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H1B Premium Processing Open for Filings on or Before Dec 21,2018

As you know, originally H1B Premium Processing was suspended till Feb 19, 2019 and recently in January 2019 USCIS resumed premium processing for H1Bs filed under FY 2019 cap in April 2018.

Now, they have released a press note indicating that they will open up premium processing for everyone, who have filed H1B petitions on or before December 21, 2018 from Feb 19th, 2019.  Below is the summary.

USCIS News : Summary of H1B premium processing Open for Petitions filed on or Before Dec 21, 2018.

Below is the summary of the USCIS press release regarding the premium processing.

  • All H1Bs Filed on or Before Dec 21, 2018 : USCIS announced that Premium processing is now open for everyone who have filed a H1B petition with USCIS on or before Dec 21, 2018. It includes all types such as transfers, amendments, extensions. The only condition is they were to be filed on or before Dec 21, 2018.
  • H1B Transfer Notices – Pending Petitions : USCIS balances out load by transferring petitions from one location to other. If your petition was transferred and you have received a transfer notice stating the same, then you need to submit the premium processing request to the new USCIS location that was transferred to. Usually your attorney or employer would have this physical transfer notice. You may have online status of ‘Case was Transferred and a New Office has Jurisdiction’, if your case was transferred to new location.
  • Premium Processing for RFEs : If you have received RFE for your H1B case and you intend to upgrade to premium processing, then you need to submit your RFE response along with your premium processing request. You cannot just go for premium processing without submitting RFE response.
  • Premium Processing for RFEs : If you have received RFE for your H1B case and you intend to upgrade to premium processing, then you need to submit your RFE response along with your premium processing request. You cannot just go for premium processing without submitting RFE response.
  • Delays, if sent to wrong location : If your case was transferred to a new location and if by mistake, if you send premium processing request for your H1B petition to the original location, where your H1B was filed with, then USCIS will forward such requests to the new location. But, the catch is there will be delays with this and your H1B Premium Processing 15 days Clock will not start until your H1B premium processing request is received by the new location. So, technically, you will face a lot of delays with premium processing if you do not send your premium processing request to the right location. Below are the location details .
If your H1B Visa  petition was transferred to the below service center Send your H1B premium processing request to below address
Nebraska Service CenterUSPS:
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
P.O. Box 87129
Lincoln, NE 68501-7129
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
850 S Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
Vermont Service CenterUSPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS Vermont Service Center
Attn: I-129 H-1B
30 Houghton Street
St. Albans, VT 05478-2399
  • 15 Days SLA, Refunds : USCIS re-affirmed that if you properly request premium processing, with the required details for your case, then your petition would be adjudicated in 15 days. Check H1B Regular vs Premium Processing . If USCIS does not adjudicate the petition in 15 days, then they will refund premium processing fee and will continue to process with expedited processing as they have missed the deadline.
  • Other Petitions filed after Dec 21, 2018 : USCIS mentioned that premium processing is not open for all petitions filed after Dec 21, 2018. They will open premium processing for other types, once their workload permits.
  • Summary of Premium Processing available for below petitions now :
    • All H1B Visa 2019 Cap Subject Petitions – Regular Quota, Masters Quota
    • All H1B Petitions listed below filed on or Before Dec 21, 2019
      • H1B Visa Extensions with Changes
      • H1B Visa Transfer Petitions
      • H1B Amendments with Changes
    • H1B Visa Cap Exempt Petitions filed by higher education institutions, government research entities, and some qualified non-profit orgs that file petitions at California Service Center
    • H1B Extensions without any changes at Nebraska Service Center.

What are your thoughts on the premium processing news ?

Check USCIS Official Press Release


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  1. Hi Team,

    Do you think the PP for petitions filed after December 21st will open before the H1B 2020 Cap petitions are accepted on April 1st 2019?

      • I really doubt they will open because fresh 2020 cap petitions will be filed on April 1st and their loading will only increase. God knows when they will open the premium processing for new applications. I have been waiting for so long to change my job but looks like it aint happening any time soon.

        • Well, they cannot keep processing old petitions forever and work on new ones. They can always delay the fresh petitions…so, it is a likely scenario…

          • That still wouldn’t help people wanting to change jobs. As changing jobs will require premium processing if they want to get the visa approved before quitting the old job.

  2. Hi Kumar,
    H1 B: California Centre (Working through a 3rd party)
    Case received: 04/12/2018 – No update after that
    Filed for premium processing – Case received : 02/08/2019 – Still no update till now.
    To file for H1 B for FY -2019, I have an offer from direct employer. Only concern is that they want me to join them as Full-time.
    What is the advise, let’s say I get a positive response after I have joined this new employer. Will I be able to transfer the case or I should forget about the last year’s case?
    Thanks for your advise in advance

    • I think you should still pursue the last year’s case premium processing and try to get the decision. You can inform your new employer regarding your case situation from last year and let them decide. I am not sure, how it will work as you were counted towards cap last year, but the decision is not made yet. If everything positive, then you can file for cap exempt H1B transfer and join the new company… Also, in parallel, you can ask your new employer to plan and prepare the application to file it for FY 2020 cap in April. Depending on the decision of your last year’s petition, you can decide to file or not in last week of March.

  3. Hello Everyone,

    I have a valid H1B Visa stamped with my current Employer A(Direct hire) till October 2021. I got an offer from Employer B(Direct hire/similar profile) and they applied for H1B transfer and got the receipt notice.

    As there is no premium at this moment, the immigration lawyers saying it is taking more than 6 months for H1B transfer currently, I am thinking of joining on receipt to employer B. However, I have travel plans(MUST) to India in May month.

    Can I travel to India and re-enter US with valid H1b visa stamp and new H1B transfer receipt, pay slips and employment verification letter from new employer?? The company attorneys are saying it is fine. But looking for other people’s opinion and personal experiences.

    Any help is much appreciated!

  4. Case filed on 31st 2018 [California]
    As per i-129 validity – 05/31/2019

    *below dates are on assumption basis and best case scenario.*

    In this scenario, I’m proceeding with Premium processing. By Friday I might file the same. Hope will get the result by March 8th.

    Question 1: If hit with RFE will respond by March 22 and can I expect a result by April 5?

    Question 2: If the RFE response received on April 26. Do I’m eligible for Stamping and Travel, Since the validity of Visa will expire on 31st May 2019?

    Question 3: Can I process/submit my existing case with Latest/Updated SOW, while providing documents for RFE? because the lastest SOW validity is 2022. Will they consider updated year?

    Question 4: Is there any Time difference to Visa Stamping and Travel w.r.t I-129 visa validity?


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