With much of America reopening in stages, the USCIS will resume many of its normal operations through the months of June and July.
Starting tomorrow, June 4th, the USCIS will reopen field offices across the country, while maintaining social distancing standards. Expect things to move slowly for all non-emergency processing. All info and restrictions can be found on the USCIS update here.
The office also announced the resuming of premium processing service for eligible I-129 and I-140 visa petitions. Premium processing, which had been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, will return in the following stages:
June 1: Premium processing resumed for all I-140s that are eligible. This does not include EB-2 National Interest Waiver.
June 8: Premium processing upgrades for all exempt, cap-subject H-1B filed before June 8, and upgrades for all other I-129s (such as O-1s) filed before June 8.June 15: Premium processing resumed for cap-exempt H.
June 22: All I-129s (including O-1s) can concurrently request premium processing with the initial filing.
To find out more information about these dates and how they might apply to your petition, see the USCIS announcement here.
However, the UCSIS may be facing funding issues coming next month. Around 11,000 staff working for USCIS face being furloughed by the end of July, unless Congress intervenes with emergency funds.
This furlough could have major impacts on visa processing in the second half of 2020. Those with the ability to use premium processing should consider the option. While we don’t have additional information right now, our team is closely monitoring the situation, and will keep our community informed as we learn more.