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.
The USCIS had initially suspended premium processing for all H1B petitions effective April 3, 2017 [see article]. Subsequently, the USCIS resumed premium processing for H1B petitions filed under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program or through the interested government agency process [see article]. The USCIS also resumed premium processing of certain cap-exempt H1B petitions [see article].
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.
To learn about premium processing for H1B petitions, please see our full article [see article]. In the alternative, please see our article on the separate expedited processing procedure, which remains available in cases where the criteria is met even for classes of H1B petitions for which premium processing is suspended [see article]. Please see our website's category on H1B visas to learn more about the H1B program in general [see article].