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USCIS Extends and Expands Suspension on Premium Processing

On March 20, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a suspension for premium processing on H-1B cap-subject petitions for the 2019 Fiscal Year. H-1B petitions filed on behalf of workers changing employers, or changing jobs or location with the same employer, were allowed for premium processing and not affected by this suspension.

However, in a new announcement, dated August 28, 2018, the agency has decided to extend and expand on this suspension, despite the current backlog for adjudication of H-1B petitions. Beginning September 11, 2018, USCIS will be expanding the temporary suspension of premium processing to include all H-1B petitions filed at the Vermont and California Service Centers, and the suspension will last through February 19, 2019. Due to this new policy, any Request for Premium Processing Service (Form I-907) accompanying an affected Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker (Form I-129) will be rejected by USCIS. Combined checks filed for Form I-907 and Form I-129 will also result in denial of both forms.

USCIS also noted that Form I-129 H-1B petitions that were not affected by the original suspension will continue to be processed, if they are properly filed with the corresponding Form I-907 before September 11, 2018. The premium processing fee will be refunded if Form I-907 is filed for a previously-unaffected H-1B before September 11, 2018 and no action was taken on the case within the 15 calendar days allotted for processing. For more information, please read the official USCIS press release.

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