Extension and Expansion on Suspension of Premium Processing for Certain H-1B Petitions
by Michael Phulwani, Esq. and Dev B. Viswanath, Esq.
Sep 25, 2018 | 8594 views | 0 0 comments | 652 652 recommendations | email to a friend | print

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had previously suspended premium processing for certain H-1B petitions to reduce delay in processing time was supposed to last until September 10, 2018. But not only will the suspension not end, starting September 11, 2018 the suspension will be temporally expanded to include certain additional H-1B petitions. The temporary suspension of premium processing may last all the way until February 19, 2019.

The expansion of the temporary suspension on premium processing for certain H-1B petitions will apply to all H-1B petitions filed at the Vermont and California Service Centers. If a petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before September 11, 2018 and USCIS did not take any adjudicative action on the case within a 15 calendar processing time, USCIS will refund the petitioner’s premium processing fee. 

Who will not be effected by the suspension?
The suspension will not apply to the following petitions:

•      Cap-exempt petitions that are filed entirely at the California Service Center because the employer is cap exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap exempt institution, entity, or organization; or

•      Those petitions filed entirely at the Nebraska Service Center by an employer requesting a “Continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer” (Box b. on Part 2, Question 2, Page 2 of the current Form I-129) with a concurrent request to:

•   Notify the office in Part 4 so each beneficiary can obtain a visa or be admitted. (Box on Part 2, Question 4, Page 2 of the current Form I-129); or

•   Extend the stay of each beneficiary because the beneficiary now holds this status. (Box c. on Part 2, Question 4, Page 2 of the current Form I-129).

The purpose of the temporary suspension is to help decrease the processing times of H-1B petitions. Without premium processing USCIS will be able to process petitions that have been awaiting adjudication for a long time and have not been processed because of the increase of premium processing requests over the last few months. USCIS will also be more responsive to petitions that have time sensitive start dates and adjudicate H-1B extension cases that are approaching their 240-day mark.

The temporary suspension of premium processing will not effect any other nonimmigrant class using Form I-129 to file for a nonimmigrant visa. 

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