Expedited Processing of I-140 Petitions Now Available for Some H-1B Workers

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) announced on February 24, 2009 that some H-1B workers nearing the end of their sixth year of stay in the U.S. are eligible to expedite the processing of their I-140 petitions. Starting on March 2, 2009, Form I-140 premium processing service expanded to certain employment-based immigrant workers who meet the following conditions:

1. They are the beneficiary of a Form I-140 petition filed in an employment-based preference category that has been designated for premium processing service;

2. They have reached the 6th year statutory limitation on their H-1B stay or will reach the end of their 6th year of H-1B stay within 60 days of filing;

3. They are only eligible for a further H-1B extension upon approval of their Form I-140 petition under Section 104(c) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21); and

4. They are ineligible to extend their H-1B status under Section 106(a) of AC21.

[Section 104(c) of AC21 permits three-year extensions of stay for H-1B workers, as long as they are the beneficiary of an approved I-140 petition and they are otherwise eligible for permanent residence in the U.S., except that there are no employment-based visas available in their preference category (in other words, their priority date is not current). Section 106(a) enables H-1B workers to continue to extend their stay in one-year increments, as long as they filed a labor certification (PERM) application or I-140 petition at least one year before the end of their sixth year of stay and there has been no final decision made on their permanent residence case.]

As with other premium (expedited) processing applications, the request will be made on Form I-907 and will require payment of an additional $1000 processing fee to the government.

To view information about filing for I-140 Premium Processing, click here.

Categories: Immigration Blog