Late Friday evening on March 3, 2017, The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will temporarily suspend its premium processing service for all H-1B petitions, including CAP-subject H-1B petitions. The temporary suspension will begin on Monday, April 3, 2017, and may continue for up to 6 months. This procedural change is intended to help USCIS clear the backlog of long-pending H-1B petitions that USCIS has not yet reviewed. USCIS will give priority review to H-1B extension petitions that are nearing the end of the automatic 240-day work authorization extension period. USCIS has made other efforts to alleviate the long-pending backlog of pending H-1B petitions with the Vermont and California Service Centers by directing petitioners to submit H-1B extension requests with the Nebraska Service Center, regardless of the H-1B worksite location.
USCIS will process all H-1B petitions filed with a premium processing request that are received before April 3, 2017. Because April 3 marks the first business day of April, when the H-1B CAP opens, CAP-subject H-1B petitions will not be eligible for premium processing.