From the March 27, 2006 Edition of ISSS-BU News
USCIS Announces Significant Changes to H-1B and Employment-Based Permanent Residency Processing
On Friday, March 24, 2006, US Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a statement that announces significant changes to H-1B and Employment-Based Permanent Residency Processing.
USCIS will begin to accept applications on April 1, 2006 for H-1B cap positions for the 2007 federal fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2006. However, effective April 1, 2006, all H-1B applications (I-129) are to be filed with the USCIS Vermont Service Center, and all applications for employment-based immigrant petitions (I-140) are to be filed with the USCIS Nebraska Service Center. All accompanying forms should also be filed with these same centralized locations.
These changes are the first phase of a USCIS plan to use centralized filing and specialized adjudication. Similar workloads will be aligned with pairs of Service Centers. Vermont and California Service Centers will process all I-129 applications and related dependent applications. The Nebraska and Texas Service Centers will process all I-140 and related permanent residency applications. This will allow USCIS to better manage cases and improve customer service.
Applications received prior to April 1, 2006 will be processed using pre-existing procedures.
Applicants will receive a receipt notice from the Service Center processing their case. Since workload is paired, the filing location of the application is not necessarily the Service Center that will decide the case. For example, an applicant could file their H-1B application with Vermont, but receive a decision from California.
Once these new filing instructions take effect on April 1, USCIS will not reject any application sent to the wrong location. Instead, it will accept the application and re-direct it to the correct location, honoring the initial receipt date.
For detailed information on these changes, view the USCIS fact sheet at:
The USCIS news release may be viewed at: