Premium Processing Service Reinstated for H-1B Petitions Filed On or Before Dec. 21, 2018

USCIS has announced that it will resume premium processing service starting Tuesday, February 19, 2019 for all H-1B petitions that were filed on or before December 21, 2018. Requests to upgrade an eligible H-1B petition to premium processing should be sent to the USCIS Service Center where the H-1B petition was filed. However, if the H-1B petition was transferred to another USCIS Service Center for processing, the premium processing upgrade request should be sent to the USCIS Service Center now handling the petition.

This announcement follows an an earlier announcement from USCIS on January 28, 2018, which resumed premium processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions filed during last year’s H-1B cap filing period in April 2018 that were still pending.

Note that H-1B petitions filed after December 21, 2018 with the USCIS California Service Center or Vermont Service Center remain ineligible for premium processing. However, H-1B petitions filed by cap-exempt employers with the USCIS California Service Center, and H-1B extension petitions filed with the USCIS Nebraska Service Center, are still eligible for premium processing since these application types were not included in the initial suspension of premium processing.

USCIS has indicated that it plans to resume premium processing for the remaining categories of H-1B petitions “as agency workloads permit.”

To determine if your H-1B petition is now eligible to be upgraded to premium processing, please contact your Ellis Porter attorney.

Ellis Porter will continue pass along any updates regarding the premium processing program as they are announced.