Tuesday, September 19, 2017

USCIS RESUMES PPS FOR H-1B CAP PETITIONS

USCIS has resumed Premium Processing Service (PPS) for H-1B cap-subject petitions.  Presently, H-1B cap-subject petitions, H-1Bs for cap-exempt employers (e.g. research entities and universities), and H-1Bs for doctors are the only H-1B petitions that may use PPS.  H-1B transfers, amendments, and extensions currently are prohibited from PPS.

USCIS’ press release said that it “plans to resume premium processing for all other remaining H‑1B petitions (i.e. H-1B transfers, amendments, and extensions) not subject to the FY 2018 cap, as agency workloads permit.”  The press release did not commit to a time frame for the resumption of PPS for these types of H-1B petitions.  However, in a June 2017 AILA Q & A, USCIS HQ indicated that it “anticipates” resuming H-1B PPS processing on or before October 4.  This comment did not delineate between H-1B cap petitions and other types of H-1B petitions, such as transfers, amendments, and extensions. 

The USCIS may have decided to prioritize H-1B cap-subject petitions in order to allow some F-1/OPT students to continue to work without work authorization beyond October 1.  Certain F-1/OPT students’ will lose work authorizing on October 1 if their H-1B cap-subject petition is not approved before October 1.  Please check with your MU attorney or staff member if you have questions.

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