USCIS to Suspend Premium Processing for Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Petitions, Likely Through 9/10/2018
March 20, 2018
Today, the USCIS announced it would temporarily suspend premium processing for all fiscal year H-1B petitions. The suspension is expected to last through September 10, 2018. In its announcement, the USCIS stated the reason for the suspension is to allow the agency to process its backlog of long-term pending petitions and give priority to H-1B extensions which have been pending close to 240 days.
The temporary suspension will apply only to cap-subject fiscal year 2019 H-1B petitions. It does not apply to extensions of H-1B status or change of employer requests.
If a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form I-907 (premium process request) and Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, the USCIS will reject both forms. When they resume premium processing, petitioners may file a Form I-907 for FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions that remain pending.
In very limited circumstances, the USCIS will consider requests for discretionary expedited processing. Criteria include: severe financial loss; a national interest request, and humanitarian reasons. All requests for expedited processing must be accompanied with evidence to support the request.