HR Alert

USCIS to Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

Temporary Suspension Begins April 3

Starting April 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions for a period which may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification). USCIS expects to notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.

Who Is Affected
The temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. Since Fiscal Year 2018 cap-subject H-1B petitions cannot be filed before April 3, 2017, this suspension will apply to all petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B regular cap and master's advanced degree cap exemption (the "master's cap"). The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt.

While premium processing is suspended, USCIS will reject any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition. If a petitioner submits one combined check for both the Form I-907 and Form I-129 H-1B fees, USCIS will reject both forms.

USCIS will continue to premium process Form I-129 H-1B petitions if a petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before April 3, 2017. Therefore, USCIS will refund the premium processing fee if:

  • A petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before April 3, 2017; and
  • USCIS did not take adjudicative action on the case within the 15-calendar-day processing period.

This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to other eligible nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129.

Requesting Expedited Processing
While premium processing is suspended, petitioners may submit a request to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage. It is the petitioner's responsibility to demonstrate that the petitioner meets at least one of the expedite criteria, and USCIS encourages petitioners to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite requests. All expedite requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and requests are granted at the discretion of the USCIS office leadership.

Click here for more information from USCIS.


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