Premium processing for all H-1B petitions is expected to resume on or before Oct. 3, according to comments made by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on a conference call Wednesday.

USCIS has not officially announced the resumption of premium processing; the comment was made on a conference call between the USCIS services center operations and a liaison committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Key points:

  • The resumption of premium processing would apply to all remaining H-1B cases for which expedited services have not already resumed, including H-1B extensions.
  • Premium processing was temporarily suspended for all H-1B petitions April 3.
  • USCIS has since resumed premium processing of certain types of H-1B petitions, including all pending cap-subject petitions and some cap-exempt petitions.

Background: Expedited 15-day premium processing, which may be requested for an additional government filing fee, was temporarily suspended beginning April 3, at the start of the filing season for H-1B cap petitions for fiscal year 2018. USCIS resumed premium processing for some cap-exempt H-1B petitions, including those filed for physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program and those filed by qualifying educational or nonprofit employers in July, and for all pending cap-subject petitions earlier in September.

BAL Analysis: BAL is awaiting official confirmation by USCIS of the availability of premium processing for all H-1B cases. Meanwhile, companies should identify any H-1B petitions they would like to upgrade to premium processing and contact their BAL professional as soon as possible.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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