Minutes ago, USCIS announced that starting May 26, 2015, it will suspend the "premium processing" service for all H-1B petitions requesting an extension of stay for the H-1B worker.
The announcement states that this action is necessary so that USCIS can efficiently implement the H-4 Work Authorization rule, also scheduled to take effect on May 26.
Since the 90-day processing time for the H-4 work authorization does not begin until USCIS adjudicates the underlying H-1B and H-4 extension, USCIS clearly expects a significant number of concurrently filed H-1B/H-4 extensions requesting premium processing in an effort to expedite issuance of the H-4 Employment Authorization Card (EAD).
According to the announcement, this action only affects extension requests filed on or after May 26, 2015. USCIS will continue to premium process extension petitions file before May 26. The announcement also makes clear that premium processing is still available for all other H-1B petitions, including those requesting a change to H-1B status or consular notification.
As always, please contact us with any questions.
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