USCIS Issues Temporary H-1B Premium Processing Suspension for FY 2019 Cap-Subject Petitions

March 20, 2018 Ian Helms

On March 20, 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a temporary H-1B premium processing suspension for all Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions.

According to the agency’s announcement, USCIS is implementing the suspension to process long-pending petitions, which they have yet been unable to process and to prioritize the adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240-day mark.

The USCIS email also noted that the H-1B premium processing suspension is expected to last until Monday, September 10, 2018.  Employers are then able to file a premium processing upgrade for their employee’s cap-subject petition.

What does the H-1B premium processing suspension mean for me and my foreign national employees?

On Monday, April 2, 2018, USCIS will begin accepting cap-subject H-1B visa petitions; however, the agency is temporarily suspending premium processing for all cap-subject cases including those seeking exemptions for individuals with U.S. master’s degrees or higher. The suspension does not impact H-1B visa petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap.

Envoy customers expecting to file cap-subject H-1B petitions for premium processing

During this temporary suspension, USCIS will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filed with FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions. Therefore, we cannot fulfill your request to file any cap-subject H-1B cases for premium processing.

If you already paid to have premium processing added to FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B case(s), your Envoy Client Manager and/or Account Executive will reach out to you to assist you with a refund or credit.

This news comes after a similar suspension to H-1B premium processing last year, which was lifted in September, as well.

To stay informed on the latest immigration news and policy updates, including when USCIS officially resumes premium processing for cap-subject H-1B visa petitions, please subscribe to our blog.

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