Starting April 3, 2017, all H-1B petitions must process through regular processing. Regular processing is currently taking 6-8 months, although we hope, per the guidance below suspending the Premium Processing option, that regular processing times will improve to a more reasonable timeframe.
Because of the uncertainly of lengthy regular processing times, our office recommends that any H-1B petition needing approval by August 23, 2017, be filed or upgraded to Premium Processing by March 31, 2017. For our office to meet a March 31, 2017 filing date with USCIS, we need to receive the hiring department’s H-1B petition packet by Friday, March 10.
Remember, only H-1B petitions for those changing status from a different visa classification or needing to travel internationally require H-1B approval by the start date of employment. Employees already in H-1B status, either with UConn seeking to extend status or in H-1B status sponsored by another employer, only need to have a petition filed with the U.S. Immigration Service to start or continue work for UConn, assuming that they are not planning to travel internationally while the U.S. Immigration Service adjudicates their petition.
We acknowledge and sympathize with the inconvenience and financial burden this announcement places on hiring departments, especially during the summer travel season and as we gear up for the 2017-2018 academic year. We will work with you to accommodate your visa processing as best we can.