Starting on Monday, Jan. 28, USCIS will resume premium processing for all fiscal year (FY) 2019 H-1B cap petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption (the Master Cap). This applies to any H-1B cap petition filed in or before April 2018. Any petitioner who has received requests for evidence (RFEs) regarding their pending FY2019 cap petitions may include a request for premium processing form (Form I-907) with their RFE response.

The previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing remains in effect for all other categories of H-1B petitions to which it applied. USCIS plans to resume premium processing for the remaining categories of H-1B petitions as soon as capacity permits and will notify the public accordingly. This latest announcement throws into doubt whether USCIS will resume premium processing on Feb. 19, 2019, as previously announced in September 2018.

When a petitioner requests premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. If USCIS does not take adjudicative action within the 15-calendar day processing time, the Service will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue to expedite processing of the petition. This service is only available for pending petitions, not new submissions.

˘ Not admitted to the practice of law