USCIS confirms H-1B premium processing suspension | KNG Law

By Kaitlyn Garcia, J.D. | Immigration Attorney | Houston, Texas

As previously indicated earlier this year in January 2018, by USCIS Service Center Operations Directorate (SCOPS), and by the agency's March 6, 2018 public teleconference, USCIS confirmed today March 20, 2018 that there will be a temporary suspension of all FY 2019 cap subject petitions.

Starting April 2, 2018, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 cap, however will temporarily suspend 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 of new cap cases is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018. During this time, the agency will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap (H-1B extensions, amendments, and change of employer petitions may currently still request premium process service). 

A snapshot:

  • Premium processing is not as widespread as last year -- the service was suspended for all H-1Bs last year.
  • Only H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap will have premium processing suspended.
  • Suspension is common due to high volume of petitions received.

Affected H-1B employers and employees can read more on the temporary service suspension from the agency here. 


KNG Law actively tracks updates to the H-1B visa program. Future alerts on H-1B premium processing suspensions will be shared as new information becomes available.

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