Today, the USCIS announced that on June 16, 2008, it will begin accepting Premium Processing Service requests for I-140's filed on behalf of certain H-1b workers who are nearing the end of their sixth year limit. Although this particular program is rather limiting, it is welcome news and may signal the more widespread return of premium processing. Check out the USCIS fact sheet to see if your case may qualify for this new program.
The AAO, one of the Courts of Appeals in the immigration system, recently approved an EB2 I-140 for an individual with a full MS degree that had been attained following a 3 yr. Bachelor's program. This is a major victory as the USCIS Service Center (particularly the Nebraska Service Center) had been issuing denials in such cases and had in fact, created their own policy, commonly referred to as the "6 year rule", requiring that an individual have 6 years of education to gain EB2 approval when using the Masters degree standard. In the AAO decision, the Court ruled that if a credible education evaluator evaluates the Masters degree as the equivalent of a US Masters degree that the preceding education is not relevant. We praise the AAO for its decision striking down yet another, in a long line of Service Center policies that have no basis in any statute or regulation but, are simply overreaching examples of a bureaucracy run amok. It is not believed that there will be in effect on EB2 cases where the basis of the labor certification is a Bachelor's plus 5 years of experience and the individual holds a 3 year bachelor's degree. It should also be noted that the Service Centers routinely choose not to follow AAO decisions and your individual case may need to be litigated in order to achieve the desired result.