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US Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced initial suspension of the premium processing service for this year’s cap-subject H-1B petitions. Even for cases selected in the cap lottery, filings will need to be done without premium processing, the service which allows payment of an extra fee (currently $1,440.00) to get some form of response within 15 days.
This is a step that USCIS has taken in earlier years, at least with respect to H-1B cap-subject lottery filings, so it isn’t necessarily a result of recent circumstances alone. Premium processing wasn’t suspended last year, but was the year before.
Consistent with USCIS practices in earlier years, premium processing for cap subject H-1B cases will be brought back in two tiers. USCIS will first resume processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status – this is expected to happen at earliest by May 27, 2020. For all other cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS will resume premium processing on or after June 29, 2020.