covid-19: USCIS announces temporary suspension of premium processing for FY21 H-1B petitions

PUNE: The US Citizenship and Immigration Services ton Monday announced the temporary suspension of premium processing service for fiscal year (FY) 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions. Petitioners filing FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not be able to request premium processing when USCIS begins accepting these on April 1, 2020, it […]

PUNE: The US Citizenship and Immigration Services ton Monday announced the temporary suspension of premium processing service for fiscal year (FY) 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions.

Petitioners filing FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not be able to request premium processing when USCIS begins accepting these on April 1, 2020, it said. Until premium processing resumes for FY 2021 H-1B petitions, USCIS will reject any Form I-907 concurrently filed with a H-1B Form I-129.

USCIS said it will resume premium-processing in a two-phased approach during the FY2021 season, similar to what it has done in the past, in order to best manage premium processing requests. The first phase will include FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status. The second phase will include all other FY 2021 cap-subject petitions. This has been done in order to reduce overall H-1B processing times, it said in a statement.

USCIS will resume premium processing for FY 2021 H-1B petitions requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status no later than May 27, 2020 and will notify the public before premium processing resumes for these petitions. The earliest date that USCIS will resume premium processing for all other FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions is June 29, 2020.

This year, USCIS is implementing a new system which requires employers to register basic details of all the applicants electronically. Once the final set of applications is selected through random lottery, the employers will have to submit applications for only these employees. At present, the US has suspended issuing visas in India and a few other countries on account of the Covid 19 pandemic. It remains to be seen how long this suspension remains in place, and it could possibly lead to a delay in the application filing process, said immigration lawyers.

Petitioners filing FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions will be eligible to upgrade to premium processing by filing Form I-907 once premium processing resumes, as applicable. USCIS will notify the public with a confirmed date for resuming premium processing for FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions.

Source Article

Lois C. Ferrara

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