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USCIS Suspends H-1B Premium Processing Beginning April 3

Emily C. Shircel, Eric D. Ledbetter, Maria F. Kallmeyer, Grant Sovern, Peter F. Asaad
Immigration Law Alert

On Friday, March 3, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services ("USCIS") announced that it will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. Premium Processing is an expedited filing service offered by USCIS for an additional fee of $1,225 for certain filings guaranteeing a response within 15 calendar days. This temporary suspension of premium processing applies only to H-1B petitions. It does not apply to I-140 petitions or other temporary visa classifications, such as L-1, O-1, TN, and E-3 petitions. Despite the temporary suspension, USCIS will still consider expediting certain H-1B petitions in rare circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Filings Impacted by this Suspension:

  • All FY 2018 cap-subject H-1B cap petitions (those subject to the U.S. master's cap and regular cap)
  • Any H-1B petitions (not subject to the H-1B cap) filed on or after April 3, 2017 requesting a change of employer, change of status, extension of status, or amendment
  • Any cap-exempt H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017

The suspension may last up to six months. USCIS has noted this temporary suspension will help it reduce overall H-1B processing times. USICS will make a public announcement before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.

For additional information, please call your local Quarles & Brady attorney or contact immigration attorneys Emily Shircel at 414-277-5217 / emily.shircel@quarles.com, Eric Ledbetter at 312-715-5018 / eric.ledbetter@quarles.com, Maria Kallmeyer at 312-715-5009 / maria.kallmeyer@quarles.com, Grant Sovern at 608-283-2668 / grant.sovern@quarles.com, or Peter Asaad at 202 372-9522/peter.asaad@quarles.com.

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