On April 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions. Under premium processing, USCIS would expedite and review an H-1B filing within 15 days for an additional filing fee of $1,225. Since the suspension, employers have only been able to request premium processing under very limited circumstances by showing, for example, humanitarian reasons or emergency situations.
Back in June, USCIS resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions for physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program. On July 24, USCIS announced that it will restart premium processing for another group of H-1B petitions. Specifically, H-1B petitions filed by organizations that may qualify for an exemption from the H-1B numerical limitation (H-1B Cap-Exempt petition). These organizations include:
- Nonprofit higher-education institutions;
- Nonprofits related to or affiliated with a nonprofit higher-education institution; or
- Nonprofit research or governmental research organizations.
Premium processing may also be available for petitions that may be exempt if the H-1B beneficiary will be employed at one of the entities listed above.
The premium processing suspension remains for all other H-1B filings.