September 04, 2018

Suspension of Premium Processing for Most H-1B Petitions Begins September 11

Premium processing offers guaranteed 15 day processing for many types of immigration petitions and applications, including H-1B petitions. Earlier this year, the USCIS suspended premium processing for H-1B petitions for employment subject to annual numerical limits, commonly known as the “H-1B cap-subject” petitions.

On August 28, 2018, the USCIS announced that the premium processing option will not be available for most H-1B petitions as of September 11, 2018. This temporary suspension of premium processing is expected to last until February 19, 2019 and will affect currently pending H-1B cap-subject petition, petitions to amend, petitions to change employer, and others which are filed at the Vermont and California Service Centers.

The suspension does not apply to (1) extensions of previously approved H-1B employment without change with the same employer and (2) cap-exempt petitions that are filed with the California Service Center because the employee will work for or at a qualifying cap exempt institution.

According to the USCIS, regular processing times for most H-1B petiitons are 5.5 to 7.5 months. H-1B employers who require a faster decision should apply for premium processing before September 11, 2018 if eligible.

This information is provided as an educational service. For immigration advice and assistance with your H-1B application or other immigration matters, contact us to meet with Ann Massey Badmus or one of our qualified attorneys.