|USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced
that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases over the next month.
Effective June 1, 2020
, USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.
Effective June 8
, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for:
- H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication and are cap-exempt (for example, petitions filed by petitioners that are cap-exempt and petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical allocations).
- All other Form I-129 petitions (non H-1B petitions) for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication.
Effective June 15, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for:
- H-1B petitions requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129 (or request for a petition filed on or after June 8) and are exempt from the cap because the employer is cap-exempt or 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).
Effective June 22, 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), including change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status, for both premium processing upgrades and concurrently filed I-907s.
- 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.
All dates are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests and USCIS will announce any changes to these dates accordingly.
On March 20, USCIS announced the temporary suspension of premium processing for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS continues to process any petition with a previously accepted Form I-907, in accordance with the premium processing service criteria. Petitioners who had already filed Form I-129 or Form I-140 using the premium processing service before the March 20 suspension, but received no action and a refund, may refile their Form I-907 consistent with the timeline above, barring any changes USCIS may announce in the future.
Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from China
On May 29, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation
pursuant to INA sections 212(f) and 215(a), as well as 3 U.S.C. 301, to block certain Chinese nationals associated with entities in China that implement or support China’s “military-civil fusion strategy” from using F or J visas to enter the United States.
The proclamation takes effect on June 1, 2020 at 12:00 P.M. (ET). It will remain in effect until terminated by the President. A specific termination date was not provided.
The Proclamation applies to graduate level and higher students and researchers from the People's Republic of China (PRC) applying for visas or seeking entry into the U.S. who receive/received funding from, are/were currently employed by, study/studied at, or conduct/conducted research at or on behalf of an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC's military-civil fusion strategy.
The Proclamation does not apply to individuals from the PRC who are:
- Undergraduate students;
- Lawful permanent residents of the United States;
- The spouse of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident;
- A foreign national who is a member of the United States Armed Forces and any foreign national who is a spouse or child of a member of the United States Armed Forces;
- A foreign national whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement (such as a PRC U.N. representative or expert performing a U.N. mission) or who would otherwise be allowed entry into the United States pursuant to United States obligations under applicable international agreements;
- A foreign national who is studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to the PRC's military-civil fusion strategy, as determined by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the appropriate executive departments and agencies;
- A foreign national whose entry would further United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or
- A foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
In addition to those seeking entry through F or J status, the Secretary of State will also consider whether the visas of PRC nationals currently in the United States in F or J status, to which the proclamation would otherwise apply, should be revoked pursuant to INA section 221(i).
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