USCIS To Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All I-129 and I-140 Petitions Due to the Coronavirus

March 20, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the temporary suspension of premium processing for all I-129 and I-140 Petitions due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

What Happened?

Effective March 20, 2020, employers cannot seek premium processing with Form I-907 temporarily with Form I-129 and Form I-140 due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This effects the following:

Form I-129 Visa Categories - E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, LZ, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1, TN-1 and TN-2.

Form I-140 - EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3.

Petitions filed with Form I-907 for premium processing received before March 20, 2020 will be processed in accordance with the premium processing service criteria, receiving agency action within a 15 calendar-day period. USCIS will reject the Form I-907 and return the $1,440 filing fee for all petitions requesting premium processing that were mailed before March 20, 2020 but not yet accepted. Should no agency action be given within 15 calendar days, a refund will be issued.

Please note that notices will not be sent using pre-paid envelopes, however batch-printed notices will be sent. No date has been given as to when this will be lifted however USCIS will notify the public when premium processing has resumed.

This includes all H-1B petitions, including H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year 2021, petitions from previous fiscal years, and all H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap.

Who Does This Impact?

This impacts all Form I-129 and Form I-140 based petitions that were planned to be processed with the Form I-907 for premium processing. Please see the visa categories above.

How Are Envoy and GIA Responding?

GIA will not be filing any Form I-129 and Form I-140 based petitions concurrently or separately with premium processing until USCIS notifies the suspension has been lifted. We will track cases filed before the March 20, 2020 deadline to ensure agency action is received. Should agency action not be provided within the 15 calendar-day period, GIA will request the refund of the premium processing.

What do I need to do next?

We are monitoring USCIS announcements and will publish information about any updates. Should you have any questions regarding this update, please reach out via the Communication Center. Once premium processing becomes available, we will send instructions on how to add.


Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Sara Herbek, who is a Managing Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.

 

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional. 

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