Special Nowruz Message to the Parents of F and J visa holders

By: Shabnam Lotfi - Published on March 21st, 2017

This year I want to pay my highest and deepest respect to the parents of international student visa holders. These parents are the silent heroes who have sacrificed tremendously in order to send their kids to study and work in the United States. Their hearts shattered when their kids left for the U.S. Yet, they knew it was the right decision to make. With nothing but a suitcase full of sabzi khoshk and pesteh, their kids travelled to the US not knowing when they would see their parents again. Those kids – now young professionals – are helping grow the US economy. We should honor their parents and gladly approve their tourist visas.

Parents of F and J visa holders, eideh shoma mobarak!

This video is for our friends abroad who are not sure whether or not to attend their visa interviews after the executive order goes into effect on March 16, 2017.

See message below from USCIS:

Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.

Who Is Affected

The temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. Since FY18 cap-subject H-1B petitions cannot be filed before April 3, 2017, this suspension will apply to all petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B regular cap and master’s advanced degree cap exemption (the “master’s cap”). The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt.

While premium processing is suspended, we will reject any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition. If the petitioner submits one combined check for both the Form I-907 and Form I-129 H-1B fees, we will have to reject both forms.

We will continue to premium process Form I-129 H-1B petitions if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before April 3, 2017. Therefore, we will refund the premium processing fee if:

  1. The petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before April 3, 2017, and

  2. We did not take adjudicative action on the case within the 15-calendar-day processing period.

This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to other eligible nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129.

Requesting Expedited Processing

While premium processing is suspended, petitioners may submit a request to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and we encourage petitioners to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request.

We review all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership.

Why We Are Temporarily Suspending Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times. By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to:

  • Process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years; and

  • Prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark.

This information video is created to educate students on what they need to do prior to filing for an NIW petition.  If you recently came to the US and are enrolled in a PhD program, make sure to build your portfolio so that later down the road you can be in an excellent position to file for an NIW petition. This means,

– Participate in peer review (Save the emails that show you were invited to participate in peer review and the acknowledgement email that shows you did it.)

– Publish journal articles – How many? The more, the better.

– Attend conferences

– Submit your publications to national organizations in your field that offer awards (i.e. Best Paper of the Year Award)

– If you invent something, patent it.