USCIS Suspendfs H-1B Premium Processing
USCIS acted to limit petitions submitted with Premium Processing. As of September 11, 2018, a previously instated suspension on Premium Processing will be extended to a broader group of H-1B applicants.
In April 2018, USCIS established a temporary suspension on Premium Processing for all H-1B cap-subject petitions. On August 28, 2018, USCIS announced that, starting on September 11, 2018, this temporary suspension on Premium Processing would be extended to include all H-1B petitions filed with the Vermont or California Service Centers. The Service Center where your H-1B petition should be filed is determined by the location of the petitioner’s primary office, as well as whether the petition is cap-exempt or an extension. The suspension is meant to reduce overall H-1B processing times by allowing officers to process a backlog of petitions and is expected to be in effect until February 19, 2019.
There are a few exceptions to this suspension. The suspension does not apply to cap-exempt petitions filed exclusively at the California Service Center or petitions filed exclusively at the Nebraska Service Center. Therefore, petitions requesting an H-1B extension of previously approved employment with the same employer will still be able to apply with Premium Processing after the September 11, 2018 deadline. Additionally, cap-exempt petitions filed with the California Service Center will not be subject to the Premium Processing suspension.
Now more than ever, timing and careful planning are essential. Retaining an experienced and proactive immigration attorney will ensure that you are up to date with changes to immigration policy, which are frequent and impactful in today’s fast-paced immigration environment.