Due to the upcoming temporary suspension of premium processing for all H-1B petitions on April 3, 2017, USCIS has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of premium processing cases it has received. The Nebraska Service Center, which processes all H-1B extension petitions for non-cap exempt employers containing no changes to the beneficiary’s terms of employment, has announced that it will focus its resources on processing H-1B petitions in accordance with premium processing requirements.
As a result, H-4 and H-4 employment authorization document (“EAD”) applications will no longer be processed simultaneously with premium H-1B petitions. Rather, once a decision is made on the H-1B petition, the H-4 and H-4 EAD applications will be forwarded to a separate team for processing within two weeks. Applicants should therefore expect processing delays for H-4 and H-4 EAD applications filed with premium processing H-1B petitions. Simultaneous processing of H-4 and H-4 EAD applications with premium processing H 1B petitions is expected to resume once the surge has subsided, which will likely not occur before the April 3, 2017, suspension of premium processing for H-1B petitions. USCIS expects to resume that service in approximately six months.