U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions as of July 24, 2017.
USCIS explained that the H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Additionally, there is an annual “master’s cap” of 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. Premium processing will resume for petitions that may be exempt from the cap if the H-1B petitioner is:
- An institution of higher education;
- A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or
- A nonprofit research or governmental research organization.
Premium processing will also resume for petitions that may also be exempt if the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization, or entity.
Cap-exempt petitioners who are eligible for premium processing can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The I-907 can be filed together with an H-1B petition or separately for a pending H-1B petition.
USCIS previously announced that premium processing resumed on June 26, 2017, for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program as well as interested government agency waivers.
USCIS said it plans to resume premium processing for other H-1B petitions “as workloads permit.” USCIS plans to make additional announcements with specific details related to when the agency will begin accepting premium processing for those petitions. Until then, premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions. USCIS will reject any Form I-907s filed for those petitions, and if the petitioner submitted one check combining the Form I-907 and Form I-129 fees, USCIS will reject both forms.
The USCIS announcement is at https://www.uscis.gov/news/uscis-resume-h-1b-premium-processing-certain-cap-exempt-petitions.