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USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap Petitions

Thomas M. Lee

The USCIS will resume premium processing on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, for all fiscal year (FY) 2019 H-1B cap petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption (the “master’s cap”). Petitioners who have received requests for evidence (RFEs) for pending FY 2019 cap petitions should include their RFE response with any request for premium processing they may submit.

H-1B visas provide employers with skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. If the USCIS does not take certain adjudicative action within the 15‑calendar day processing time, it refunds the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continues with expedited processing of the petition. This service is only available for pending petitions, not new submissions, because the USCIS has already received enough petitions to meet the FY 2019 cap. The USCIS filing fee for premium processing was increased to $1,410.00 last October 2018.

The previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing remains in effect for all other categories of H-1B petitions to which it applied. The USCIS plans to resume premium processing for the remaining categories of H‑1B petitions as agency workloads permit.

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