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

H-1B petitions.

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.

The USCIS notice, which includes additional

details about where to send premium processing requests in the

event of a transfer

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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