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USCIS News : H1B 2019 Petitions accepted from April 2nd, Premium Processing Suspended

USCISS released a press note earlier today indicating that they would accept H1B Petitions for FY 2019 quota starting from April 2nd, 2018. The press release is slightly delayed by a week, last year we had it on March 15th. Anyways, below is a quick summary of the news update and its impact on current H1B transfers, extensions.

USCIS news summary – H1B 2019 Season Start date, Premium Processing.

  • H1B 2019 Petitions Acceptance: USCIS will accept H1B applications for FY 2019 season starting from April 2nd. Usually, it is April 1st, as it is a Sunday, they are accepting from April 2nd.
  • FY 2019 Cap Petitions – Premium Process Suspension : Premium processing for H1B petitions filed under FY 2019 cap will be suspended until September 10th, 2018. This suspension applies to both regular quota and master quota cap petitions. USCIS will indicate to public on any changes and when they will accept premium processing as a press note.
  • Why Suspension of Premium Processing : USCIS indicates that this temporary suspension of H1B premium processing for FY 2019 cap petitions is to process pending applications due to high volumes and prioritize H1B extension of status cases that are at 240 day mark. This is similar reason given last year by USCIS. Also, you can check some of the H1B Visa Approval Trends since 2007 .
  • Premium Processing as usual petitions not subject to FY 2019 cap : Unlike last year, this year, they have not suspended premium processing for all petitions. If you are a H1B holder, who are not subject to FY 2019 cap, you can apply for premium processing. Basically, all H1B holders who plan to do transfers, extensions or any changes, including cap exempt petitions are free to file for premium processing.
  • Rejection of FY 2019 Petitions filed under Premium processing : If you as an employer, file for H1B petition under premium processing for FY 2019 cap subject petition, then your petition will be rejected by USCIS. If you combine the fees and give a check for both, it will be rejected as well, so do not file for premium processing, if you are filing for FY 2019 quota.
  • Request Expedited Processing for H1B FY 2019 Petitions : If you filed an H1B petition for FY 2019 cap quota, but require expedited processing due to reasons such as listed below, you can request for the same. More info on USCIS site. But, it is the responsibility of the petitioner to demonstrate the need and prove the reasons for expediting. It is ultimate decision of USCIS to process it or not.
    • Non-profit orgs that are in social, cultural interest of US
    • Severe financial loss to company or the person
    • Emergency Situations
    • Humanitarian reasons
    • of Defense or national interest of US requested by US Govt.
    • Any USCIS error or compelling interest of USCIS

Any Premium Processing impact for Current H1B Holders for Transfers, Extensions ?
Absolutely not, this was a big concern last year for many. If you are not subject to FY 2019 cap, you are fine, you can file Premium Processing as usual for transfers, extensions and other cap exempt petitions.

H1B FY 2019 Cap Count Numbers : While this is not explicitly stated in the new release, USCIS has updated the FY 2019 page with the below numbers. So, no changes here. Regular Cap – 65,000 and Masters Cap – 20,000 .

H1B 2019 Case Tracker ? Track your Case Anonymously : 
Did you apply for H1B FY 2019 quota.  It is very hard for applicants to know the general status of everyone to understand their situation. We have a tracker with community contributed data, the more you add, the better for everyone, including  You !

[prompt type=”left” title=”Track your H1B Case” message=” Anonymously Track your H1B Case – Share and Get updated from Community.” button_text=”H1B 2019 Case Tracker” href=”https://redbus2us.com/trackers/h1b-visa-tracker/”]

 What’s are the key takeaways – Lottery or Not ? Fee ?
USCIS press release is pretty standard like last year, the only difference is in the premium processing availability for H1B petitions filed for transfers, extensions.  There is no mention of Lottery or not.  But, it can be assumed we will have lottery looking at the trend. You can read our H1B Visa 2019 Lottery Predictions.  Also, in last year press note, they talked about that they will monitor and update when cap is reached for FY 2018, but they do not talk about any of that…but we can assume that.. Also, no changes in H1B Visa Filing fees .  Also, they do not tell anything like they will accept for first 5 days, if lottery situation…but, we can assume that it is standard process, so nothing to worry.  With Trump administration’s new H1B Memo on Third Party worksite, there are more challenges to submit all documentation for EVC model employers and it will be tricky this year.

