announced that it will resume premium processing on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 for H-1B petitions. UCSIS has not yet specifically confirmed that premium processing will be available for FY 2020 H-1B cap subject petitions. ALL
When an H-1B petitioner properly requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. If USCIS does not take certain adjudicative action within the 15‑calendar day processing time, USCIS refunds the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continues with expedited processing of the petition.
Please reach out to your Greenspoon Marder LLP representative if you would like to file a Request for Premium Processing for any eligible H-1B petitions.
Impact of New Form I-539 on Premium Processing
As indicated in our previous Immigration Alert, UCSIS has published a new version of the Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. As of March 22, 2019, USCIS will only accept the revised Form I-539 with an edition date of 02/04/19. The revised Form I-539 includes the following significant changes:
Signature Required for Every Co-Applicant – Every co-applicant included on the primary applicant’s Form I-539 must submit and sign a separate Form I-539A, which will be available on the Form I-539 webpage on March 11, 2019. Parents or guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 or for any co-applicant who is not mentally competent to sign.
New Biometrics Fee for Every Applicant and Co-Applicant – Every applicant and co-applicant must pay an additional $85 biometric services fee (Regardless of Age), except certain A, G, and NATO nonimmigrants as noted in the new Form I-539 Instructions to be published on March 11, 2019.
New Biometrics Requirement – Every applicant and co-applicant will receive a biometric services appointment notice, regardless of age, containing their individual receipt number. The biometric services appointments will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to the primary applicant’s address. Co-applicants who wish to be scheduled at a different ASC location should file a separate Form I-539.
On a recent teleconference, USCIS has indicated that the new biometrics requirement will result in longer processing times for H-4 extensions and H-4 EAD renewals that are concurrently filed with a premium processed H-1B petition. In addition, H-4 legal fees will no longer be waived for concurrently filed petitions.
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