USCIS Will Resume Speedy Visa Processing In June
Law360 (May 29, 2020, 4:04 PM EDT) — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is rebooting premium processing for certain visa petitions in phases throughout June without raising fees after suspending the service in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Friday announcement.
The agency said that starting June 1, companies can request accelerated processing for immigrant worker visas, and the following week employers who have pending H-1B temporary worker visas can ask for their applications to be fast-tracked. Premium visa processing will also be available to employers seeking visas for other non-immigrant workers, it said.
“All dates are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests and USCIS will announce any changes to these dates accordingly,” the agency said.
In mid-June, companies that filed H-1B visa petitions on or after June 8 and are cap-exempt, such as universities and research organizations, will be eligible for fast-track processing, according to USCIS.
By the end of the month, premium processing will be available for all non-immigrant work visas and H-1Bs subject to the yearly cap, the agency said.
A spokesperson for USCIS told Law360 in a statement that the agency decided to resume premium processing after determining it “could appropriately” do so while coronavirus cases continue to rise in some regions of the U.S.
Earlier this week, USCIS announced that it will be reopening its offices and resuming citizenship ceremonies in early June, after the agency canceled in-person services as a protective measure during the novel virus outbreak.
The agency’s decision comes after it requested $1.2 billion in emergency funding from Congress because of declining revenue caused by a decrease in visa and green card filings.
USCIS told Congress that it expected to run out of funding by the end of summer unless it receives a bailout or takes “drastic actions to keep the agency afloat.”
–Additional reporting by Suzanne Monyak. Editing by Adam LoBelia.
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