USCIS To Resume Premium Processing Service for H-1B Petitions Filed on or before 12/21/2018

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that it will resume premium processing service on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 for all H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018.

As a reminder, USCIS previously announced that premium processing would resume for FY2019 cap-subject petitions beginning on January 28, 2019. Today’s announcement further expands the use of premium processing service to all other H-1B petition types filed on or before December 21, 2018.

USCIS notes that the premium processing requests must be sent to the service center currently handling the pending H-1B petition. It also states that the petitioners who have received requests for evidence (RFEs) should include the RFE response with their premium processing upgrade requests.

The announcement confirms that the previously-implemented suspension of premium processing service will remain in effect for H-1B petitions that were filed on or after December 22, 2018 until agency workloads permit premium processing service to resume for these cases.

D&S will continue to monitor the H-1B premium processing suspension and provide updates as they become available.

USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing Service for FY2019 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

Today, March 20, 2018, USCIS announced that it will be suspending premium processing service for H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year 2019.  The temporary suspension is expected to last until September 10, 2018 and applies only to FY2019 cap-subject petitions, meaning those that are being filed as cap-exempt, including requests for change of H-1B employer, extension of H-1B status, and H-1B petition amendments, for example, will continue to be eligible for premium processing service. 

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USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions Filed On or After April 3, 2017

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.