U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has officially announced that as of Monday, January 28, 2019, it will begin accepting premium processing for Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap cases pending adjudication. These H-1B petitions—along with H-1B petitions for Cap-exempt employers and H-1B extensions to be filed for same positions with the same employers—are allowed premium processing. Premium processing for all other H-1B petitions—including those for Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap filings, H-1B change of employers, H-1B extensions with changes in employment, or H-1B amendments—continue to be barred from premium processing.

Upon payment of an additional $1,410 USCIS filing fee, premium processing allows a petition to be adjudicated within 15 calendar days after it has been received by USCIS. With current H-1B petition adjudication times taking approximately 8.5 to 11.5 months, many companies view the faster adjudication time worth the cost.