Premium processing of H-1B visa is available under exceptional circumstances for applicants fulfilling certain conditions prescribed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The H-1B visa has a maximum limit of 65,000 visas for every year. Every year the USCIS receives an enormous number of applications, and hence the USCIS has decided to resume premium processing for H-1B visas. Under this category of visa process, 20,000 additional visa applications can be processed by the USCIS for beneficiaries who possess a master’s degree or higher qualification from U.S.
The petitioners exempt from the cap are those who fulfil the following criteria:
If the H-1B visa petitioner is an institution of higher education.
If the petitioner is a nonprofit related/affiliated to an institution of higher education.
If the petitioner is a nonprofit research or research organization run by the U.S government.
Petitioners who will be employed by a cap-exempt institution, organization or entity are also eligible for premium processing of the H-1B visa. The petitioners who satisfy the criteria defined by the USCIS can file Form I-907, which is Request for Premium Processing Service. This form can be filed along with Form I-129 which is Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker. However, the Form I-907 can also be filed separately when the H-1B petition has already been submitted and the status is pending.
The USCIS also allows premium processing for H-1B petitions filed by physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program. This is also applicable to other interested government agency waivers. The premium processing of the petitioners filing using the above waiver has been resumed on June 26 by the USCIS. In addition to the category mentioned above, the USCIS has announced plans to resume premium processing for other petitioners as their workloads permit them to. The specific details about premium processing for other categories with workload permits have not been announced yet, but expected to be announced by the USCIS soon. H-1B visa petitions have been temporarily suspended by the USCIS until then. Any Form I-907 submitted along with petitions for H-1B visa will be rejected by the USCIS. In case the petitioners have submitted one check covering the fees for both Form I-907 and Form I-129, the USCIS will reject both the forms.