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

Earlier this year, USCIS suspended the availability of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions selected in the “H-1B Visa Lottery.”  That suspension was scheduled to end on September 10, 2018.

The Service has now announced that it will continue the suspension of Premium Processing for those cases beyond September 10, 2018, and expands the suspension to include all H-1B petitions except the following:

H-1B Petitions filed by cap-exempt institutions at the California Service Center.

H-1B Petitions filed at the Nebraska Service Center by Petitioners seeking continuation of previously approved H-1B employment without change.

A Premium Processing request filed before September 10 will continue to be honored.  The Service will refund the $1,225 fee if the Petition is not adjudicated within 15 days.

In the absence of Premium Processing, Petitioners can request expedited processing of the petition provided one or more of the following criteria are met.  (Note: our experience is that expedite requests are rarely granted).

Severe financial loss to company or person

Emergency situation

Humanitarian reasons

Nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States

Department of Defense or n ational i nterest s ituation (These particular expedite requests must come from an official U.S. government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to the government

USCIS error, or

Compelling interest of USCIS.

The Service anticipates that Premium Processing will not become available again until February,  2019

Please contact our office if you have any questions.