U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions. As of Tuesday, March 12, 2019, all H-1B petitions may be upgraded to premium processing or filed originally with a request for premium processing.
In recent years the CIS has discontinued premium processing for H-1B cap cases in April in order to allow sufficient time for application of the lottery and receipting-in of selected petitions. Last year the CIS extended the suspension of premium processing well beyond the cap filing season and expanded the suspension to include most H-1B petitions.
It was not until January of this year premium processing was restored for FY-2019 cap petitions that were filed in April 2018 and remained pending. In February the CIS resumed premium processing for non-cap H-1B petitions filed prior to December 21, 2018. Now in March the CIS has restored premium processing for all H-1B petitions.
It is not clear whether the CIS will continue premium processing for all H-1B petitions once H-1B cap petitions are filed in the first week of April. It is possible that the CIS could discontinue premium processing for H-1B cap petitions or even other types of petitions.
In order to request an upgrade to premium processing for pending petitions that have received a Request for Further Evidence (RFE), petitioners should include their request for premium processing, along with the required fee when submitting the response to the RFE. The CIS filing fee for premium processing is $1,410, and with it the CIS guarantees action on the petition within 15 calendar days of receiving the request.
To request premium processing for an eligible H-1B petition, contact your Foster attorney. Foster will continue to monitor changes in USCIS procedures and will provide updates as appropriate via Foster Immigration Updates© and on the firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.