On May 19, 2015, USCIS announced that it will be suspending Premium Processing on all H-1B petitions requesting extension of stay for a temporary period between May 26 and July 27, 2015.
On May 19, 2015, USCIS announced that it will be suspending Premium Processing on all H-1B petitions requesting extension of stay for a temporary period between May 26 and July 27, 2015. Premium processing will remain available, however, for petitions filed requesting consular notification or change of status.
As we consider how to deliver the best possible service to our clients during this period, one filing strategy we have come up with applies to individuals who normally would be filing for an extension of stay, and wish to use Premium Processing for whatever reason (such as a driver's license renewal). We have several clients who are currently in H-1B status and will need to file for an extension in the next two months. For those people who have a currently valid H-1B visa in their passport and desire Premium Processing, a good strategy would be to:
- File a petition for H-1B status with consular notification rather than requesting an extension of stay;
- File the petition with Premium Processing requested;
- Immediately upon approval, and prior to expiration of the previously authorized period of H-1B status, leave the U.S. to Canada or Mexico, make a U-turn, and reenter the U.S. using the unexpired visa together with the new H-1B approval notice.
Note that depending on one's country of citizenship, a visa may be required to enter Canada or Mexico, and that any required visa must be obtained in advance of travel via the appropriate country's consulate within the United States.