Please note that USCIS announced on Friday, March 3rd that it will suspend Premium Processing for all H1B petitions filed on or after April 3rd, 2017. This is expected to last about 6 months. This will include all new H1B petitions filed towards the H1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has stated that this will enable them to move resources towards pending H1B petitions and reduce current processing times. You can read their full press release here.
In light of this, if you have any pending H1 petitions that you would like to convert to Premium Processing or any extensions to be filed under Premium Processing, etc., please let me know as soon as possible so they can be filed prior to April 3rd.
President Donald Trump has issued a new Executive Order today (which revokes the previous Executive Order issued on January 27, 2017) suspending travel of foreign nationals from 6 countries for a period of 90 days. This Executive Order goes into effect at 12.01 AM EST on March 16, 2017.
Who Does this EO apply to?
- Foreign nationals (which includes both nationals and citizens) from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen who are outside the US as of March 16th, 2017;
- The foreign nationals from the above countries who do not have a currently valid visa to travel to the US and did not have a valid visa at 5.00 PM EST of January 27, 2017.
The new EO does not apply to -
- Lawful permanent residents of the United States;
- Foreign nationals admitted to the United States after the effective date of the order;
- Individuals with a document that is valid on the effective date of the order or any date thereafter which permits travel to the United States;
- Dual nationals when traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
- Foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic, NATO, C-2 for travel to the United Nations, G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visas; and - Individuals already granted asylum or refugee status in the United States before the effective date of the order.
Refugee Admissions Program
Further, the Refugee Admissions Program will be temporarily suspended for the next 120 days while DHS and other agencies review screening procedures to ensure refugees admitted in the future do not pose a security risk to the United States. Upon resumption, refugee admissions to the United States will not exceed 50,000 for fiscal year 2017. The Executive Order does not apply to those refugees who have already been formally scheduled for transit by the State Department
There is a detailed Q & A on this issue on the DHS website which you can access here.