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USCIS Resumes Premium Processing in June 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") announced at the end of last month that premium processing would resume in phases. Fast-tracking will resume on the following dates for the following respective filing categories:

1. June 1st - Forms I-140 (employment-based immigrant petitions),

2. June 8th - Forms I-129 (employment-based nonimmigrant petitions), except H-1Bs,

3. June 15th - Forms I-129 for H-1B petitions requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with the I-129, and

4. June 22nd - Forms I-129 for H-1B cap-subject petitions (including those for fiscal year 2021), including changes of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status, for both premium-processing upgrades and concurrently filed I-907s and all other Forms I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing and requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129.

The agency had suspended the service March 20th due to COVID-19.

Premium processing allows employers to pay an extra fee of $1,410 for their petitions to be serviced within 15 days.

Last year, the average processing time for Forms I-129 was five months. The extra fees for faster adjudication may be even more vital because USCIS has said it has seen a dramatic decrease in revenue during the novel-coronavirus pandemic and estimates it will exhaust its funding by the time summer ends. The sub-agency consequently has asked the U.S. Congress for $1.2 billion in emergency funds so that it won’t go broke.