H-1B and TN application processes update

Due to COVID-19 impacts on USCIS processing and international travel, ISSS has updates on H-1B and TN application processes.

Update 1: USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing 

What does this mean?

On Friday, March 20, USCIS suspended Premium Processing for all applications using Forms I-129 or I-140, which are included in all H-1B and green card applications. ISSS has always recommended premium processing for H-1B applications in order to receive a response from USCIS within 15 calendar days. Since premium processing is currently suspended, it will now take around 9 months to receive a response from USCIS. Once premium processing becomes available again, we will be able to request it for already submitted H-1B applications. If we request premium processing later on for an already submitted H-1B application, we will receive a response from USCIS within 15 calendar days from the date that USCIS receives the premium processing upgrade request.  

Who does this impact the most?

Prospective international employees who are not currently in H-1B status and current international employees who wish to change their immigration status to H-1B (i.e. F-1 student to H-1B employee). These employees will not obtain H-1B status until we receive an approval notice from USCIS. 

Who does this impact the least?

Employees who are currently in H-1B status and wish to extend, amend, or change employers while in H-1B status. Employees wishing to extend their H-1B status are able to continue their employment for up to 240 days after their current end date while their extension is pending with USCIS. Employees in H-1B status are permitted to begin working at a new employer once the new employer receives a receipt notice from USCIS and do not need an approval notice in order to begin at the new employer. Travel may still be impacted for those with pending applications.  

Update #2: Border Closure between US, Canada, and Mexico – Effects on TN Status 

What does this mean?

Visitors from Canada and Mexico are eligible for the TN status which allows them to enter the US without an application submitted on their behalf by ISSS to USCIS. In the past, if a TN wished to extend their status, they would simply need to leave the US and re-enter in order to be granted an extension. Since the US-Canada and US-Mexico borders are closed to all non-essential travel, all current TN visitors must file an in-country extension with USCIS before their current end date if they wish to remain and be employed in the US. If you have any TN employees who wish to extend their status and remain in the US, please contact ISSS as soon as possible so we can work with you to submit an extension to USCIS before the TN’s end date. ISSS does not keep a record of UCSC employees and visitors on TN status since there is typically no application process that ISSS is involved with for incoming TN visitors. 

Who does this impact?

All current employees in the US in TN status who want to extend their stay in the US to continue their work at UCSC.

Update #3: Campus Mail Delivery and Pick Up at H Barn

What does this mean?

UCSC mail delivery is discontinued due to the March 20th building shutdown campus directive. ISSS staff will pick up all mail at the H Barn when notified by the sender that there is mail to be expected. If you are sending mail to ISSS, such as H-1B packets or checks, please email us so we know when to pick up mail at H Barn

Who does this impact?

All campus partners sending intercampus mail to ISSS during the building shutdown campus directive.

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