USCIS Extends and Expands the Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing
On August 28, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it is extending the temporary suspension of premium processing for CAP-subject H-1B petitions to February 19, 2019. Originally, the suspension was only slated to last until September 10, 2018. This temporary suspension has been in place since April 2, 2018.
Additionally, starting September 11, 2018, USCIS is expanding the premium processing suspension to include all H-1B petitions filed at the Vermont and California Service Centers. This includes H-1B transfers and H-1B amendments.
The premium process suspension does not affect Cap-exempt petitions that are filed exclusively at the California Service Center because the employer is cap exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap exempt institution, entity, or organization; or petitions filed exclusively at the Nebraska Service Center by an employer requesting a “Continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer”.
Adjustment to Premium Processing Fee
On August 30, 2018, in an unpublished notice in the Federal Registrar, USCIS announced that it is increasing the Premium Processing fee from $1225 to $1410. This increase will likely take effect on October 1, 2018.
Premium processing can be used to expedite certain immigration petitions, including H-1Bs (see above for current limitations), TNs, L-1s, O-1s, and most I-140s.