H1-B Petitions. March 13 Deadline
At KU we are committed to assisting with H-1B petitions. Diversity is one of our core values, and without our international colleagues we never achieve excellence. Associate Vice Provost for International Programs Charlie Bankart informed me that on Friday afternoon USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) announced that it will be suspending “premium processing” of H-1B petitions from April 3rd onward for up to six months. Premium Processing is the mechanism through which the employer pays an additional $1,225, and USCIS will then make a decision on the H-1B petition within 15 calendar days. Regular processing for H-1B petitions with USCIS is currently taking upwards of nine months. The overwhelming majority of the H-1B cases filed by KU use premium processing given the time that regular processing takes. This announcement has very real consequences for KU and for our international employees. What we need to do at this time is work very quickly to prepare and file as many of the upcoming H-1B petitions that we can before the April 3rd deadline so that we can still avail ourselves of the premium processing service. Once the April 3rd deadline has passed we have no ability to control a timeline for starting employment or continued employment for those not already in H-1B status in the U.S. For those who are here in H-1B status for whom we will be filing an extension or who are using H-1B portability provisions to move from another H-1B employer to KU, without premium processing these individuals will effectively be unable to depart the U.S. and return in H-1B status until the new H-1B is adjudicated, making international travel (for work or personal reasons) not feasible if the case does not use premium processing.
Please take a moment to think if you have any employees (or future hires on the horizon) that will be affected by this change. In particular we are thinking of employees who would fall into any of the categories below:
- New Tenure-Track faculty hires for fall (if you have not finalized a hire, but have an international candidate among your finalists, please get in touch with us right away so that we can discuss a plan for those potential hires)
- Individuals currently employed at KU whose OPT or OPT STEM Extension (if applicable) will expire sometime within the next six months
- H-1B extension cases if the individual will have any travel outside the U.S. within the next six months
- Any other new hire within the upcoming six months for whom you are planning to request an H-1B
To be eligible to use premium processing, we ask that you provide us all of the necessary documentation that we need to file an H-1B petition no later than March 13th so that we have time to ensure the case can be prepared in compliance with H-1B regulations and filed in a timely manner. If you have cases with us already in process please provide us any remaining materials that are missing so that we can finalize them as well if you intend for us to use premium processing or shift an existing case to premium processing.
Please contact Keeli Nelson, Sr. International Employee & Scholar Advisor, with questions.
Interim Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs