USCIS has resumed premium processing effective Monday, Jan. 28, for all fiscal year (FY) 2019 H-1B cap petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption (the “master’s cap”).
USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time upon request of premium processing. If USCIS does not take adjudicative action within the 15‑calendar day processing time, USCIS refunds the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continues with expedited processing of the petition. This service will only be available for pending FY 2019 petitions, not new submissions.
The previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing remains in effect for all other categories of H-1B petitions to which it applied.
The EB-5 Regional Center Program expired at the end of the day on Dec. 21, 2018, due to a lapse in congressional authorization to continue the program. However, USCIS will continue to receive regional center-affiliated FORMs I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and FORMs I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, after the close of business on Dec. 22, 2018. After that date USCIS will put unadjudicated regional center-affiliated FORMs I-526 and I-485 (whether filed before or after the expiration date) on hold for an undetermined length of time. FORMs I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, filed before or after the expiration date, will not be affected by the expiration of the program. At the time that further legislation is passed to extend the EB-5 Regional Center Program, further guidance will be provided by USCIS on affected cases.