USCIS recently announced that as of April 3, 2017, premium processing for all H-1B petitions will be temporarily suspended. This temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017 for the FY18 H-1B regular cap and master’s cap and may even applicable to petitions that may be cap-exempt. The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt.
During the suspension, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, request for premium processing service for a Form I-129, or petition for a nonimmigrant worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. Any submissions in these regards during the suspension will be rejected. It is important to note that the suspension does not apply to other eligible nonimmigrant classifications filed under Form I-129. Even if the 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 still continue to premium process Form I-129 H-1B petitions if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before April 3, 2017. In certain cases as described below, USCIS will refund the premium processing fee if:
- The petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before April 3, 2017, and
- We 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.
The suspension is being put into place by USCIS in an effort to reduce the overall H-1B processing times. During this time, USCIS will be making a concerted effort to process long-pending petitions that have been put on hold due to the recent surge in premium processing requests as well as prioritize certain H-1B extension of status cases that are approaching the 240-day mark. The public will be formally notified before premium processing for H-1B petitions resumes.