Effective May 26, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will place a temporary hold on premium processing for H-1B visa applications. According to USCIS, the hold will last until July 27, 2015 and applies to the Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of the stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant. Below are answers to questions you may have regarding the hold.
What if I Already Submitted an H-1B Petition?
If you filed an H-1B visa application using premium processing for Form I-907 before May 26, 2015, USCIS will still process your form.
Can I Get a Refund?
If you submitted an H-1B Form I-907 and elected premium processing before May 26, 2015, you may be eligible for a refund if USCIS failed to process your form within 15 days.
Does the Hold Affect Other H-1B Forms?
The hold on premium processing primarily effects Form I-907. USCIS will continue to accept premium processing for the following Form I-129 H-1B forms:
- Form I-129 H-1B forms affected by the H-1B hold and exemption petitions requesting (1) a change of nonimmigrant status, or (2) consular notification.
- Form I-129 H-1B forms filed on behalf of current H-1B nonimmigrants requesting (1) a correction of an approved petition excluding an extension of stay request, or (2) consular notification.
- Form I-129 H-1B1 forms.
Why Is Premium Processing on Hold?
According to USCIS, the premium processing will allow the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses to take effect. The hold will also give USCIS to process employment authorization forms filed by H-4 nonimmigrants under the new rules. USCIS forecasts a heavy influx of Form I-765 petitions and has suspended premium processing to better serve all applicants.
What Can I Do to Speed Up Processing of My Forms?
The July 27, 2015 end date is not set in stone. Depending on the success of H-4 form processing, USCIS may allow H-1B premium processing earlier. This is to ensure that all customers receive full attention and high quality service.
If you have already submitted an H-1B visa application, you may be able to file an expedited processing request during the hold period. USCIS analyzes expedite requests individually; the Director makes the final decision. You can refer to the USCIS expedite conditions resource to determine if you qualify for expedited processing.
If you have questions or concerns about your rights as an immigrant, or believe you have been wronged, you need a dedicated and experienced immigration lawyer. Los Angeles based immigration law firm David Hirson & Partners, LLP provides comprehensive business and investment immigration services. With over three decades of experience, we empower clients with legal guidance and personalized service. For more information, contact us at 949.383.5358 or [email protected].