In a July 24, 2017 news release, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced an immediate resumption of Premium Processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B (Temporary Worker) Visa petitioners, including: institutions of higher education; nonprofits related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or nonprofit research or governmental research organizations. Premium Processing will also resume for petitions that may be exempt if the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization or entity. With Premium Processing, petitioners will know if their visa petition is approved or denied within 15 days of the date USCIS receives the petition.
USCIS previously announced, on June 23, 2017, that Premium Processing would resume for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program as well as interested government agency waivers. In the July 24th announcement, USCIS clarified that it plans to resume Premium Processing of all other H-1B petitions “as workloads permit.”
HRLegalist will continue to monitor these announcements and keep you informed. In the meantime, employers who are interested in utilizing the H-1B process for their foreign employees should consult legal counsel regarding any questions related to this process, as well as the possibility of utilizing Premium Processing. Premium Processing can be requested for existing petitions meeting the requirements above, as well as new petitions.