U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that it will suspend premium processing for all H-1B cap-subject petitions beginning April 2, 2018, the first day filing begins.

Key points:

  • The suspension is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018
  • All H-1B cap-subject petitions will be ineligible for premium processing at the time of filing. Premium processing remains available for non-cap petitions, including extensions, change of status, and change of employer petitions.
  • During the suspension, all requests for premium processing that are filed with an H-1B cap petition will be rejected and, if one check is sent for the premium processing fee and the H-1B petition, both forms will be rejected.
  • Petitioners may request expedited processing only in very limited circumstances, such as an emergency, severe financial loss to a company or individual, USCIS error, or one of the other enumerated reasons. USCIS encourages petitioners to provide documentary evidence in support of these requests. Such decisions are made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of USCIS.

BAL Analysis: USCIS had previously announced that it would suspend premium processing at the start of cap season but today’s announcement provides an estimated length of five months. Employers should anticipate delays in H-1B cap receipt notices.

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

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