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Allen and Hodgman | USCIS resumes premium processing for most H-1B petitions

USCIS resumes premium processing for most H-1B petitions

As of Monday, January 28, 2019, USCIS resumed premium processing of pending H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2019 annual cap. These were mostly petitions with long standing RFEs which have not yet been finalized by USCIS. Many beneficiaries of these petitions have been unable to work since October 1, 2018 because their “cap gap” OPT extensions expired on that date. These petitions have all been pending for ten months since they were filed April 1, 2018.

On February 19, 2019,  USCIS resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018 regardless of category.

Premium processing is also available regardless of filing date for petitions filed by cap-exempt employers (such as universities), and extension of stay with the same employer petitions filed at the Nebraska Service Center.

Petitions filed after December 21, 2018 not in the above categories are not now eligible for premium processing. As an example, new change of employer petitions cannot be filed with premium processing.

If your petition has already been filed and is now eligible for premium processing, your employer will need to file an I-907 application and pay the premium processing fee of $1,410. The application must be filed with the Service Center where the petition is currently pending. The 15 day premium processing clock will start to run when the application is received at the correct Service Center.