already filed Form I-129 or Form I-140 using the premium processing service before the March 20 suspension, but received no action and a refund, may refile their Form I-907, it said.

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