On Friday, March 3, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services ("USCIS") announced that it will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. Premium Processing is an expedited filing service offered by USCIS for an additional fee of $1,225 for certain filings guaranteeing a response within 15 calendar days. This temporary suspension of premium processing applies only to H-1B petitions. It does not apply to I-140 petitions or other temporary visa classifications, such as L-1, O-1, TN, and E-3 petitions. Despite the temporary suspension, USCIS will still consider expediting certain H-1B petitions in rare circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Filings Impacted by this Suspension:

  • All FY 2018 cap-subject H-1B cap petitions (those subject to the U.S. master's cap and regular cap)
  • Any H-1B petitions (not subject to the H-1B cap) filed on or after April 3, 2017 requesting a change of employer, change of status, extension of status, or amendment
  • Any cap-exempt H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017

The suspension may last up to six months. USCIS has noted this temporary suspension will help it reduce overall H-1B processing times. USICS will make a public announcement before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.