As of April 2, 2018, USCIS began accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 cap. This cap was reached
in just four days, by April 6, 2018.
USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all FY 2019 cap-subject petitions, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. This suspension is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018. During this time, USCIS will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap.
USCIS will notify the public before resuming premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions or making any other premium processing updates.
During this temporary suspension, USCIS will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filed with an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form I-907 and Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, both forms will be rejected.
Once USCIS resumes premium processing, petitioners may file a Form I-907 for FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions that remain pending.
Requesting Expedited Processing
While premium processing is suspended, a petitioner may submit a request to expedite an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition if it meets the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and USCIS encourages petitioners to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request. USCIS reviews all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and will grant requests at the discretion of its office leadership.
The Reason for Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions
This temporary suspension will help USCIS reduce overall H-1B processing times. By temporarily suspending premium processing, USCIS will:
- Process long-pending petitions, which it has currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years; and
- Prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark.
Look for USCIS’ updates on the H-1B FY 2019 Cap Season webpage.