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


USCIS announced today that it will temporarily suspend premium processing for most H-1B petitions filed at the Vermont and California Service Centers beginning September 11, 2018.  USCIS expects that the suspension will last until February 19, 2019.   

Earlier this year, USCIS suspended premium processing for H-1B petitions selected in the annual H-1B visa lottery.  The suspension was scheduled to end by September 10, 2018, but USCIS now has delayed the end date to February 19, 2019.  USCIS also will expand the suspension of premium processing to most other H-1B petitions filed at the California and Vermont Service Centers, such as change of employer and extension petitions.

However, the suspension does not apply to H-1B petitions that are 1) filed by cap exempt employers at the California Service Center; and 2) extension petitions filed at the Nebraska Service Center.

USCIS will continue premium processing H-1B petitions where the request for premium processing has been filed before September 11, 2018.  However, USCIS will refund the premium processing fee if it does not take action on the case within the 15-calendar day processing period.

During this suspension, requests to expedite an H-1B petition may still be submitted if the applicant or petitioner can demonstrate that one or more of the Expedite Criteria have been met. 

Premium processing remains available for other visa classifications, such as E, L, O and TN.

This alert is for informational purposes only.  If you would like to discuss this development further, please contact us.