H-1B Premium Processing to Return on June 26 for Physicians Under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program

by Faegre Baker Daniels

Faegre Baker Daniels

On Friday, June 23, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that premium processing for H-1B petitions — which the agency suspended for all such petitions beginning April 3, 2017 — will be brought back for a limited type of H-1B cases. Starting Monday, June 26, USCIS will resume premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program and for cases in which a waiver has been granted by an interested government agency.

As outlined in our earlier update announcing the suspension of premium processing, USCIS suspended premium processing for ALL H-1B petitions starting on April 3. In its initial announcement, USCIS indicated that it could suspend premium processing for up to six months so that the government could decrease the current backlog and processing times of all H-1B petitions. With premium processing, USCIS will process (approve, deny or send a request for additional evidence) petitions within 15 calendar days for an extra filing fee of $1225.

Premium Processing Resumption and the Conrad 30 Waiver Program

H-1B premium processing will resume only for physicians under the Conrad 30 Waiver program and those who have received interested government agency waivers. The Conrad 30 program allows certain physicians to remain in the U.S. upon completion of their medical training, where they will work on H-1B status in rural and urban areas that have a shortage of physicians.

Bringing back premium processing for Conrad 30 and IGA waiver H-1B cases is welcome relief for these foreign physicians, as well as for the health care facilities and underserved patient populations served by H-1B physicians. Premium processing will allow H-1B physicians to start their employment on-time for the health care facilities who received physician waiver approvals. Even though this is a very limited group of H-1B petitions that can resume using premium processing, it is a good sign that USCIS could soon allow premium processing for other types of H-1B cases. In recent updates from the USCIS Ombudsman’s Office and the annual conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, USCIS has indicated that premium processing will likely be brought back incrementally for other types of H-1B petitions (e.g., change of employer, cap-exempt, extensions) and that it may bring back premium processing for all H-1B cases in October.

Cases That Remain Affected by the Premium Processing Suspension

With this announcement, the suspension of premium processing continues to affect all other types of H-1B cases including:

  • FY-2018 H-1B cap petition cases filed and received by USCIS from April 3-7, 2017
  • H-1B extensions
  • Amended H-1B petitions
  • H-1B cap-exempt cases
  • H-1B change of employer cases

Cases Not Affected by the Premium Processing Suspension

The suspension of premium processing continues to not affect other types of nonimmigrant work visa and immigrant visa petitions including:

  • Form I-129: E-1, E-2, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, Blanket L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1, TN-Canada, TN-Mexico
  • Form I-140: EB-1 extraordinary ability, EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers, EB-2 advanced degree professionals (not national interest waiver), EB-3 professionals, EB-3 skilled workers, EB-3 other workers

For more information about USCIS premium processing, review the USCIS' guide to using the premium processing service and the request form.

Requests to Expedite H-1B Petitions

While premium processing is formally suspended, USCIS will allow expedited processing of an H-1B petition under standard expedite request criteria. USCIS may expedite adjudications if the petitioner is able to demonstrate they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Severe financial loss to company or person
  • Emergency situation
  • Humanitarian reasons
  • Nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States 
  • Department of Defense or national interest situation (these expedite requests must come from an official U.S. government entity and demonstrate that delay will be detrimental to the government) 
  • USCIS error
  • Compelling interest of USCIS

Adjudications for these requests are at the discretion of the reviewing officer and will be made on a case-by-case basis. USCIS has encouraged petitioners who pursue this option to submit documentary evidence with their request. Please stay tuned for further updates as USCIS starts to bring back premium processing for other types of H-1B cases.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Faegre Baker Daniels | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Faegre Baker Daniels

Faegre Baker Daniels on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.