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COVID-19 Update: USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for All I-129 and I-140 Petitions and DOS Suspends Routine Visa Services at All U.S. Embassies and Consulates

 

  According to USCIS, effective today, March 20, 2020, USCIS will not accept any new requests for premium processing service for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions until further notice due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). USCIS will process any petition with a previously accepted Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, in accordance with the premium processing service criteria. However, USCIS will not be able to send notices using pre-paid envelopes. USCIS will only send batch-printed notices. Petitioners who have already filed a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, or Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, using the premium processing service and who receive no agency action on their case within the 15-calendar-day period will receive a refund, consistent with 8 CFR 103.7(e). USCIS will notify the public with a confirmed date for resuming premium processing. USCIS will reject the I-907 and return the $1,440 filing fee for all petitions requesting premium processing that were mailed before March 20 but not yet accepted.

 

This temporary suspension includes petitions filed for the following categories:

I-129: E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, LZ, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1, TN-1 and TN-2.

I-140: EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3.

 

  This includes new premium processing requests for all H-1B petitions, including H-1B cap-subject petitions for the fiscal year 2021, petitions from previous fiscal years, and all H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap. USCIS previously announced the temporary suspension of premium processing for FY 2021 cap-subject petitions and tentative dates for resumption of premium processing service. This announcement expands upon and supersedes the previous announcement.

Also, the Department of State, in response to COVID-19, has suspended all routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. All routine visa appointments will be canceled as of March 20, 2020. Embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services. Services to the U.S. citizens continue to be available. Applicant’s with an urgent matter and need to travel immediately should follow the guidance provided at the Embassy’s website to request an emergency appointment.

Please refer to our previous articles on COVID-19. We will regularly update the blog as soon as any new information is available on COVID-19.

 

Previous Articles on COVID-19:

  1. http://www.ahluwalialaw.com/covid-19-treatment-or-preventive-services-not-to-negatively-impact-the-aliens-seeking-extension-of-stay-change-of-status-or-adjustment-of-status/ (Date of Publication: March 16, 2020)
  2. http://www.ahluwalialaw.com/covid-19-update-uscis-suspension-of-in-person-services-and-services-available-only-in-emergency-situations/ (Date of Publication: March 18, 2020)

Disclaimer

This article aims to provide new information concerning COVID-19 and its effect on the aliens. This article, under no circumstances, acts as legal or medical advice; therefore, for any further case-specific question, please contact your doctor and attorney or the Ahluwalia Law Offices, P.C. (Team ALO).

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