There is never a lack of surprises in the immigration world. Recently, in addition to the unveiling of the President’s new executive order, USCIS announced that the agency would be temporarily suspending the premium processing program for H-1B petitions. Beginning on April 3, 2017, and continuing for as long as six months, USCIS will not accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions.
What is the Premium Processing Program?
Premium processing is an optional service offered by USCIS for certain eligible applications for immigration benefits. To make use of premium processing, the petitioner must request the service using the Form I-907 and provide USCIS with an extra fee of $1,225, which is in addition to any other filing fee the petitioner may have already paid. Once USCIS receives these materials, the agency will adjudicate the underlying application within 15 business days. Since the normal processing time for some petitions is more than one year, the premium processing option has become more and more attractive in recent years.