USCIS Expands and Extends Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

August 29, 2018

USCIS had previously announced that cap-subject H-1B petitions filed in April 2018 would not be eligible for premium processing service until at least September 10, 2018. Now, USCIS has announced that such petitions will remain ineligible for premium processing until at least February 19, 2019, by which point they will presumably have been fully-adjudicated. This effectively ensures that no cap-subject petitions for FY 2019 will have been able to use premium processing service to expedite their processing time frame.

In addition, USCIS is expanding the suspension of premium processing to many other types of H-1B petitions beginning on September 11, 2018 and lasting until at least February 19, 2019. The only types of H-1B petitions that will remain eligible for premium processing after September 11th are:

  • H-1B petitions filed at the California Service Center where the employer is cap-exempt or where the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution; and
  • H-1B petitions filed at the Nebraska Service Center to extend previously-approved employment without change with the same employer

All other types of H-1B petitions, including H-1B change of employer petitions, will become ineligible for premium processing as of September 11, 2018, and lasting until at least February 19, 2019.

USCIS indicated that they will provide an update on USCIS.gov before this suspension is lifted, and we will be sure to make that update available on our website as soon as it is available.   Clearly, this announcement brings more unnecessary obstacles and complications to the employment of professional H-1B workers as well as for any anticipated changes in the employment of existing H-1B employees.  Please feel free to call our office to discuss this in further detail with one of our attorneys.

 


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