H-1B Cap 2019 Petitions: Premium Processing Is Suspended Again

H-1B Cap 2019 Petitions: Premium Processing Is Suspended Again

Starting April 2, 2018, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2019 cap. They will temporarily suspend premium processing for all FY 2019 cap-subject petitions, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. This suspension is expected to last until September 10, 2018.

During this temporary suspension, if a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form I-907 and Form I-129, it will be rejected for the both forms.

Why Premium Processing Is Temporarily Suspended?

This temporary suspension will help reduce overall H-1B processing time. By temporarily suspending premium processing, USCIS will be able to:

  • Process long-pending petitions, which USCIS have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests, and
  • Prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240-day mark.

How To Request Expedited Process?

While premium processing is suspended, a petitioner may still submit a request to expedite an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition on the basis of the below mentioned criteria:

  1. Severe financial loss to company or person
  2. Emergency situation
  3. Humanitarian reasons
  4. Nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States
  5. Department of Defense or national interest situation
  6. USCIS error
  7. Compelling interest of USCIS

It is the petitioner’s responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, further it is encouraged that petitioners submit documentary evidence to support and expedite request. USCIS will review all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and will grant requests at the discretion of USCIS office leadership.

Premium Processing: Does It Impact Current H-1B Holders’ Transfers And Extensions?

The answer is no. If you are not subject to FY 2019 cap, there is no problem for you. You may continue to file Premium Processing as usual for transfers, extensions and other cap-exempt petitions.

Contact VisaPro immigration lawyers to receive personalized assistance with your H-1B filing strategies. Our experienced attorneys will be happy to assist you.

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