February 15, 2019

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions Filed on or before December 21, 2018

On February 15, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin accepting Premium Processing requests for H-1B cases filed on or before December 21, 2018. Premium processing is a service by which USCIS normally guarantees a response within 15 calendar days, with an additional $1410 filing fee. Our office charges a flat fee of $250 for Premium Processing upgrade requests.

In addition to H-1B petitions filed before December 21, 2018 the following cases will continue to be eligible for premium processing regardless of filing date:

· Cap-exempt petitions filed at the California Service Center because the employer is cap exempt, or the beneficiary will be working “at” a cap-exempt location.

· Petitions filed at the Nebraska Service Center requesting a “Continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer.” In other words, H-1B extensions with the same employer.

· All other categories of petitions filed on form I-129 that are otherwise eligible for Premium Processing, for example TN, E-2, L-1, O-1, etc.

As an alternative to Premium Processing, petitioners may still request “expedited processing” if they meet the criteria outlined here. Petitioners with a pending H-1B petition filed before December 21, 2018 who require a quick decision should consider filing a Premium Processing upgrade request. Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding this information.

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