Premium Processing Resumes for Certain Additional Cap‑Exempt H‑1B PetitionsJuly 24, 2017 – Alerts Immigration Alert
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced July 24 that it will resume premium processing of certain additional types of H-1B petitions, effective immediately.
H-1B petitioners who are (or have a sound argument that they are) exempt from the H-1B cap are now eligible to request premium processing. This includes petitioners that are:
- An institution of higher education
- A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education
- A nonprofit research or governmental research organization
In addition, USCIS stated it will resume premium processing for petitions that may be exempt “if the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization or entity.”
This welcome news comes about a month after USCIS resumed premium processing of H-1B petitions for physicians under Interested Government Agency (IGA) J-1 waiver programs, such as the Conrad 30 waiver program for shortage area physicians. Employers petitioning for H-1B status for IGA-waivered physicians became eligible for premium processing on June 26.
You may recall that when USCIS announced in March that it was suspending premium processing for H-1B petitions, the agency said it expected to resume premium processing of H-1B petitions in general by early October. In today’s announcement, USCIS indicated it will further “resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit.” It appears that USCIS is on its way toward meeting the October time frame.
Until then, USCIS will continue to reject any Form I-907 Request for Premium Processing filed with noneligible H-1B petitions. Petitioners who aren’t eligible for premium processing may seek expedited processing based on factors such as humanitarian reasons.