The USCIS just announced that it is expanding and extending the suspension of Premium Processing for almost all categories of H-1B cases. Premium Processing was previously suspended for H-1B cap/lottery cases. The USCIS had anticipated that it would resume Premium Processing for these cases on September 10, 2018. However, the USCIS just extended this suspension, and it is expected to last through February 19, 2019. In addition, effective September 11, 2018, there will no Premium Processing available for H-1B transfer cases and H-1B amendment cases. This suspension is also expected to last through February 19, 2019.
Thus, effective September 11, 2018, employers hiring new H-1B employees cannot file the H-1B transfer applications through Premium Processing. Further, starting on September 11, 2018, employers having to amend their H-1B’s for current employees (due to a worksite relocation, job change, corporate restructuring, or other material change in employment), cannot file the amendment applications with Premium Processing. Rather all of these applications have to be filed through regular processing which, currently, is taking three to eight months to process (depending on where the primary office for the employer is located). Foreign nationals with H-1B transfer applications pending can still work for their new employer while the transfer application is pending.
Premium Processing will continue to be available for H-1B extension applications where the extension is to continue employment with the same employer in the same job.
Given this suspension, employers wishing to take advantage of Premium Processing should quickly file any LCA’s needed for upcoming H-1B’s, and file their H-1B applications by September 11, 2018.
If you have any questions, please contact Berin Romagnolo.
This Alert is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. According to Mass. SJC Rule 3:07, this material may be considered advertising. ©2018 Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP. All rights reserved.