USCIS Suspending Premium Processing for Cap Subject H-1B applications

images-1Yesterday, USCIS announced that they would be suspending premium processing for 2019 Cap-subject applications until September 10, 2018.  This means you can only file cap-subject applications via regular processing.  Those applications that are cap-exempt, including those filed by universities and those for extensions of H-1B status, can continue to use premium processing.  Below is a section of the press release from USCIS:

Starting April 2, 2018, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 cap. We will temporarily suspend premium processing for all FY 2019 cap-subject petitions, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. This suspension is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018. During this time, we will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions or making any other premium processing updates.
During this temporary suspension, we will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filed with an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form I-907 and Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, we will reject both forms. When we resume premium processing, petitioners may file a Form I-907 for FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions that remain pending.

Please call our office with any questions you may have.  And, please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.

Expediting Your Immigration Case

Unknown.jpegMany clients want to know about getting their case expedited for various reasons.  This is especially true for those filing the I-485 application, who are counting on getting the EAD card quickly so that they can work.  While it is not impossible to get a case expedited, it can be difficult.  According to USCIS, there are 7 reasons why they will expedite a case:

  • Severe financial loss to company or individual
  • Extreme emergent situation
  • Humanitarian situation
  • Nonprofit status of requesting organization in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States
  • Department of Defense or National Interest Situation (Note: Request must come from official United States Government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to our Government)
  • USCIS error
  • Compelling interest of USCIS

Some examples of the above that USCIS gives are:

  • For extreme emergent situation: If the applicant is gravely ill
  • For Humanitarian reasons:  outbreak of war in your home country
  • Nonprofit:  a nonprofit that broadcasts in regional areas to promote democracy

These, most certainly, are not the only reasons USCIS will expedite cases.  For example, while the fact that the applicant is seriously ill is certainly an emergent situation, so is the fact that the applicant’s relative, and the applicant needs travel permission to visit their relative before they pass away.  However, it is important to note that this is a discretionary decision made by USCIS, so even if you feel your case fits in one of the above areas, USCIS can still deny the request for almost any reason.

It is also important to keep in mind that, even when USCIS does agree to expedite the request you may not actually receive the benefit you are looking for any faster than if you had just wanted for the normal approval.  USCIS can take 30 days or more to make the decision and get the case adjudicated even with an expedite.  The last thing to keep in mind is that if Premium Processing is available for the application, USCIS will not consider other expedite requests (except for non-profit organizations).

Before filing an expedite it is always a good idea to discuss the matter with your attorney to ensure that the best possible case is filed and all relevant procedures are followed.  Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.

Premium Processing for H-1B Extensions Temporarily Halted

imgresUSCIS just announced that, as of May 26, 2015 they are suspending Premium Processing services for all H–1B extension of stay petitions until July 27, 2015. The reason give is that they need the resources to implement the H–4 EAD final rule, allowing some H–4 spouses to get EAD’s. USCIS suspects that they will need the additional people to timely adjudicate the I–765 applications they receive on, and close to May 26 for this new benefit. It is unfortunate that they decided to only give 1 weeks notice, and it would have made much more sense for them to give several weeks notice, but there is nothing that can be done about it at this point.

Please do note, as long as they receive the application prior to May 26, they will continue with premium processing for those cases. We will update you if there is any change to the date of the reinstatment of Premium Processing for these applications.