All H-1B visa applicants can now apply for visa petition premium processing. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services have decided to bring back premium processing for all categories of H-1B visa applicants on March 12, 2019.
“USCIS will resume premium processing on Tuesday, March 12, for all H-1B petitions. If you received a request for evidence (RFE) for a pending petition, you should include the RFE response with the premium processing request,” a notice posted on the official website of the USCIS reads.
The notice explains that those who received a transfer notice for a pending H-1B petition must submit the premium processing request to the service center currently handling the petition. A copy of the transfer notice should be attached to the premium processing request, in order to avoid any delays as a result of the transfer.
“If your petition was transferred and you send your premium processing request to the wrong center, USCIS 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,” the notice further reads.
The decision to resume this service comes after the USCIS previously resumed premium processing for all fiscal year 2019 H-1B cap petitions at first, and then on February 15 for H-1B visa petitions that were filed on or before December 21, 2018.
The premium processing service enables H-1B visa applicants and some other employment-based petitions to get their applications processed within a shorter period, for an additional fee of $1,225.The USCIS guarantees petitioners and applicants that if they do not receive an answer on their application within 15 days, their premium processing fee will be refunded.
USCIS had suspended the premium processing service last year in March, as an attempt to reduce the overall H-1B processing times. The move was taken in a bid to create space to process long-pending petitions left unprocessed so far as a result of the high number of incoming petitions and the significant increase in premium processing requests over the last few years.
In August, the USCIS decided to extend the suspension of premium processing until February 2019, for the same reasons.