Employer Sponsored Green Card

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Petitions

From USCIS.gov on 5/29/20: 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.

USCIS Expands Flexibility for Responding to USCIS Requests

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it adopted measures to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID).
This alert clarifies that this flexibility also applies to certain Notices of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) and Notices of Intent to Terminate (NOIT) regional investment centers, as well as certain filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

Notice/Request/Decision Issuance Date:

This flexibility applies to an RFE, NOID, NOIR, NOIT or appealable decision within AAO jurisdiction and the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1, 2020 and May 1, 2020, inclusive.

Response Due Date:

Any response to an RFE, NOID, NOIR, or NOIT received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken.

Any Form I-290B received up to 60 calendar days from the date of the decision will be considered by USCIS before it takes any action.

USCIS Offices Preparing to Reopen on June 4

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is readying offices to reopen on or after June 4. Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public while the offices are closed.

While offices are temporarily closed, USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency in-person services. Please call the USCIS Contact Center for assistance with emergency services.

USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by the extended temporary closure. USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive a new interview notice with the new time, date and location of the interview. When USCIS again resumes operations for in-person services, USCIS will automatically reschedule ASC appointments due to the temporary office closure. Individuals will receive a new appointment letter in the mail. Those who had InfoPass or other appointments must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center once field offices are open to the public again. Please check to see if the respective office has been reopened before calling the Contact Center.

Please also visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for updates. For the latest information on the status of an office, visit https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-office-closings.

USCIS Increasing Premium Processing Fee to $1,440 starting 12/02/2019

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced beginning on December 2nd, it is adjusting the fee to request premium processing for certain employment-based petitions.

The premium processing fee will increase to $1,440 from the current fee of $1,410 for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. This increase, which is done in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, reflects the full amount of inflation from the implementation of the premium processing fee in June 2001 through August 2019 based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U). USCIS last increased the fee in 2018.

Premium processing is an optional service currently authorized for certain petitioners filing Forms I-129 or I-140. The system allows petitioners to request 15-day processing of these forms if they pay an extra fee. The premium processing fee is paid in addition to the base filing fee and any other applicable fees. It cannot be waived.

FLAG System – Update on filing Form ETA-9141

Beginning Monday, June 10, 2019, OFLC will accept online submissions of the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination (Form ETA-9141) in the FLAG System covering all visa programs.

Beginning June 10, 2019, the capability to submit the Form ETA-9141 using the iCERT System will be deactivated. OFLC will continue to accept online submissions of the Form ETA-9141 through the iCERT System until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Technical Assistance Materials:

OFLC has developed a series of instructional videos to help educate the stakeholder community on how to create and manage a FLAG System account and content to prepare the Form ETA-9141 for submission to the NPWC.

To obtain more information and view these instructional videos, please visit the Prevailing Wage Program page on the FLAG System at https://flag.dol.gov/.

PERM / I-140 Processing Times:

Within our Office:

Obtain documentation and information from petitioner and beneficiary: Up to 1-2 weeks
PERM Ad Approval: Up to 1 week
Prevailing Wage Determination: 3 months
Advertising / Recruitment: 1-2 months

At the DOL:

PERM Processing Time: 3-12 months

USCIS I-140 Processing Times:

15 days for Premium Processing
5-7 months for Regular Processing

I-485 Adjustment of Status:

Check the visa bulletin.
Once your priority date is current you are eligible to file your I-485 petition

I-140 Processing Times – 11/14/18

Nebraska Service Center:

Estimated time range Category Receipt date
6.5 Months to 8.5 Months Extraordinary ability (E11) March 12, 2018
4 Months to 6 Months Outstanding professor or researcher (E12) May 18, 2018
7 Months to 9 Months Multinational executive or manager (E13) February 24, 2018
6 Months to 8 Months Advanced degree or exceptional ability (E21) April 01, 2018 April 1, 2018
5 Months to 7 Months Skilled worker or professional (E31; E32) April 24, 2018
4 Months to 6 Months Unskilled worker (EW3) May 18, 2018
4 Months to 6 Months Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver (NIW) May 18, 2018
7.5 Months to 9.5 Months Schedule A Nurses February 11, 2018

The December Visa Bulletin is Out!

December Visa Bulletin: Employment Based

December Visa Bulletin: Family Based


India, EB-3 is January 1st, 2010

India EB-2 is May 22, 2009

For December, 2018 use the Dates for Filing Table.

Your priority date is the date when your relative or employer properly filed the immigrant visa petition on your behalf with USCIS.

If a labor certification is required to be filed with your immigrant visa petition, the priority date is the date the labor certification application was accepted for processing by the Department of Labor.


Recent PERM Approvals

PERM case number: A-18263-20351

Mechanical Engineer (Las Vegas, NV) Design and fabricate mechanical components. Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering required. Required Skills: SolidWorks.

We filed this PERM petition on 9/24/2018

We received this PERM certification on 11/8/2018


PERM case number A-18101-61834

Middle School Special Education Teacher (Walterboro, SC) Instruct Middle School students in academic subjects using a variety of techniques such as phonetics, multi-sensory learning, and repetition to reinforce learning and to meet students’ varying needs and interests. Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in Special Education, Education or related field required. Must possess valid SC teaching credential with Special Education certification area.

We filed this PERM petition on 4/24/2018

We received this PERM certification on 10/26/2018


High School Special Education Teacher (Quitman, GA) Develop and provide an appropriate special education program to eligible exceptional High School learners with learning disability, speech or language impairments, mentally challenged, and other students with special needs. Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in Education, Special Education or related field required. Valid GA Secondary Special Education General Curriculum Teacher’s (FLD-798) Certificate required.

We filed this PERM petition on 4/10/2018

We received this PERM certification on 10/23/2018


PERM case number A-18171-88927

Staff Accountant (New York, NY) Prep&Analyze Mgrial Rpts and P&L/BS. Bachelor’s degree In Acctg or Finance and 6 months of exp. required. Req. Skills: Acctg Software, Excellent communication.

We filed this PERM petition on 8/3/2018

We received this PERM certification on 10/8/2018


H-1B Positions – Degree Requirements

As the employer, you are required to provide your minimum degree requirements for the offered H-1B Visa position.

Failure to comply may lead to an RFE (Request for Evidence) and potentially a denial of your H-1B petition.

In the current climate of BAHA (Buy American / Hire American) it is more important than ever to ensure that you are doing everything in your power to obtain the H-1B approval.

Here are some tips on ensuring that your minimum degree requirements are in compliance with USCIS regulations.

Breadth – Majors must be specific, and not overly broad:

The major required must be related to the position offered.

ie: A Bachelor’s Degree in English would not be acceptable for a Software Developer position.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science would be acceptable for a Software Developer position.

The Minimum Degree requirement cannot be too broad.

Engineering Degrees:

You must state the specific Engineering major(s) that you would accept.

ie “Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering” would not be accepted for a Mechanical Engineering position.

Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering would be accepted for a Mechanical Engineering position.

Business Administration:

USCIS has indicated that a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration is not an acceptable minimum degree for an H-1B position.

The degree must be occupation specific.

Example. For a Market Research Analyst position, the major must be Marketing. (ie Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing).

Related – Majors must be related to each other:

If you have multiple degrees as your minimum degree requirements, such as: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Technology, or MIS, all of the degrees must be related.


For a Software Developer position: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Technology, or Biology would not be accepted.

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Technology, or MIS, would be accepted.



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