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Immigration Bulletin – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to Resume Premium Processing for Pending H-1B Petitions Filed on or Before December 21, 2018


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will reopen the premium processing program for any pending H-1B petition filed on or before December 21, 2018 (“pre-December 21, 2018 petitions”). This partial resumption of premium processing services will apply to all pre-December 21, 2018  H-1B petitions (cap-subject and cap-exempt) seeking H1-B status for any basis for classification and requested action combination.

Beginning Tuesday, February 19, 2019, petitioners and their prospective H-1B employees who have pending pre-December 21, 2018 petitions 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—was partially lifted on January 28, 2019 to allow premium processing requests for still pending FY19 H-1B cap-subject petitions. The suspension remains in place for all other categories of H-1B petitions filed on or after December 22, 2018, 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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