United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing Service for H-1B Petitions Seeking an Extension of Stay; USCIS Issues Guidance to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses Eligible to Apply for Employment Authorization

May 20, 2015

Effective May 26, 2015, USCIS will suspend Premium Processing Service for all H-1B petitions seeking an extension of stay until July 27, 2015.  During this period, employers will not be able to submit a Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for an H-1B petition seeking an extension of stay.  USCIS further indicated that it will refund the $1,225 Premium Processing fee if an employer has filed an H-1B petition seeking an extension of stay prior to May 26, 2015, but the case is not acted on within the 15-day Premium Processing period.    H-1B petitions that do not request that a foreign national’s period of stay in H-1B status be extended remain eligible for Premium Processing Service. 

 

USCIS has indicated that this temporary suspension of Premium Processing Service will allow the agency to allocate resources toward the implementation and adjudication of applications for employment authorization filed by certain eligible H-4 dependent spouses.  As previously announced, certain H-4 dependent spouses will be eligible to apply for employment authorization beginning May 26, 2015, pursuant to a recent change in federal regulations.  USCIS has also issued guidance to H-4 dependent spouses who are eligible to apply for employment authorization based on this regulatory change.

 

The USCIS announcement that Premium Processing Service will be temporarily suspended for H-1B extension petitions is available here.  The USCIS guidance to H-4 dependent spouses eligible to apply for employment authorization is available here.  

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