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USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases over the next month.
Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.
Effective June 8, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for:
H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication and are cap-exempt (for example, petitions filed by petitioners that are cap-exempt and petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical allocations).
All other Form I-129 petitions (non H-1B petitions) for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication.
Effective June 15, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for:
H-1B petitions requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129 (or request for a petition filed on or after June 8) and are exempt from the cap because:
The employer is cap-exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, entity or organization (such as an institution of higher education, a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization); or
The beneficiary is cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver under INA section 214(l).
Effective June 22, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions, including:
All H-1B cap-subject petitions (including those for fiscal year 2021), including change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status, for both premium processing upgrades and concurrently filed I-907s.
All other Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing and requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129.
All dates are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests and USCIS will announce any changes to these dates accordingly.
On March 20, USCIS announced the temporary suspension of premium processing for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS continues to process any petition with a previously accepted Form I-907, in accordance with the premium processing service criteria. Petitioners who had already filed Form I-129 or Form I-140 using the premium processing service before the March 20 suspension, but received no action and a refund, may refile their Form I-907 consistent with the timeline above, barring any changes USCIS may announce in the future.
Updates Align with Board of Immigration Appeals Decision and Statute
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced it is updating its Policy Manual (PDF, 307 KB) to align with the Department of Justice’s Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) precedent decision in Matter of Zhang. Decided in June 2019, the BIA held in this decision that false claims of U.S. citizenship do not need to be knowingly made to make an alien deportable under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Policy Manual also applies the BIA’s decision to the false claim to U.S. citizenship ground of inadmissibility, as it is virtually identical to the ground of deportability.
Under the law, an alien is inadmissible or deportable if the alien falsely represents him or herself to be a citizen of the United States for any purpose or benefit under immigration law or under other federal or state law. The only exception Congress provided to the false claim to U.S. citizenship ground of inadmissibility requires that each parent of the alien is or was a U.S. citizen, the alien permanently resided in the United States before the age of 16, and the alien reasonably believed he or she was a U.S. citizen when claiming to be one.
Aliens applying for refugee status and for adjustment of status based on refugee or asylee status, as well as legalization applicants, may be eligible to apply for a waiver of this ground of inadmissibility. This ground of inadmissibility does not apply to special immigrant juveniles seeking adjustment of status, or to registry applicants.
Matter of Zhang clarified that it is not necessary for the government to show intent when it comes to false representations to U.S. citizenship. This guidance aligns with that decision and addresses inadmissibility for falsely claiming U.S. citizenship for any purpose or benefit under the INA or any other federal or state law, provided that the alien made the false claim on or after Sept. 30, 1996.
FROM U.S CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES NEWS PAGE.