USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing of H1B Petitions Subject to FY 2019 Cap

On March 20, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will temporarily suspend premium processing for fiscal year 2019 H1B petitions that are subject to the fiscal year 2019 cap [PDF version]. The USCIS made this decision in order to reduce overall H1B processing times. It states that the suspension will allow it to process long-pending H1B petitions and prioritize adjudication of H1B petitions nearing the 240 day mark.

The suspension of premium processing, expected to last until September 10, 2018, will affect only those H1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2019 cap. This includes petitions subject to the U.S. master's degree or higher cap. The suspension of premium processing will not affect H1B petitions that are not subject to the fiscal year 2019 cap.

While premium processing is suspended, the USCIS will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Services, filed with a fiscal year 2019 cap-subject H1B petition. In the event that the petitioner submits a check with the combined fees for the Form I-907 and Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, the USCIS would reject both forms entirely.

Once the suspension of premium processing is lifted, petitioners will be permitted to file a Form I-907 for any fiscal year 2019 cap-subject H1B petitions that remain pending.

Although premium processing will be suspended for cap-subject H1B petitions, expedited processing will remain available in cases that satisfy the expedite criteria. To learn about expedited processing, please see our full article on the subject [see article].

For more information on this and related issues, please see our article on premium processing of Form I-129 petitions [see article]. To read about the broader suspension of premium processing of H1B petitions during FY 2018, please see our full article [see article].

We will update this article with more information on the status of the fiscal year 2019 cap-subject H1B premium processing suspension as it becomes available.