U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will suspend premium processing for cap-subject petitions H-1B petitions starting April 2, 2018. This suspension includes petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.
The suspension is expected to last for just under six months, with September 10, 2018 being its expected end date. During the suspension, USCIS will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions not subject to the FY 2019 cap.
During this temporary suspension, USCIS will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filed with an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form I-907 and Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, both forms will be rejected. When premium processing resumes, petitioners may file a Form I-907 for FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions that are still pending.
A petitioner may still submit a request to expedite an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition if it meets the criteria outlined here.
The goal of the suspension is to allow USCIS to prioritize and adjudicate H-1B cases, such as extensions of H-1B status, that are near the 240 day mark or have been long-pending. This suspension is not unprecedented. USCIS has previously halted premium processing on certain types of cases to better manage workloads, including FY 2018 cap season.
Please contact your Klasko Law attorney with any questions concerning this client alert.