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USCIS will temporarily suspend Premium Processing for all H-1B petitions

On Friday evening March 3, 2017 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an unprecedented temporary halt to a service called Premium Processing for H-1B visas until October 2017.  There was no indication from USCIS that this announcement was forthcoming.  The H-1B process (a new petition or an extension) takes months to prepare, and in the final stage (submitting application by mail) USCIS offers two different types of service: normal processing and Premium Processing (for an additional $1225.)  Premium Processing means that after the application is received by USCIS it generally takes 15 days to adjudicate. OISS has historically relied on Premium Processing because normal processing can take 7-9 months. This temporary stoppage will have an enormous impact on universities and hospitals across the country due to our traditional appointment calendars that begin on July 1st.. OISS has reached out to our Federal Relations Office to begin advocacy work on the issue through our associations (AAU, AAMC and others.) More details are available here.