Anything that I missed ? Your thoughts ?

If you are new to H1B Process, read H1B Visa Basics – Fee, process, Quota Cap

Reference : USCIS Press Release FY 2019


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  1. Are Indian firms (TCS/Infy/Tech Mahindra etc) filing H1’s this year?
    I want to understand how difficult is the whole employer-employee relationship to prove?
    Is it very difficult to obtain extended documentation, as laid out by USCIS, when it comes to people working through multiple vendors at obscurely described locations?
    I ask because for a lot of people (who will be paying to file h1’s and desi consultants here in the US with BS credentials) are pretty confident that they will easily make the cut.
    Also, I don’t quite understand why the USCIS will actually be verifying all these things after the lottery has been conducted … Why aren’t the heck they filtering out the scum in the very beginning?

  2. Guys … Anybady here knowing consultancies … which doing h1 filing. I got 3.6 GPA in Masters in BioMedical, Arkansas. Trying to get job in software thru consultants. This gonna be my 2nd attempt. Already on OPT with another consultant (they generating payroll, not filing h1 🙁 ). I am willing to pay $$$ , need nice h1 filing guys/companies. Most hyderabad guys this time not helping! Pls help!

    • Are you asking this for real? I don’t know if you are aware but you are violating following laws,
      1. Not working on OPT in your field of study after graduation
      2. Paying $$$, Rupees, Euros, Bitcoins bla bla bla for your H1b

      You will most likely lose money, not get H1 and worse, might get a red flag against your records.

      • I am serious man …. help me …. point to some consultants … pay money you can even get green card … i am just asking h1 … most guys coming here are getting h1 and not doing anything …. if i get h1b i will do much better than tcs info or so called full time job people – who are passing interviews by fake stuff, putting fake projects on resume and shit …. some dont even know to speak english ….

        if i get h1 i want to start business later … i have plans …. all those rules are paper rules i need a consultancy help ….

        • Good luck man! Unfortunately I never worked with consultancies so i don’t have anything to help. Also, it is too late for this year’s H1b application. All the best for next year!

        • I empathize with you and your situation, but under no circumstances do I condone these tactics.
          1. Stop rationalizing your intention to break the law. Others do it too and more insidiously, therefore, I can too is a pathetic excuse.
          2. All rules are paper rules. If you do not wish to adhere to those, I think you strongly need to rethink your decision to stay in this country.
          3. Stop trying to break the rules; these job shop consultants and people going through them are poisoning the well for those of us that qualify for the process and have a legitimate basis to apply for a visa.

          I hope you can find a legitimate employer who needs the skills that you possess. But, if your intention is to pull these shenanigans, I sure hope a deportation notice is in the works for you.

  3. Whats happening this year? there is a stunned silence in all h1b forums.. are infy tcs wipro not sending telugus to USA in name of high skilled immigrants to do IT shit?

      • Last year, this time it felt like a bloody war in this forum and now all S. Indians are quiet…. looks like a big loss of dowry

        • I agree. Although I’m an Indian, this H1 abuse is a massive injustice. Americans for one, other legit h1 applicants also pay a price. The silence on this forum is a testimony to the robbery of H1 abusers being caught.

          • My brother from distant land, folks like you are always welcome here… we are lucky to have ppl like you in America.

        • look at 2019 H1B case tracker as well!! Sample is not big enough but still, 70% or more are masters applications. I believe USCIS is taking right actions to curb all the fraud and I hope, FY 2020 will see a major overhaul to cut this third party “skilled worker” assignment fraud.

        • So RealAmerican, every year this time you come to this forum and see whats going on with H1? or sulking every year that you ain’t lucky yet.

  4. USCIS has activated the SEVP portal. SEVIS details are now available online. I think this will play a big role in catching fake body shops. 3rd party H1 applicants be very careful and commit no fraud.

  5. Could you please confirm whether H1B transfers for existing H1B holders will not be impacted and whether transfers can be done in premium.



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