Beginning April 3, 2017, USCIS will suspend all premium processing for all H-1B petitions. USCIS has indicated that the suspension may last up to 6 months. The stated reason for the suspension is to assist USCIS in reducing over-all H-1B processing times. Premium Processing Service guarantees 15-calendar-day processing of certain employment-based petitions, including H-B petitions.
While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification.
The temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017, including the FY18 cap-subject H-1B petitions for the regular cap and master’s advanced degree cap exemption. The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt. Given the March 17th “Match Date” for medical residency positions, the timing of this suspension creates serious doubts as to the ability of foreign national medical residents to begin employment on July 1st – the commencement date for a great number of residency programs.