United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) has announced that it will now resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases over the next month.
Effective June 8, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for:
- H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication and are cap-exempt (for example, 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.
Effective 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 because:
- 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); or
- The beneficiary is cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver under INA section 214(l).
Effective June 22, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions, including:
- 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.
USCIS also announced that it would reopen certain field offices and asylum offies after nearly three months of temporary closures to combat the spreading of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
Beginning June 4, 2020, certain USCIS field offices and asylum offices will resume non-emergency face-to-face services to the public. Application support centers will resume services later. USCIS has enacted precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in reopened facilities:
- Visitors may not enter a USCIS facility if they:
- Have any symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever or difficulty breathing;
- Have been in close contact with anyone known or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or
- Have been individually directed to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider or public health official within the last 14 days.
- Visitors may not enter the facility more than 15 minutes prior to their appointment (30 minutes for naturalization ceremonies).
- Hand sanitizer will be provided for visitors at entry points.
- Members of the public must wear facial coverings that cover both the mouth and nose when entering facilities. If they do not have one, USCIS may provide one or the visitor will be asked to reschedule their appointment.
- There will be markings and physical barriers in the facility; visitors should pay close attention to these signs to ensure they follow social distancing guidelines.
- Individuals may also have to answer health screening questions before entering a facility.
- Individuals are encouraged to bring their own black or blue ink pens.
Appointment notices will include further instructions for visiting USCIS facilities. Please note that USCIS locations are not accepting walk-in visits at this time. You must have a scheduled appointment with USCIS before arriving at a USCIS office. For more information, see our USCIS Visitor Policy page and the web alert.
This news follows the March 20th announcement announcing a suspension of premium processing services. We are closely monitoring this news and will provide updates as they become available.