USCIS to resume processing for some H-1B visas

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions effective immediately.

The H-1B visa program, which allows US employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Additionally, there is an annual “master’s cap” of 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries with a US master’s degree or higher.

Although the cap was reached within seven days of the 2017 program opening back in April, USCIS yesterday stated that premium processing will resume for petitions if the visa petitioner is:

– An institution of higher education;

– A non-profit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or

– A non-profit research or governmental research organisation.

Premium processing will also resume for petitions that may also be exempt if the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization or entity.

Starting today, those cap-exempt petitioners who are eligible for premium processing can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker.

Form I-907 can be filed together with an H-1B petition or separately for a pending petition.

USCIS previously announced that premium processing resumed on 26th June for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program as well as interested government agency waivers.

USCIS plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit. USCIS will make additional announcements with specific details related to when they will begin accepting premium processing for those petitions. Until then, premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions.

Article published 25th July 2017