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

28. Aug. 2018

In order to reduce overall H-1B processing time, particularly for cases pending close to 240-days, USCIS is extending the previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions.  Additionally, beginning September 11, 2018, this temporary suspension will expand to include H-1B transfers (change of employer) and amendments (material change to employment). These temporary suspensions are expected to be lifted February 19, 2019.

Beginning 9/11/18, Premium Processing Will Only be Available for These H-1Bs:

  1. H-1Bs extensions (i.e., same employer with no material job change); and
  2. H-1Bs by cap exempt organizations (e.g., institutions of higher education, non-profit entities related to or affiliated with institutions of higher education, non-profit research organizations, government research organizations).

The greatest impact of the expansion will be on H-1B transfers.  H-1B beneficiaries seeking to move to another company often choose to give notice of resignation after the H-1B transfer petition has been approved, and they rely on premium processing to minimize that wait time.  Starting 9/11, such beneficiaries must seriously consider joining upon filing of the transfer petition to avoid waiting several months for an approval.

ILG will use its best effort to file all Premium Processing H1B transfers and Premium Processing H-1B amendments by Friday, 9/07/18, for arrival at USCIS on Monday, 9/10/18.

Expedited (not Premium) Processing

While premium processing is suspended, petitioners may submit a request to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage.