U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed
premium processing for all H-1B petitions as of 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, USCIS has discontinued premium processing for
H-1B cap cases in April to allow sufficient time for application of
the lottery and receipting-in of selected petitions. Last year, the
agency extended the suspension of premium processing well beyond
the cap filing season and expanded the suspension to include most
In January 2019, premium processing was restored for FY 2019
cap-subject petitions that were filed in April 2018 and remained
pending. In February, USCIS resumed premium processing for non-cap
H-1B petitions filed before December 21, 2018. Now USCIS has
restored premium processing for all H-1B petitions.
It is not clear whether the agency 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 USCIS could
discontinue premium processing again for H-1B cap petitions or even
other types of petitions.
To request an upgrade to premium processing for pending
petitions that have received a Request for Evidence (RFE),
petitioners should include their request for premium processing,
along with the required fee, when submitting the response to the
RFE. The USCIS filing fee for premium processing is $1,410, which
guarantees action on the petition within 15 calendar days of
USCIS's receiving the request. If USCIS does not take
adjudicative action within the 15-day window, the agency refunds
the petitioner's premium processing fee and continues with
expedited processing of the petition.
Those who received a transfer notice for a pending H-1B petition
and are requesting premium processing service must submit the
premium processing request to the service center now handling the
petition. They should also include a copy of the transfer notice
with the premium processing request to avoid possible delays. If
the petition was transferred and the petitioner sends the premium
processing request to the wrong center, USCIS will forward it to
the petition's current location. However, the premium
processing “clock” will not start until the premium
processing request has been received at the correct center.
details about where to send premium processing requests in the
event of a transfer
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.