U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the reinstatement of the premium processing program for a limited number of H-1B petitions. Premium processing will resume on January 28, 2019, for fiscal year (FY) 2019 H-1B cap cases (those subject to the annual quota). FY 2019 H-1B cap cases were those that were filed in April 2018 and were subject to the annual H-1B lottery. Because most of those cases have already been adjudicated, the resumption of premium processing is available only for a small number of cases.
The premium processing suspension remains in effect for many H-1B petition types, including the following:
- H-1B petitions to request a change of employer
- H-1B petitions to amend existing H-1B status
- H-1B petitions to change visa status from one visa type to another (for cases not subject to the H-1B cap)
Employers may want to consider requesting premium processing for FY 2019 H-1B cap cases still pending with USCIS. Employers that received requests for evidence (RFEs) for pending FY 2019 petitions must submit their RFE responses with their request for premium processing.