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Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for Extension of Stay H-1B Petitions

On Friday, May 22, 2015 USCIS announced that it would be temporarily suspending premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay Petitions beginning May 26, 2015 to July 27, 2015 due to the high volume of anticipated applications for employment authorization under the H-4 final rule. During this time period, petitioners may NOT file Form I-907 to Request Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of stay for the H1B nonimmigrant.  This temporary suspension will allow USCIS to implement the new regulation ‘Employment Authorization final rule’ for certain H-4 spouses which became effective on May 26, 2015. The suspension of premium processing applications for H-1B Extensions will allow USCIS to process applications for H-4 spouses in a timely manner and will help USCIS adjudicate applications for employment authorization filed by H-4 nonimmigrants.

All premium processing requests for H-1B extension of stay petitions that were filed prior to May 26, 2015 will proceed as normal.

USCIS will refund premium processing fees for H-1B extension of stay petitions filed prior to May 26, 2015 if USCIS did not take action within the required 15 calendar day period.

Premium processing requests for Form I-129 H-1B cap subject and cap exempt petitions will remain unaffected so long as the petition is 1) requesting a change of nonimmigrant status or 2) consular notification.

Premium processing requests for Form I-129 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who were already granted H-1B nonimmigrant status will remain unaffected so long as the petition is requesting 1) consular notification or 2) an amendment of a previously approved petition that does not include a request for an extension of stay. All Form I-129 H-1B1 petitions will also remain unaffected.

NOTE: Petitioners can request expedited processing of their H-1B extension of stay petitions during this temporary period of premium processing suspension. It is up to the discretion of USCIS whether an expedite request will be approved. In order for an expedite request to be approved, petitioners must demonstrate that 1 or more expedite criteria have been met.

Have questions? Feel free to contact our office for more information.