USCIS allows premium process for I-140 H-1B holders

Starting on March 2, 2009, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will expand Premium Processing Service for designated Forms I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker to include alien beneficiaries who have reached or are reaching their limitation of stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status. Currently, only certain alien beneficiaries who are in H-1B nonimmigrant status at the time of filing may request Form I-140 Premium Processing Service.

USCIS will accept the Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for Forms I-140 filed on behalf of alien beneficiaries who, as of the date of filing the Form I-907:

1. Are the beneficiary of a form I-140 petition filed in a preference category that has been designated for premium processing service;
2. Have reached the 6th year statutory limitation of their H-1B stay, or will reach the end of their 6th year of H-1B stay within 60 days of filing;
3. They are only eligible for a further H-1B extension upon approval of their Form I-140 petition as prescribed by American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act (AC21) provisions 104(c). (Public law known as the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21) permits up to a three-year extension of stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant alien, provided he or she is the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 petition and otherwise eligible for lawful permanent resident status except that the employment-based preference visa is unavailable.); and
4. Are ineligible to extend their H-1B status under AC21 §106(a). (USCIS grants an H-1B extension of stay pursuant to §106(a) of AC21, in one-year increments, until such time as a final decision has been made to (1) deny the application for labor certification, or, if the labor certification is approved, to deny the employment-based immigrant petition that was filed pursuant to the approved labor certification; (2) deny the employment based immigrant petition, or; (3) grant or deny the alien’s application for an immigrant visa or for adjustment of status.).