Starting on April 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will temporarily suspend premium processing for H-1B petitions. Any H-1B petition, whether it is a transfer or an extension, filed on or after April 3, 2017, will not be eligible for premium processing. This announcement will affect all Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions. H-1B petitions filed before April 3, 2017, with a premium processing request will continue to be adjudicated with expedited processing. However, if USCIS is unable to complete the case review within the 15-day period, the case will be converted to regular processing, and the premium processing fee will be refunded.
USCIS intends to use the suspension period to adjudicate long-pending H-1B petitions that the agency has been unable to process due to the surge in premium processing requests over the past few years. USCIS reports that the suspension may last up to six months, but it will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions. The temporary suspension does not apply to other non-immigrant classifications eligible for premium processing.