What is the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000?
The American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (also known as AC21) allows for a 3-year extension of an H1-B visa if the candidate’s I-140 has been approved and there is no visa number available immediately, according to Section 104(c).
What is Premium Processing (PP)?
I-140 Premium Processing is available was made available March 2, 2009. It is only applicable to H-1B beneficiaries who faced with the prospect of an expiring H-1B visa. Only H-1B beneficiaries are eligible to request premium processing at the time of filing.
Who is Eligible?
Candidates must be beneficiaries of I-140 petitions, in a category of preference that is designated for premium processing service, must have reached the six-year limit of their H-1B visa stay or will reach the limit within 60 days of their filing, must adhere to section 104(c) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21), and must be ineligible for extension of their H-1B status under section 106(a) of AC21.
What Documents are needed?
According to USCIS standards, petitioners must have copies of all I-94, I-797, H-1B, L and Arrival/Departure Records that have been issued to them, a copy of the Labor Certification Approval Letter, as issued by the Department of Labor (only if applying using the EB-2 and EB-3 classifications), and a copy of the I-140 Form petition receipt notice if the form had been previously filed.
What are the Consequences of the New Premium Processing Standards?
Previously, only H-1B holders whose status was set to expire within 60 days or less were eligible to apply for premium processing. Now, individuals have the option of applying more than 60 days in advance of their H-1B expiration, or after their H-1B visa has already expired. This allows for more eligible candidates for the processing program and expands its purview.
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