USCIS Will Resume Premium Processing But Only for Pending Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap Petitions

by Joseph McKeown

US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the agency will resume premium processing for all pending fiscal year (FY) 2019 H-1B cap petitions, including “master’s cap” advanced degree exemption cases effective Monday, January 28, 2019. USCIS originally suspended premium processing for all cap-subject petitions, including master’s cap exemption cases, in April 2018, and in September 2018 extended the suspension to additional H-1B petitions.

The premium processing service will resume only for pending FY 2019 cap petitions, not new submissions, since sufficient cap cases have been filed to meet the cap numbers. The previously announced temporary suspension remains in effect for all other categories of H-1B petitions to which the suspension applied. If USCIS has issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for the case, petitioners and/or attorneys should submit the RFE response with the premium processing upgrade request. USCIS says: “We plan to resume premium processing for the remaining categories of H 1B petitions as agency workloads permit.”