On October 3, 2017, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had resumed Premium Processing Services, for all type of H-1B petitions, including the extension of stay petitions for the fiscal year 2018. The USCIS had temporarily suspended the Premium Processing Service for all H-1B visa petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017.
A petitioner may request the USCIS for Premium Processing Service by paying an additional fee of $1,225. The USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time period for the petitions filed under the Premium Processing Service. If the petition is not processed within the said period, the USCIS will refund the petitioner’s Premium Processing Service fee and continue with the expedited processing of the application.
The 15-calendar-day period begins when the USCIS receives Form I-907 form the petitioner. Within 15 days, the USCIS will issue a notice of its decision or request for further evidence. If the USCIS makes a request for further evidence, an additional period of 15 days from the date of receipt of the evidence is taken to render its decision.
The resumption of premium processing is very welcome as H-1B petitioners can now upgrade their petitions for premium processing. This will reduce the USCIS’s response time from the recent 5 to 6 months down to 15 days.
Sukanya Raman, Immigration Assistant