H-1B Premium Processing Stakeholders Listening Session

CIS Ombudsman Invites Stakeholders to Listening Session about H-1B Premium Processing

Tomorrow, on November 1, 2018, the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman will host a listening session from 2:00pm to 3:00pm EDT. The Ombudsman hopes to hear from the public about the impact of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ suspension of premium processing on certain Form I-129 H-1B filings. The Office would like to know how the policy is affecting businesses, H-1B beneficiaries, and other affected parties.

We will attend the session and will relay the information from the discussion. In the invitation, though, the Office said there would be no formal policy statements from USCIS.

Suspension of H-1B Premium Processing

USCIS initially instated a suspension on cap-subject petitions on March 20, 2018. It announced the suspension two weeks before accepting H-1B petitions for the Fiscal Year 2019 cap. Originally, it expected the suspension to end on September 10, 2018.

However, on August 28, 2018, USCIS extended the premium processing suspension until February 19, 2019. And, beginning on September 11, it expanded the suspicion to encompass all H-1B petitions filed at the Vermont and California Service Centers, where now, only qualifying cap-exempt institutions or affiliated entities may still file.

Status of H-1B Visas

Since FY 2014, there has been a marked increase in H-1B petition filings. There was an especially large spike in FY 2016. Last Fiscal Year was no different; USCIS reports a 5.4% increase from the previous year. According to Stuart Anderson, a contributor to Forbes, FY 2019 was the 16th straight year that all H-1B visas were used up. And that was reported only half-way through FY 2018!

For Further Information

This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. Do not take any action based on the information contained in this post without consulting a qualified immigration attorney. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.

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This information comes from AILA Doc. No. 18102370.

Categories: Immigration News