United States – USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Service in Phases

US – USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Service in Phases

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 29, 2020, the agency will resume its premium processing service (i.e., expedited government review) for certain employment-based visa petitions in a phased approach over the course of the month of June.

1000

CONTACTS

Chelsea Hseih

Partner, US Immigration, KPMG Law LLP

KPMG in Canada

Email
flash-alert-2020-264

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 29, 2020, the agency will resume premium processing service (i.e. expedited government review) for certain employment-based visa petitions in a phased approach. 1 By way of background, on March 20, 2020 USCIS had announced the temporary suspension of premium processing for all Forms I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, and I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers;2 applications due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).  (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-128, March 30 2020.) 

WHY THIS MATTERS

Employers should consider using the USCIS premium processing service to expedite adjudication for eligible employment-based visa petitions requiring notice of urgent approval. This would include visa petitions submitted on behalf of foreign national workers who face the possibility of losing work authorization due to lengthy USCIS adjudication times.

Background

Premium processing is an optional service offered by the USCIS that allows for expedited processing of certain employment-based visa petitions.

The USCIS guarantees a 15 calendar-day processing time to those petitioners or applicants who submit a Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service and remit the government filing fee of $1,440. Under this expedited service, the USCIS must either approve, deny, or issue a request for evidence (RFE) on the application within the 15-day window of receiving the premium processing request.

Premium Processing Timeline for Certain Petitions

The USCIS announced that premium processing would be offered in phases over the month of June 2020 as follows:

  • Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.
  • Effective June 8, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for: 
    • H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending and are cap-exempt such as for petitions filed by cap-exempt employers and petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical allocations. 
    • All other Form I-129 petitions filed before June 8 that are pending for nonimmigrant classifications other than H-1B vis and also eligible for premium processing. This includes petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries seeking L, TN, O, P, Q, and R visa classifications.
  • Effective June 15, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for:
    • H-1B petitions requesting premium processing to be filed concurrently with their Form I-129 (or request for a petition filed on or after June 8) and are exempt from the cap because: 
      • The employer is cap-exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, entity or organization (such as an institution of higher education, a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization); or 
      • The beneficiary is cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver under INA section 214(l).
  • Effective June 22, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions, including: 
    • All H-1B cap-subject petitions (including those for fiscal year 2021) for both premium processing upgrades and Form I-907s filed concurrently with the Form I-129. This includes petitions files requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status.
    • All other Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing and requesting premium processing concurrently with the Form I-129.

USCIS has stated all dates above are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests.

The USCIS announced that premium processing would be offered in phases over the month of June 2020 as follows:
  • Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.
  • Effective June 8, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for: 
    • H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending and are cap-exempt such as for petitions filed by cap-exempt employers and petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical allocations. 
    • All other Form I-129 petitions filed before June 8 that are pending for nonimmigrant classifications other than H-1B vis and also eligible for premium processing. This includes petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries seeking L, TN, O, P, Q, and R visa classifications.
  • Effective June 15, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for:
    • H-1B petitions requesting premium processing to be filed concurrently with their Form I-129 (or request for a petition filed on or after June 8) and are exempt from the cap because: 
      • The employer is cap-exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, entity or organization (such as an institution of higher education, a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization); or 
      • The beneficiary is cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver under INA section 214(l).
  • Effective June 22, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions, including: 
    • All H-1B cap-subject petitions (including those for fiscal year 2021) for both premium processing upgrades and Form I-907s filed concurrently with the Form I-129. This includes petitions files requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status.
    • All other Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing and requesting premium processing concurrently with the Form I-129.

USCIS has stated all dates above are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests.

KPMG LAW LLP NOTE

KPMG Law LLP will notify the public should USCIS announce any changes to the above timeline for the resumption of premium processing service.

KPMG Law LLP in Canada will continue to monitor the situation, and will endeavor to keep GMS Flash Alert readers informed as developments occur.

FOOTNOTES

1   To read USCIS’s May 29, 2020 news release on the resumption of Premium Processing, click here.

2  To read USCIS’s March 20, 2020 news release on the temporary suspension of Premium Processing, click here.

*Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.

SUBSCRIBE

To subscribe to GMS Flash Alert, fill out the subscription form.

© 2022 KPMG LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organization please visit https://home.kpmg/governance.

GMS Flash Alert is a Global Mobility Services publication of the KPMG LLP Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

Connect with us

 

Want to do business with KPMG?

 

loading image Request for proposal

Stay up to date with what matters to you

Gain access to personalized content based on your interests by signing up today

Sign up today