Premium Processing Suspended for H-1B Filings

March 6, 2017

Please note that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (hereinafter USCIS) has announced that they will suspend premium processing service for all H-1B filings not filed by April 3, 2017.  USCIS has indicated that this temporary action will allow the government to catch up on long delayed adjudications, and may last up to six months.  Any filings received before April 3, 2017 will be eligible for premium processing.  Since April 3, 2017 is a Monday, applications would have to be received by March 31, 2017 in order to take advantage of premium processing.  Please note that USCIS does not guarantee that all applications submitted in this timeframe will actually get processed via premium processing.  If they are inundated with applications, they could return the premium processing fee and revert the case to regular processing if they are unable to accommodate the 15 day processing window due to high volume.

If your department plans to hire faculty or researchers for July 1 or the new Fall semester start date on H-1B visas, please know that this may affect our ability to obtain timely visa sponsorship.  If cases are being processed now or started immediately, we may be able to file prior to the deadline if we get all required documentation as soon as possible.  We strongly suggest that your department discuss all outstanding hires and determine if this action may affect your hiring plans.   If so, please contact your advisor at the HIO to discuss which options may be available.

Please be assured that Harvard's government relations office  as well as many professional organizations, are enunciating their serious concerns about this action to the government.  The HIO will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as soon as they become available.