Return of H-1B Premium Processing Update [9-18-2017]

After suspending premium (15-day) processing for all H-1Bs in March 2017, on July 24, 2017, USCIS brought it back for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions.  On September 18, 2017, USCIS has resumed premium processing service for all cap-subject H-1B petitions (FY 2018 cap – cases filed in April 2017).  Premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions, such as extensions of stay and H-1B portability (aka transfer) petitions.


USCIS Entreprenuers in Residence (EIR) May 2013 Summary Report & Press Release


Some of the highlights over the past year include:

More than 400 USCIS employment-based immigration officers trained on startup businesses and the environment for early-stage innovation; and

More than 100 USCIS officers receiving additional specialized training to handle entrepreneur and startup cases.

San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Q & A: Is my Labor Certification (PERM) based Green Card Application location specific?

Question: My I-140 was approved in May 2006, and my I-485 is still pending since July 2007. I have been working with Company A since 2003, and in January 2011 I moved from Indiana where I lived since 2003, to California. I still work for Company A in same position and with same salary. Do I have to move back to Indiana to get my green card or can I stay in California?

Answer: Yes, a labor certification (PERM) application IS location specific.  But, based on your fact pattern, it sounds like you are eligible to port your I-140 to the California position under AC-21 section 106 (c). If so, you are not required to return to Indiana.

This I-140 portability provision allows an approved or pending I-140 immigration petition filed on behalf of a foreign national [under EB-1-2, EB-1-3; EB-2; EB-3] categories to remain valid if (1) the foreign national’s adjustment of status application has been filed and remained un-adjudicated for 180 days or more; and (2) the foreign national changes job or employers and the new job is in the same or similar occupational classification.

Further, there is a December 27, 2005 Aytes memo which indicates that an I-140 beneficiary may benefit from I-140 portability when seeking employment in a geographic area [whether city, country or state] different from the one in which the employment described in the relevant labor certification [PERM] application or immigrant petition was to take place.

Alternatively, if you determine you are not eligible to port under AC-21, then your employer may either confirm their intention to employ you in Indiana upon issuance of the green card; or start a new California based PERM application on your behalf.

Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.

Michael Ryvin, Partner
Ryvin Wallace Group

USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas Blog Post: Encouraging Entrepreneurs and High Skilled Workers to Bolster the U.S. Economy and Spur Job Growth

Below please find a link to a blog post from the USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas, and some relevant excerpts, which discuss this current administration’s efforts to attract and retain high-skill entrepreneurs.

As part of the Administration’s comprehensive effort to attract and retain high-skill entrepreneurs, USCIS announced today [8/2/2011] that it will:

• Clarify that immigrant entrepreneurs may obtain an employment-based second preference (EB-2) immigrant visa if they satisfy the existing requirements, and also may qualify for a National Interest Waiver under the EB-2 immigrant visa category if they can demonstrate that their business endeavors will be in the interest of the United States;

Expand the Premium Processing Service to immigrant petitions for multinational executives and managers;

• Clarify when a sole employee-entrepreneur can establish a valid employer-employee relationship for the purposes of qualifying for an H-1B non-immigrant visa;

• Implement fundamental enhancements to streamline the EB-5 process based directly on stakeholder feedback;

• Launch new engagement opportunities to seek input and feedback on how to address the unique circumstances of entrepreneurs, new businesses and startup companies.

Of course, these efforts are more than welcome. But, I am approaching the same with a healthy degree of skepticism, considering USCIS continues to make questionable [am being polite here] decisions on visa matters involving highly-skilled foreign nationals with legitimate U.S. job offers. 

Michael Ryvin, Partner
Ryvin Wallace Group