Law Offices of Stuart J. Reich, PLLC

Practice Limited to Immigration & Nationality Law

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USCIS Announces Suspension of Premium Processing for FY 2019 Cap Cases

With only about ten days to go before these cases are sent out, Us Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the suspension of premium processing for this year’s cap-subject H-1B filings. The suspension does have a pre-announced end date: September 10, 2018, about t20 days before the anticipated start date of these fiscal 2019 cap H-1Bs.

The move wasn’t completely unexpected – USCIS had announced in an earlier stakeholder meeting about a months ago that they were considering the move. Further, and the agency had done something similar last year, announcing at the beginning of April 2017 that they would suspend Premium Processing for all H-1Bs for a full six-months period (they gradually phased the program back in for many H-1B case types before the announced resumption of the program). However, the announcement less than two weeks before filing begins leaves little time to change paperwork.

The premium Processing program allows petitioners to pay an extra $1,225 fee for a faster response – 15 days, though that response won’t necessarily be an approval (it may be a denial or, most likely, a Request for Evidence). For Requests for Evidence, USCIS then gets an additional 15 days to response from the time the petitioner submits their response. The suspension of the programs intended to all the dedicated officers working on Premium Processing cases to help bring down the general backlog.