Client Alert: USCIS Suspends Premium Processing on H-1B Cap Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced a temporary suspension of premium processing for H-1B Cap petitions, starting April 2, 2018. While normal processing of H-1B visa applications typically takes three to six months, premium processing guarantees that an initial review of the petition occurs in 15 calendar days, for an additional fee of $1,225.

This temporary suspension of premium processing applies to all H-1B cap petitions, including:

  • Individuals with a Master’s Degree from a U.S. college or university.
  • Individuals pursuing petitions in for-profit industries, including biotechnology, computer sciences, engineering, and the arts.

The temporary suspension does not include H-1B cap exempt petitions, including:

  • Higher education H-1B petitions
  • H-1B candidates for non-profit organizations associated with a higher education institution, for example, hospitals and research institutes
  • H-1B candidates for non-profit research or government organizations

The notification from USCIS can be disappointing for some applicants, but the announcement today puts an end to months of speculation regarding the policy. In 2017, USCIS put a hold on all H-1B premium processing, resuming the service in July for H-1B cap exempt employers and in October for all other H-1B employers. For questions about the announcement, contact us today. Click here to read the full statement from the USCIS.