H1B Premium Processing Suspended

H1B premium processing OPEN for all Transfer, Amendment, extension applications at Vermont, California, Nebraska service centers. Open for 2019 Cap petitions.

Written by Am22tech
  By Am22tech      Updated  25 Aug, 19


Update Mar 11 – H1B Premium Processing Open for ALL

USCIS has opened H1B premium processing for all H1B applications (Amendment, Transfer, Extension and COS) starting 12 March 2019.

Join us on WhatsApp Group 4 (Group 3,  2 and 1 are full at this time.), Facebook Group, Twittter, Truvisa.com or Telegram Group for latest updates, questions and answers.

Earlier on Feb 15, USCIS has opened premium processing for applications filed on or before Dec 21, 2018.

Also, on Jan 25, 2019, H1B premium processing was resumed or 2019 Cap Petitions by USCIS. Cap petitions means the NEW H1B applications that were selected in April 2018 Lottery

Source: USCIS

H1B Premium Processing Suspended – Filed After Dec 21, 2018

California Suspended.
 Exception – Cap-exempt Employer
 Exception – Cap-exempt Employer
 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.

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

H1B Extension Premium – ‘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

File H1B Premium Application at New Transferred Center?

You can apply for H1B premium processing upgrade, if eligible at the new transfer service center.

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.


Comments are closed. Ask question on Forum (we answer in 1-24 hour)

  484 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. ravi
    ravi 18 Apr, 19 at 8:34 am

    Hi Anil,

    I have one ?, I am on H4 so my ? is my wife is having an H1b extension coming up she is planning to go for premium processing, Should I also go for premium processing or is it ok if I go with normal processing, Please suggest.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 18 Apr, 19 at 8:34 am

      It is better to apply both H1B and H4 together in premium. With new H4 extension biometrics requirement, the H4 application will take more time than premium processing time of 15 days.

  2. junajuna
    junajuna 4 Apr, 19 at 10:11 am

    My H1 Extension was filed with the Nebraska SS and the receipt date is 20th March 2019, it was filed with Premium Processing and the 15 day response period ended yesterday and there is still no response to the case. Online status still shows “Case Was Received”. This has never happened to me before. Any idea what is going on?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 4 Apr, 19 at 11:13 am

      Your employer has access to USCIS premium processing email address. They can use it to find the status for your application.

      • junajuna
        junajuna 4 Apr, 19 at 12:08 pm

        I sent a note to the attorney asking for an update but something about this is making me nervous.

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 4 Apr, 19 at 4:08 pm

          I can understand the situation and it can be frustrating. But, can’t help.
          You should be fine. Don’t worry.

          • junajuna
            junajuna 4 Apr, 19 at 5:25 pm

            Hey thanks. My attorney responded that they already got my H1B, wife’s H4 and EAD approved and will be forwarding me the approval notices and the card. This is so bizarre, but I guess the status portal never updated. I am relieved right now.

  3. TZ
    TZ 3 Apr, 19 at 3:53 pm

    Hi Anil,

    I’ve been here before, but got new questions for you. Reposting my scenario:

    I had approved H1B with company A initially, I-94 expired Sep 2019. I filed H1B transfer to company B Nov 2018, and joined company B based on receipt. The transfer is now in RFE status, RFE respond deadline in June 2019. Now I got a dream offer with company C, and C is planning to file transfer soon.

    My questions:
    1. If C files transfer before June, and I join C upon receipt, can I leave B’s petition in RFE, not asking B to respond?
    2. If I join C upon receipt, how many days of unemployment I can have after leaving B and before going to C? I need to relocate for C, so I’ll need around 1-2 weeks to settle up. Does the 60 days grace period apply to me? (I used 60 days grace period for A. I know it’s 60 days per H1B validity. But since B is in RFE not approved, does 60 days apply to it?)

    Thanks for replying in advance!


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 4 Apr, 19 at 6:57 am

      Your question about joining H1B Employer C while emp B transfer is in RFE is out of scope of this article.
      Hence, we have added it to our forum and answered there.

      You can ask follow up question on forum. We reply within 1-24 hours.

      • TZ
        TZ 4 Apr, 19 at 11:31 am

        Thanks Anil! I’ll catch you there!
        BTW your link is broken, but I was able to find the topic in your forum by my own. 🙂 Thanks again!

  4. krishna
    krishna 27 Mar, 19 at 8:38 pm

    My H1B extension application has gone to Nebraska service center. Receipt date is Oct 15 2018. When should i expect a response? No change in Client, Role & Project.

  5. Vikas
    Vikas 25 Mar, 19 at 10:56 am

    Hi Anil,
    My H1B and H4B extension and amendment was filed on 27th Dec 2018, on 28th Feb 2018 I asked for change the filing to Premium Processing, on 1st Mar 2019, my attorney confirmed they filed and on the USICS website it mentions that the file is received, I am not seeing any updates for premium processing. Do you happen to know if there are delays happening for Premium processing or why its taking so much time? What I can do from now.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 25 Mar, 19 at 10:57 am

      We are not seeing any delays in H1B premium processing.
      You should ask your attorney to raise a service request with USCIS and check why premium timeline is not honored.

      • Vikas
        Vikas 25 Mar, 19 at 2:34 pm

        Thanks Anil, I will check with attorney.

  6. SM1007
    SM1007 22 Mar, 19 at 7:12 am

    how long is this taking for the approval of h1b extension/transfer under PP with California Service Center? My case was filed with regular in Feb 21 and later on March 19th it was bumped to premium processing.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 22 Mar, 19 at 8:57 am

      H1B premium processing always takes maximum of 15 calendar days.