On March, 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it was suspending premium processing for all H-1B petitions commencing April 3, 2017. USCIS advised that premium processing may be suspended for up to six months. Last year, USCIS also suspended premium processing, but resumed it about three weeks later.
The temporary suspension includes all FY2018 H-1B regular and master's advanced degree exemption ("master's cap") cases. The suspension also includes H-1B petitions that may be cap exempt.
USCIS further advised that the temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to other eligible nonimmigrant visa categories, including, but not limited to the L1, R1 O1 P E1/E2 and other nonimmigrant categories.
USCIS explained that the reason for suspension of H-1B processing will assist it to reduce overall H-1B processing delays, especially for those cases pending for inordinately long periods of time. While there are exceptions allowing U.S. petitioners to request expedites, these are rarely favorably granted.
Our Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments concerning Premium Processing and resumption of this option for our clients.
|Levine, Roxanne H. Partner||Partner||212.216.1122|