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USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions

Filed in News and announcements by on March 8, 2017

On March 6, USCIS announced that, starting April 3, 2017, it will temporary suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to six months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file a request for premium processing service for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. For more information about this temporary suspension, please see the USCIS website.

The University of Missouri has historically relied on premium processing to quickly approve and hire H-1B faculty and staff. Given that this option will be temporarily unavailable for approximately six months, hiring departments need to be aware of the implications and described below.

All H-1B petition requests made after noon on Friday, March 10, must be filed with regular processing. Current processing times for standard processing are, on average, seven to nine months.

  • Individuals currently outside the U.S. and individuals in the U.S. in a different immigration status (such as F-1, OPT or J-1):
    • The H-1B application process for these individuals will likely take up to nine months.
    • If premium processing becomes an option within the next six months, the department can choose premium processing at that time.
  • Individuals in the U.S. in H-1B status currently working at another institution:
    • These individuals can begin their work at MU once the H-1B petition is filed for them, or the start date on the H-1B application, whichever is later.
    • These individuals can continue working until the H-1B petition is approve, regardless of the duration of the processing time.
  • Individuals already employed by the University of Missouri in H-1B status who need to extend their status:
    • These individuals can work while the extension petition is pending for up to 240 days past their current H-1B status end date.
    • The extension petition can be filed up to six months in advance of the current status end date.
    • Individuals in this circumstance should work with the International Center seven to eight months prior to their end date to prepare their extension petition to be submitted by the center to USCIS as early as possible.

In general, anyone in these categories who is currently in the U.S. is advised to avoid traveling international until their H-1B status is approved with the University of Missouri.

Please contact Lauren Sellers, international scholar coordinator, with any questions at sellersl@missouri.edu or 573-882-6007.

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