H1B premium processing suspended for extension, transfer and amendment

Update Mar 11 – H1B Premium Processing Open for ALL

USCIS has opened H1B premium processing for all H1B applications (Amendment, Transfer, Extension and COS) starting 12 March 2019.

Update Feb 15, 2019

USCIS has opened H1B premium processing for all H1B applications (Amendment, Transfer, Extension and COS) filed on or before Dec 21, 2018 starting Feb 19, 2019.

Premium processing for H1B 2019 Cap petitions is already open.

Premium processing suspended - H1B Extension, Transfer, Amendment

USCIS has extended the premium processing ban for ALL types of H1B application filed at Vermont and California Service Centers starting Sep 11, 2018 until Feb 19, 2019, including H1B extension, H1B amendment and H1B transfer.

As far as Nebraska service center is concerned, you can still file H1B premium extension applications here which have NO CHANGE in application details than your current H1B approval.

Earlier in 2018, the suspension was only for H1B 2019 cap subjected applications, but now, USCIS has added suspension for all types of H1B applications.

H1B Premium Processing Suspension Sep 11, 2018 to Feb 19, 2019

H1B Extension Transfer Amendment
California Suspended. Exception - Cap-exempt Employer Suspended. Exception - Cap-exempt Employer Suspended. Exception - Cap-exempt Employer
Nebraska Suspended. Exception - No CHANGE appln Suspended Suspended
Vermont Suspended Suspended Suspended

California Service Center

Only H1B Cap-exempt EMPLOYER petitions allowed.

H1B extensions, transfer or amendments filed exclusively at the California Service Center are out of this suspension.
The H1B employer should be cap exempt or the end client should be a qualifying cap exempt institution, entity, or organization;

All other employer’s H1B petitions are stopped from using premium processing.

Nebraska Service Center

Only H1B application with NO change allowed.

H1B extensions filed ONLY at Nebraska Service Center by an employer requesting a “Continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer” (Box b. on Part 2, Question 2, Page 2 of the current Form I-129) are still eligible for premium processing.

H1B transfer and amendments are banned from using premium processing.

Vermont Service Center

All H1B application’s premium processing suspended.

All premium processing for H1B applications at Vermont service center has been suspended. No exceptions.

File Premium Processing Before Sept 11th, 2018

Any premium processing requests filed before Sep 11, 2018 are still accepted but their fees will be be returned to applicant, if USCIS cannot work on them within 15 days.

Existing H1B RFE responses - premium processing

USCIS officially issued this statement:

We will continue premium processing of Form I-129 H-1B petitions that are not currently suspended if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before Sept. 11, 2018.

So, your RFE response should be processed within premium timeline, if the original H1B petition was filed earlier than the suspension date (Aug 28, 2018).

Bad news for H1B including 2019 applicants as the current processing times are really too long.


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