March 26, 2020
Last Friday, March 20, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the immediate and temporary suspension of premium processing service for all Form I-129 and Form I-140 petitions until further notice due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019).
USCIS will not accept any new requests for premium processing. USCIS will process any petition with a previously accepted Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service), in accordance with the premium processing service criteria. Petitioners who have already filed a Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker), or Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers), using the premium processing service and who receive no agency action on their case within the 15-calendar-day period will receive a refund. We will notify the public with a confirmed date for resuming premium processing.
USCIS will reject the I-907 and return the $1,440 filing fee for all petitions requesting premium processing that were mailed before March 20 but not yet accepted.
Which Petitions are Included in this Suspension?
USCIS has suspended premium processing for all petitions. This includes new premium processing requests for all I-140 petitions and all H-1B petitions, including H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year 2021, petitions from previous fiscal years, and all H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap. USCIS previously announced the temporary suspension of premium processing for FY 2021 cap-subject petitions and tentative dates for resumption of premium processing service. This announcement expands upon and supersedes the previous announcement.
LHSCD will update our clients and our website to reflect any changes in this suspension.
What is Premium Processing?
Premium processing is an expediting service that USCIS offers (for a fee) alongside a limited selection of petitions, including most I-129 petitions and most I-140 petitions. If a petition is submitted with the I-907 Request for Premium Processing Service (and the required $1225 USCIS I-907 filing fee), USCIS agrees to complete processing – which means either rendering a decision or requesting additional information – within 15 days of receipt. This is significantly faster than ‘regular’ processing, for which total processing time can range from 3 months all the way up to a year.