USCIS to Resume Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions on March 12, 2019

22:51 11 March in News Updates

What’s new?

Today USCIS announced that it will resume premium processing on Tuesday, March 12, for all H-1B petitions.   Premium may now be included with any new H-1B filings, or interfiled with any H-1B petitions currently pending adjudication with USCIS.

If an employer would like to add a premium request to any H-1B filing, please advise your LAC attorney.

How does premium processing work?

If an employer submits a premium processing request, together with the requisite $1410 filing fee, USCIS will guarantee a response within 15 calendar days of receipt of the request “or your money back.”   The response may be an approval, denial, or request for additional evidence.   If USCIS issues a request for additional evidence, the premium processing clock stops, and will re-start at Day 1 when the response to the request is received at the agency.

What is the regular USCIS adjudication time, without premium processing?

USCIS processing times fluctuate, but the current regular (non-premium) processing times are as follows:

California Service Center           9.5 to 12.5 months

Vermont Service Center            7 to 9 months for consular notification and change of employers

                                                                   2.5 to 4.5 months for extensions

Nebraska Service Center           3.5 to 5.5 months

What is the benefit of premium processing?

Expediting adjudication is especially beneficial if an approval is required to onboard an employee, or if the employee needs the approval in order to return from international travel.

Prior suspensions

  • USCIS announced the suspension of premium processing for FY2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions in March 2018
  • USCIS expanded the suspension to most other types of H-1B petitions, effective September 11, 2018.   Premium processing remained available for H-1Bs filed by cap exempt institutions and certain extensions.
  • On January 28, 2019, USCIS resumed premium processing of FY2019 cap-subject petitions (those filed in April 2018)
  • On February 19, 2019, USCIS reinstated premium processing for cases filed on or before December 21, 2018

Should you have any questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact your LAC attorney.

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