Premium Processing for H-1B Cap Cases May be Delayed, but No Word on Suspension
March 7, 2018
SFGate.com reported this week that at a recent USCIS stakeholder meeting, officials indicated that employers who file their fiscal year H-1B petitions with requests for premium processing may not receive responses within the 15 days normally guaranteed. This has been the case in past years, when the USCIS announced that they would temporarily delay the 15 day response requirement. Last year, the USCIS actually suspended the premium processing program in early March for all types of H-1B petitions, which meant that they would not accept the additional filing fee and requests. They resumed premium processing for fiscal year H-1B cases in September.
As opposed to a suspension (where the government will not accept requests for premium processing), a delay in premium processing means that the government will accept the requests, but will not provide a response within 15 days.
In the past, when the USCIS has delayed premium processing, they have typically resumed processing those requests within a few weeks. The normal processing time for H-1B petitions without premium processing requested can be six months or longer.
Clients of Weaver Schlenger LLP who would like to request premium processing of fiscal year H-1B cases should contact us immediately. As of today’s date, premium processing has not been suspended. Even if the USCIS announces a delay in premium processing this spring, employers will receive a decision or Request for Evidence much sooner than cases filed under regular processing.