Today the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued a statement confirming that the agency will be temporarily suspending premium processing service for all H-1B nonimmigrant visa petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017 and has indicated that the temporary suspension may last up to six (6) months. The agency confirmed that this will apply to all H-1B petitions, including those filed under both the regular and master's cap and those that are cap-exempt.
USCIS indicated that while H-1B premium processing is suspended it will not accept Forms I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service filed with an H-1B petition. USCIS also confirmed that they will reject the entire H-1B petition for cases where the premium processing fee is combined in one check with the standard Form I-129 filing fees. Therefore, individuals submitting H-1B petitions should not file any cases with a request for premium processing and should issue separate checks for each filing fee in order to avoid any issues with rejection of the petition.
USCIS has indicated that it has temporarily suspended premium processing service in order to reduce overall H-1B processing times, including long-pending cases and unadjudicated H-1B extension requests that are approaching 240 days since filing (after which the beneficiary would lose their automatic extension of employment authorization until the new petition is approved). The agency confirmed that it will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.
D&S is continuing to monitor this developing situation and will provide updates as they become available.