On March 20, 2018, the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will temporarily suspend premium processing of H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 cap, including those petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master's degree or higher. USCIS advises that the suspension is expected to last until September 10, 2018. It is important to note that USCIS confirms that they will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap, including H-1B change of employer petitions, H-1B extension petitions, and H-1B amendment petitions. USCIS's stated reason for the suspension of premium processing for FY 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions is to help reduce overall H-1B processing times.

Employers should immediately assess their FY 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions with their Immigration counsel at Pryor Cashman to swiftly identify employees who may be impacted by the suspension.

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