U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the reinstatement of the premium processing program for a limited number of H-1B petitions. Premium processing will resume on January 28, 2019, for fiscal year (FY) 2019 H-1B cap cases (those subject to the annual quota). FY 2019 H-1B cap cases were those that were filed in April 2018 and were subject to the annual H-1B lottery. Because most of those cases have already been adjudicated, the resumption of premium processing is available only for a small number of cases.
The premium processing suspension remains in effect for many H-1B petition types, including the following:
- H-1B petitions to request a change of employer
- H-1B petitions to amend existing H-1B status
- H-1B petitions to change visa status from one visa type to another (for cases not subject to the H-1B cap)
Employers may want to consider requesting premium processing for FY 2019 H-1B cap cases still pending with USCIS. Employers that received requests for evidence (RFEs) for pending FY 2019 petitions must submit their RFE responses with their request for premium processing.
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to the availability of premium processing and will post updates on the immigration blog as additional information becomes available.