H1B Premium Processing Suspended – Open for Filing before Dec 21, 2018

Anil Gupta  20 Feb, 19      317  Featured USA USA News

Update Feb 15 – H1B Premium Processing Open

USCIS has opened H1B premium processing for all H1B applications (Amendment, Transfer, Extension and COS) filed on or before Dec 21, 2018 starting Feb 19, 2019.

For latest news connect on Twitter, WhatsApp Group or Telegram Group.

Earlier 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 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

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.

   Read all 317 Q & A

1 5 6 7

  1. abin paulose   20 Feb, 19 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Anil,
    My wife is in H4 and planning to change to F1. I have two options filing COS or going to India for stamping, because of funding she needs to be in F1 before joining the university. What should I do in this situation?
    Is there any chance for COS premium to kick start ?
    1. Only on May we will get all the admission documents.
    2. Current H4 will expire on December 2019 , need to join university on Auguest 2019


  2. Hi Anil,
    My employer has file an amendment along with my H-1B extension to California service center initially on 1/11/19. But now I see that application has transferred to Vermont center. As today my application is in Vermont center, can we still apply premium on it?

    • one more questions: if I am not eligible for premium processing then can we withdraw the pending application and just file an extension with eligible center which accept the premium.

      • Anil Gupta   20 Feb, 19 at 2:21 pm

        Your H1b Amendment + extension application is not eligible for premium processing at any USCIS service center at this time. So, no use of withdrawing and sending it somewhere else.
        Only ‘No change’ H1B extensions are eligible for Premium processing at Nebraska service center.

        • Hi Anil,
          Thank you very much for your reply.
          We haven’t send it to Vermont service center, USCIS only transfer my application from California to Vermont service center.

          Now, premium processing not available, my wife will loss her job. so, I talked to my employer and they are in process of finding out that, we withdraw the Amendment and just file as “No Change” H1B extension with premium processing along with my wife H4 extension.

          So, is withdraw of amendment is available?

  3. Hi Anil,

    Does Texas Service Center not process H1B transfers, extensions or amendments? I don’t see a mention of Texas service center, so wondering what is the process in Texas Service Center for premium processing for H1B transfers, extensions or amendments.


  4. Arun Kumar   20 Feb, 19 at 5:13 am

    Hi Anil,

    My 7th year H1B extension with employer A got denied and I have an approved I-140 petition with them. I got terminated from employer A within 6 months of
    I-140 approval due to extension denial. I have traveled to India. Right now 6 months is over and Employer B has filed for H1B extension using employer A’s approved I-140 petition through consular processing. Plan is to convert it to premium once its open for all categories. I have two questions.

    1. Will there be any issue in the new H1B peition through employer A’s I-140 approval in consular processing since I got terminated from Employer A within 6 months of I-140 approval?
    2. Since I’m in India, will consular processing be done at US consulates in India or at the USCIS processing centers in USA?


    • Anil Gupta   20 Feb, 19 at 6:31 am

      If your employer A has not withdrawn the i140 yet, then there is no problem in getting employer B’s H1B transfer approved. Termination from employer A’s employment should not affect your i140 unless employer A filed for i140 revocation.

      H1B Consular processing means getting H1B visa stamp in your passport through US embassy. Before getting the H1B stamp, your H1B transfer petition has to be approved by USCIS processing center in USA.
      So, it is a 2 step process for you.

  5. jyotsna nammi   19 Feb, 19 at 11:27 pm

    Hi Anil,
    I have applied for transfer and got the receipt this week, going to work with new employer from next month ,i have my old i94/petition valid till next year May,
    the problem here is i need to travel to India in May and i dont see premium for recent h1 is available yet? if i leave the country ,will there be issues when i come back after 15 days? Please let me know any info will be helpful!!!!

  6. I want to recapture time spent outside U.S for H1 extension (total is 11 months) , my 2nd H1 period ends in June 2019 , if No Premium processing , should I exist U.S on June and wait for approval outside US since processing time now is 365 days ?

    same employer , work address , job title etc , will this give me ability to do premium processing ?
    any how if I choose not to go with Premium processing , should I wait outside US after June 2019 ?

    Thanks in advance .

    • I strongly suggest to file for H1B extension in premium to recapture your 11 months vacation time outside USA.
      H1B ‘No change’ extensions can be filed at Nebraska service center with premium option.

      Even if you do not file in premium, you can stay and keep working with pending H1B extension if the recapture time has been calculated correctly.

  7. Hi,
    My wife is on H4 now. She was working with H1B visa in 2017 and moved back to H4. She would like to move to H1 (Change of status) now. Whether we can file her COS petition premium or do we need to wait until the premium processing is open for all categories. Please clarify.

    • Anil Gupta   19 Feb, 19 at 6:09 pm

      There is no need to wait for H1B premium processing to open and then file your application. You can file now and upgrade to Premium later as and when it become available.
      Please note that you cannot start work on H1B unless the H4 to H1B Change of status is approved.

      • Hi Anil,

        I have a doubt , COS can be applied only after getting a job right ? Since you mentioned like one need not wait till premium processing resumes so was confused . As we cannot start working till h1 approves there is no use in applying for COS right .

1 5 6 7