USCIS announced on June 11, 2008 that starting from June 16, 2008, it will begin accepting Premium Processing Service request for I-140 petitions filed on behalf of H-1B employees who are nearing the end of their 6th year in H-1B status.
Under the new policy, USCIS is limiting premium processing service for I-140 petitions filed for employees:
(1) who are currently in H-1B;
(2) whose sixth year will end within 60 days;
(3) who are only eligible for a further extension of H-1B nonimmigrant status under Section 104(c) of the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21); and who are ineligible to extend their H-1B status under section 101(a) of AC21.
Section 104(c) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay I H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to 3 years, provided they are the beneficiary of an approved I-140 and an immigrant visa is not immediately available. Section 106(a) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to one year, provided I-140 petition or underlying labor certification has been pending for at least 365 days.