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USCIS H-1B Premium Processing Resumes

UPDATE: On June 7, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that effective  June 10, 2019, it will re-open Premium Processing for all remaining FY 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected under the H-1B lottery.  On such date, Petitioners whose H-1B cap-subject petitions were selected under the H-1B lottery can submit Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, and requisite government filing fee to USCIS.  Premium Processing for other H-1B petitions (such as “change of employer” and “amendment” and “extension” petitions) remains available.

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UPDATE: On March 19, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a two-phased approach to Premium Processing for FY2020 H-1B Cap Petitions.  For FY2020 H-1B Cap Petitions requesting a “Change of Status,” Petitioners may request Premium Processing by concurrently filing the request with the H-1B Cap Petition filing.  However, USCIS will temporarily suspend Premium Processing for those cases selected or counted against the FY2020 H-1B Cap and begin Premium Processing for these petitions no later than May 20, 2019.  For all other FY2020 H-1B Cap Petitions (such as “Notify” petitions), Petitioners may not request Premium Processing concurrently with the H-1B Cap Petition filing.  Instead, USCIS will notify the public as to when Premium Processing may be available for those petitions, with USCIS indicating that it will not begin until at least June 2019.    Premium Processing for other H-1B petitions (such as “change of employer” and “amendment” and “extension” petitions) remains available.

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UPDATE: Effective March 12, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume Premium Processing for all H-1B petitions.

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Effective February 19, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume Premium Processing for certain H-1B petitions.

  • Background.  On August 28, 2018, USCIS indicated that effective September 11, 2018, Premium Processing would be suspended for “change of employer” and “amendment” petitions.   As background, in certain instances, USCIS will review petitions within fifteen (15) calendar days upon its receipt of same for an additional government filing fee as part of its Premium Processing service.  As a reminder, the H-1B category is designed for foreign professional workers holding a university degree and authorizes a foreign professional to work in the United States in a “specialty occupation.”  For most professional positions, the H-1B classification is the only visa category available.  Accordingly, Premium Processing has not been available for H-1B change of employer petitions and amendment petitions since September 11, 2018.  The suspension does not apply to: cap-exempt petitions (H-1B petitions filed by higher educational institutions and related non-profit entities); extension petitions (with the same employer); or any other nonimmigrant classifications.
  • Premium  Processing Resumes.  Effective February 19, 2019, USCIS will resume Premium Processing for  H-1B change of employer and amendment petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018.   As indicated above, this suspension has not applied to the following and Premium Processing remains intact for the following: cap-exempt petitions (H-1B petitions filed by higher educational institutions and related non-profit entities); extension petitions (with the same employer); or any other nonimmigrant classifications.
  • Fee Increase.  As a reminder, effective October 1, 2018, USCIS increased the Premium Processing filing fee for applicable cases to $1,410 (from $1,225).

As additional details become available regarding the above, we will provide regular updates.