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USCIS Allows Premium Processing of Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions

Premium processing resumed on September 18, 2017.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on September 18, 2017 that it will once again allow premium processing of all H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 cap. The annual cap or limitation on the approval of new H-1B petitions is set at 65,000, with an additional set-aside of 20,000 for petitions for beneficiaries that have a US master’s or higher degree. The USCIS announced on March 3, 2017 that it was temporarily suspending premium processing of all H-1B petitions, including those that are cap-subject.

To request premium processing of a pending cap-subject H-1B petition, the petitioner must file Form I-907, together with a fee of $1225. In return for this fee, the USCIS guarantees a processing time of 15 calendar days, and will either approve or deny the petition or issue a Request for Evidence within this timeframe. If this processing time is exceeded, the USCIS will refund the premium processing fee. Premium processing can be requested while the case is pending and also in conjunction with the submission of the response to a previously issued Request for Evidence.

Premium processing remains temporarily suspended for other H-1B petitions, including those seeking amendments, extensions of stay, or changes of employer for beneficiaries currently holding H-1B status. The USCIS previously resumed premium processing of H-1B petitions filed for physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program and interested government agency waivers, as well as for H-1B petitions not subject to the cap.

Copyright © 2017 by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights Reserved.

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Partner

Eric S. Bord is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. Mr. Bord's practice focuses on immigration matters involving the recruitment, hiring, transfer, and retention of international personnel worldwide. In addition, he has particular knowledge in the areas of immigration-related compliance, I-9 and E-Verify rules, immigration investigations, and immigration due diligence for corporate transactions.

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Partner

A. James Vázquez-Azpiri is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. Mr. Vázquez-Azpiri focuses his practice on business immigration law, assisting corporate clients with hiring and retaining foreign employees with regard to labor certifications, specialty occupation petitions and intra-company transfers. Mr. Vázquez-Azpiri is also a leading expert on immigration law compliance in the context of mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring. Mr. Vázquez-Azpiri helps clients think and work proactively by providing them with traditional compliance policy reviews and audits, case management and litigation technology and international executive travel and foreign resident worker visa processing.

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