While a previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing remains in effect for H-1B petitions filed on or after December 22, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018. On January 28, 2019, USCIS resumed premium processing for FY 2019 cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS said it plans to resume premium processing for the remaining categories of H‑1B petitions “as agency workloads permit.”

Those who received a transfer notice for a pending H-1B petition and are requesting premium processing service must submit the premium processing request to the USCIS service center now handling the petition. They should also include a copy of the transfer notice with the premium processing request to avoid possible delays, USCIS said. Additionally, those who received a request for evidence (RFE) for a pending petition should also include the RFE response with the premium processing request. If the petition was transferred and the premium processing request is sent to the wrong center, USCIS said it will forward it to the petition’s current location. However, the premium processing clock will not start until the premium processing request has been received at the correct center.

USCIS noted that when an H-1B petitioner properly requests the agency’s premium processing service, the agency guarantees a 15-day processing time. “If we do not take certain adjudicative action within the 15‑calendar day processing time, USCIS refunds the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continues with expedited processing of the petition,” USCIS said.

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