Beginning February 19, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume premium processing for all categories of H-1B petitions that were filed on or before December 21, 2018. USCIS has been gradually reinstating the premium processing program for limited categories of H-1B petitions.
Premium processing remains suspended for the following H-1B petitions received on or after December 22, 2018:
- 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)
USCIS has indicated that it will resume premium processing for the remaining categories as soon as the agency’s workload permits, but it has provided no indication as to when that might occur.
USCIS has not indicated whether premium processing will be available for the upcoming cap filing season for fiscal year 2020, which will begin on April 1, 2019. In years past, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for H-1B cap-subject cases for several weeks.
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.