On March 20, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) did an about-face and announced that beginning on April 2 it will suspend Premium Processing of all fiscal year (FY) 2019 H-1B cap filings. This comes after prior announcements in which USCIS confirmed that it would make Premium Processing available for H-1B cap cases. This suspension applies to all H-1B cap cases, including filings for persons with U.S. advanced degrees. The Premium Processing cap case suspension is expected to be lifted no later than Sept. 10, 2018. At that time, employers will be able to file Form I-907 Requests for Premium Processing Service for any cap filings that have not yet been adjudicated.

Fortunately (and unlike last year), USCIS will continue to accept Premium Processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap. This includes H-1B change of employer, H-1B extension and H-1B amendment filings. Premium Processing will also remain available for other Premium Processing-eligible nonimmigrant petitions including, L-1, O-1 and TN petitions, and for eligible I-140 petitions.