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USCIS Brings Back Premium Processing for all H-1B Matters

USCIS announced on October 3, 2017 that Premium Processing, whereby Petitioners can pay an additional $1,225 fee for 15-day turnaround (Approval, Denial, or Request for Evidence) on filings, is now once again available for all H-1B filings.

USCIS had announced in early March that it was placing Premium Processing for H-1Bs on moratorium beginning April 3, 2017 (the first day H-1B cap cases would be accepted) and continuing for six months or until otherwise announced. The theory was that the officers normally tasked with adjudicating Premium Processing H-1B petitions would be used to work down the backlog on non-premium H-1b cases – which in some instances were taking close to a year.

Since that time, USCIS has reinstated Premium Processing for certain types of H-1Bs – first physicians applying under the Conrad 30 program (June 23, 2017), then cap-exempt petitions (July 24, 2017) and most recently this year’s cap-subject petitions (September 18, 2017). The most recent announcement brings back Premium Processing for Amendment – including change of employer - and Extension petitions, the last H-1B case types for which Premium Processing had been suspended.