Just as the end of the month-long government shutdown was announced, USCIS had its own announcement: it will resume premium processing on Monday, January 28, 2019, for all FY 2019 H-1B Cap petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption (the “master’s cap”).
Form I-907 requests for premium processing will be accepted for pending cap cases, as well as those cap cases where the petitioner is responding to a Request for Evidence (RFE). This is an important development for those who have been waiting since April 2018 to have their cases adjudicated – especially for those who no longer have work authorization.
The temporary suspension of premium processing remains in effect for all other categories of H-1B to which it applied, i.e., all other H-1B petitions filed at the Vermont or California Service Centers.
Premium processing will remain available for those cases that were previously exempted from the temporary suspension:
- Cap-exempt petitions filed by cap-exempt institutions that are filed exclusively at the California Service Center; and
- “Continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer” petitions filed exclusively at the Nebraska Service Center.
The resumption of premium processing for FY 2019 Cap petitions does not mean that premium processing will be available for FY 2020 petitions.
Jackson Lewis will continue to follow these developments and provide updates as they become available.