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USCIS Resumes Premium Processing on Phased Schedule in June 2020

June 4, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced on May 29, 2020, that it will resume premium processing for eligible petitions through a phased approach beginning on June 1, 2020.

Premium processing service provides expedited processing for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (for H, L, O, P, Q, R, and TN classifications) and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (excluding the EB-1 category for multinational executives and managers, and the EB-2 category seeking a National Interest Waiver). Specifically, USCIS guarantees processing within 15 calendar days to those who choose to use this service, or it will refund the premium processing service fee and will continue with expedited processing. USCIS temporarily suspended premium processing service in March 2020 due to COVID-19.

Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS has resumed premium processing on a phased schedule as described below:

Effective Date

Type(s) of Cases Eligible for Premium Processing Service

June 1, 2020

All eligible Form I-140 petitions

June 8, 2020

  • Cap-Exempt H-1B petitions filed before June 8, 2020, that are pending adjudication (for example, petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical limits, as well as petitions filed by cap-exempt petitioners). 
  • All other Form I-129 petitions (non-H-1B petitions) filed before June 8, 2020, that are pending adjudication, and eligible for premium processing (e.g., L-1, P-1, TN petitions).

June 15, 2020

H-1B petitions filed on or after June 8, 2020, that are exempt from the cap 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).

June 22, 2020

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
  • All other Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing and requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129.

USCIS has indicated that all of these dates are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests. Therefore, we recommend that employers and foreign nationals consult with their immigration counsel immediately if they plan to request premium processing service regarding pending and/or future cases.

Please contact the authors or your Miller Canfield attorney with further questions.

This information is based on the facts and guidance available at the time of publication, and may be subject to change.