Breaking: Premium Processing Will Be Suspended for Cap-H1bs ONLY until September 10, 2018

A few moments ago, USCIS released a notice that premium processing will be suspended for H1b cap cases for both regular and Master’s cases. The suspension is expected until September 10th 2018.  The suspension will not apply to other types of H1b filings such as transfers or extensions (thank goodness- last year was tough with the suspension applied for all H1b applications!).

Copy of notice below:

Starting April 2, 2018, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 cap. We will temporarily suspend premium processing for all FY 2019 cap-subject petitions, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. This suspension is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018. During this time, we will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions or making any other premium processing updates.

During this temporary suspension, we will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filed with an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form I-907 and Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, we will reject both forms. When we resume premium processing, petitioners may file a Form I-907 for FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions that remain pending.

Requesting Expedited Processing

While premium processing is suspended, a petitioner may submit a request to expedite an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition if it meets the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and we encourage petitioners to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request. We review all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and will grant requests at the discretion of USCIS office leadership.

Why We Are Temporarily Suspending Premium Processing for These Petitions

This temporary suspension will help us reduce overall H-1B processing times. By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to:

  • Process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years; and
  • Prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark.

We encourage H-1B petitioners to subscribe to email updates on the H-1B FY 2019 Cap Season webpage.

Please do not reply to this message.  See our Contact Us page for phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sending to trisha@watsonimmigrationlaw.com  20 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20529  1-800-375-5283