USCIS Resumes Premium Processing of Certain Cap-Exempt H1B Petitions (and other updates)

On April 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) temporarily suspended premium processing for all H1B petitions [see article].

On June 26, 2017, the USCIS resumed premium processing of two limited classes of H1B petitions [see article]:

  1. Petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program; and
  2. Petitions filed through the interested government agency waiver.

On September 18, 2017, the USCIS resumed premium processing for all H1B petitions subject to the FY 2018 cap [see article].

Premium Processing

On July 24, 2017, the USCIS announced that it had resumed premium processing for certain cap-exempt H1B petitions [PDF version]. Premium processing will resume for cap-exempt petitions where the H1B petitioner is:

  • An institution of higher education;
  • A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or
  • A nonprofit research or governmental research organization.

The USCIS added that “[p]remium processing will also resume for petitions that may also be exempt if the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization[,] or entity.”

Petitioners filing H1B petitions in categories for which premium processing has resumed may file the Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service concurrently with a qualifying H1B petition or for an H1B petition that has already been filed. Please see our full article on premium processing to learn more [see article].

The USCIS has not resumed premium processing for other H1B petitions, and it remains unavailable until the USCIS announces otherwise. In limited cases, an H1B petitioner may qualify for “expedited processing.” Please see our full article on expedited processing to learn more [see article].

Please continue to follow our site for updates on H1B premium processing. To learn more about other issues involving the H1B nonimmigrant category, see our full section [see category].

__

September 18, 2017: Premium Processing Resumed for H1B Petitions That Are Subject to the FY 2018 Cap

On September 18, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has resumed premium processing for all H1B petitions that are subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2018 cap [PDF version]. The USCIS added that the FY 2018 cap has been set at 65,000. Additionally, the USCIS also resumed premium processing for the 20,000 H1B petitions that are set aside to hire U.S. workers with a U.S. master's degree or higher degree.

H1B petitions

The USCIS had initially suspended premium processing for all H1B petitions effective April 3, 2017. Subsequently, the USCIS resumed premium processing for H1B petitions filed under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program or through the interested government agency process. The USCIS also resumed premium processing of certain cap-exempt H1B petitions.

The USCIS noted that premium processing for all remaining H1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2018 cap or otherwise noted above remain suspended. The USCIS noted specifically that this includes H1B petitions for extensions of stay.

The USCIS stated that it will resume premium processing for all remaining H1B petition types for which it is suspended when agency workloads permit.