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Immigration Bulletin – US Citizenship and Immigration Services to Resume Premium Processing for Pending H-1B “Cap Subject” Petitions Filed in April 2018


US Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will reopen the premium processing program for any pending H-1B cap petitions filed in April 2018 (“FY19 H-1B cap petition”), including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption (the “master’s cap”). This change will apply only to the following petitions:

  • An H-1B cap petition was filed in April 2018;
  • The petition was accepted for processing; AND
  • The petition remains pending.

Beginning Monday, January 28, 2019, petitioners and their prospective H-1B employees who have a pending FY19 H-1B cap petition may submit a request to convert the case to premium processing, through which USCIS will take adjudicatory action (Approve, Deny, or Issue Request For Evidence) within fifteen (15) days. The current fee for premium processing is $1,410.

The previously announced suspension of H-1B premium processing—which limited the service to only petitions for extension of stay with no change in employment—remains in place for all other categories of H-1B petitions to which it applied, including the upcoming FY20 H-1B cap petitions (those to be filed in April 2019). USCIS has indicated that it will announce separately any other categories which again become eligible for premium processing.

Please contact any member of the Cohen & Grigsby Immigration Department if you have any questions regarding the above at 412.297.4900. To receive future bulletins and news alerts, please send an e-mail to

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