On May 19, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will temporarily suspend 15-day premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions. This suspension will begin on May 26, 2015 (the day after Memorial Day), and run until July 27, 2015. The USCIS indicates that it needs this suspension to implement processing of employment authorization applications (filed on Form I-765) for H-4 dependent spouses.

This temporary suspension affects only H-1B Extension of Stay petitions. Premium processing will still remain available for other types of H-1B petitions, including Change of Status and Consular Notification filings. And, although not expressly stated, we assume that premium processing remains available for Change of Employer petitions where no extension of stay is requested. According to the USCIS announcement, the agency will continue to process H-1B extensions filed before May 26, 2015, that request premium processing but will return the premium processing fee if it cannot meet the 15-calendar-day deadline.