Quoted below is the USCIS Update dated June 11, 2008. It’s time to contact your California wine clubs and celebrate. This is definitely good news for fellow therapists who are on their sixth year in H-1B non-immigrant status.
USCIS to Offer Premium Processing for Certain Form I-140 Petitions
Service Begins June 16, 2008
WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that on June 16, 2008, it will begin accepting Premium Processing Service requests for Forms I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) filed on behalf of certain alien workers who are nearing the end of their sixth year in H-1B nonimmigrant status.
Premium Processing Service offers 15 calendar-day processing for designated employment-based petitions and applications upon request. There is a nonrefundable fee of $1000 for this service. During the 15-day period, USCIS will issue either an approval or denial notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence, or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation. USCIS previously designated certain classifications under Form I-140 for Premium Processing Service in the May 23, 2006 issue of the Federal Register. See 71 FR 29662.
USCIS is limiting Premium Processing Service for Form I-140 petitions that are filed on behalf of aliens:
- Whose sixth year will end within 60 days;
- Who are only eligible for a further extension of H-1B nonimmigrant status under section 104(c) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21); and
- Who are ineligible to extend their H-1B status under section 106(a) of AC21.
Section 104(c) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to three years, provided they are the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 and an immigrant visa is not immediately available. Section 106(a) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to one year, provided the Form I-140 petition or underlying labor certification has been pending for at least 365 days.
For more details on Premium Processing Service for the Form I-140 petitions described in this announcement, see the “How Do I Use the Premium Processing Service” page in the Related Links section of this page or the Fact Sheet also linked in the Related Links section.