H1B premium processing suspended by USCIS 2018-2019

Anil Gupta  13 Dec, 18      121  USA

H1B premium processing suspended till Feb 19, 2019 for all (Transfer, Amendment, extension) applications at Vermont and California service centers.

H1B premium processing suspended until Feb 19, 2019

H1BExtensionTransferAmendment
California Suspended.
  Exception – Cap-exempt Employer
  Suspended.
  Exception – Cap-exempt Employer
  Suspended.
  Exception – Cap-exempt Employer
Nebraska  Suspended.
  Exception – No CHANGE H1B application
  Suspended  Suspended
Vermont Suspended Suspended Suspended

All H1B applications including transfer, extension and amendment are affected by this suspension at Vermont and California Service centers due to very high processing time for regular H1B petitions.

Earlier in 2018, the premium processing was suspended only for H1B 2019 applications until Sep 10, 2018.

At this time, California service center has the highest delay in adjudicating H1B applications, followed by Vermont and Nebraska.

H1B Extension Premiun – ‘NO change’ Application meaning?

No change in the H1B application means no change in employer, job title, work location, job duties, SOC code should exactly be the same as on your existing H1B application.

H1B extensions filed ONLY at Nebraska Service Center by an employer requesting a “Continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer” (Box b. on Part 2, Question 2, Page 2 of the current Form I-129) are still eligible for premium processing.

Recent Examples:

  1. H1B ‘No change’ extension approved in Premium even after RFE in premium.
  2. H1B extension with change in address and department of client was approved in Premium at Nebraska.
  3. Change in Salary is NOT counted as a change for H1B extension.

H1B transfer and amendments are banned from using premium processing.

H1B premium processing suspended by USCIS H1B premium processing suspended by USCIS

H4 to H1B Change of Status (COS) premium processing?

Yes, Change of status to H1B applications are also affected by this premium processing suspension.

More questions about H1B premium processing suspension have been answered here.

H1B Premium Processing Ban – Problems for H1B

  1. Driving License Renewals
    Most states do not allow driving license renewal without an approved H1B petition. Trump administration has probably NOT even thought of it before making this decision!
  2. H1B Transfer to new Employer – start work based on receipt
    It is very risky, if your i94 has expired, to join and start working for H1B transfer employer simply on the basis of receipt.
    Without premium processing, many H1b worker would have to wait quite long for the transfer approval and it will cause issues for Employers as well.