H1B premium processing update

As you are maybe aware USCIS resumed premium processing last month for a small subset of applications – only for new H1B applications filed in 2019.

UPDATE: 12 March 2019 H1B Premium processing is resumed by USCIS.

USCIS is set to resume premium processing for all H1-B applications from March 12, 2019. This comes as a relief for H1B employers and employees. As a refresher – USCIS guarantees processing of applications within 15 days if the application is filed with premium processing. If USCIS does not process the application within 15 calendar days, they will refund the money.

As you may recall this had been suspended for quite a while, causing increased anxiety among H1B applicants. We predict that this is going to be a short term phenomenon, and premium processing will be paused once the new H1B applications are received by USCIS.

Over the last few years, USCIS has been unable to keep up with the demand for premium processing and that is triggering more stoppages of H1B premium processing. Find out more about this official announcement here.

UPDATE: Feb 2019

USCIS has now expanded it to a few more applications. Any H1-B application filed on or before Dec 21, 2018, can now file for premium processing. Although this does not address all the H1B applications, it is still a step in the right direction to reduce to a backlog of unapproved applications.

Background

USCIS announced in April that it would suspend premium processing. The cost for filing premium processing is $1,410 and USCIS guarantees that it will adjudicate your application in 15 days or refund the money.

Earlier the suspension was applicable to all applications for H-1Bs subject to the annual cap of 85,000 new visas. On Jan. 28, this was relaxed and USCIS resumed premium processing for first time H1B applications

Now, the service has been resumed for H-1B applications filed on or before Dec. 21, 2018.

We are predicting that USCIS will gradually move this date (21st Dec) forward similar to the Green Card priority dates. Long waiting times and uncertainty is the new given for immigrants in the US.


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