USCIS announced today that it is temporarily suspending its Premium Processing Service for H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27,2015. This includes requests to extend H-1B status with the same employer as well as those to transfer to a new employer.
The Premium Processing Service provides expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions and applications. Specifically, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing to those petitioners or applicants who choose to use this service.
The suspension of the Premium Processing Service will mean longer wait times for employers and employees who would have utilized this service. However, a timely filed petition to extend H-1B status with the same employer will extend employment authorization for 240 days beyond the employee’s expiration of status while a decision is pending. Additionally, in most cases, an applicant may begin working for a prospective employer upon the filing of an H-1B petition to change employers, although some applicants prefer to wait for an approved H-1B petition before changing employers.
The official announcement can be found here. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys if you have questions about this or related matters.