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USCIS Announces Return of Premium Processing for more, but not all H-1B Cases

Following the recent announcement allowing premium processing for last year – fiscal 2019 – cap-subject H-1Bs that still remain processing, USCIS has announced that it will now resume premium processing for all H-1B cases (including amendments, changes of status to H-1B and change-of-employer petitions) filed on or before December 21, 2018.

The moratorium on premium processing hadn’t impacted cap-exempt employer cases or simple extensions, which could still use the 15-day turnaround premium processing service after the moratorium was announced in March of 2018.

However, the impact was felt among cap-subject H-1B filings as well as H-1B filings seeking to change employer or amend existing petitions. The lead to processing times of six months or more for these H-1Bs, and severe impacts on the ability to travel internationally even where work authorization was unaffected.

H-1Bs Cases filed after the December 21, 2018 date continue to be stuck with the longer process. USCIS has stated an intent to bring back the service for additional cases “as workload permits.”