Here, is the New rule on H1B Visa Premium Processing!

USCIS recently issued an order to suspend the H1 B visa Premium Processing. Yes! what you read is True!

H1B Visa is suspended for up to 6 months by USCIS starting April 3, 2017. 

The following cases have an impact of the H1B Visa Premium Processing suspension.

  • H1B Visa Extension.
  • H1B Visa Transfer to New Employer.
  • First Time H1B Visa Applicants.
  • OPT-Cap Gap.

H1 B Visa premium processing


Current H1B Visa Premium Processing Time

Before going to the in-depth details of suspension of H1B Visa premium processing. Let us have a glance over the details of Current H1B visa processing.

Current H1B Processing Times at California Service Center

  • H1B Visa Extension – 8 Months 
  • Change of Status – 8 Months
  • Applicants from Outside USA – 8 months

Current H1B Processing Times at Vermont Service Center

  • H1B Visa Extension – 03/07/2016
  • Change of Status – 04/11/2016
  • Applicants from Outside USA – 04/11/2016

H1B Visa Processing time as of Jan 2017

Current Processing Times at California Service Center

  • H1B Visa Extension – 805/16/2016
  • Change of Status -05/16/2016
  • Applicants from Outside USA -05/16/2016

Current Processing Times at Vermont Service Center

  • H1B Visa Extension – 12/07/2015
  • Change of Status – 04/11/2016
  • Applicants from Outside USA -04/11/2016

H1B Visa Premium Processing Suspended

There was a court ruling in June 2015 regarding the new H1B amendment to change in job location. Before the ruling, only new LCA is required. But, After the ruling, LCA, along with the H1B Visa amendment is required.

H1 B Visa premium processing


Now, For example, If a contractor has to move the project to the new client location. Then the employer has to file LCA and H1B amendment again for the new work location. So, This complete process results in the increase of USCIS Service centre workload. Which ultimately leads to the delay in the processing time.

So, Due to the lengthy processing time for H1B Visa Extension. The Employer forced to upgrade to Premium Processing with the additional payment of $1225. So, that an employee can continue to start working with H1B visa.

But Now, The US government halts the H1B premium visa processing for 6 months.

Why the US suddenly took this H1B Premium Visa Processing Suspension?

The USCIS said that they have more pending H1B applications. The applicants for the Premium H1B visa processing has been increasing year by year significantly. So, In order to clear all the pending H1B applications. The US has suspended the New H1B Premium visa processing for 6 months. This period starts from April 2017.

Impact of H1B Premium Visa Suspension on Current H1B Employee

Let us consider the below example in order to explain the current H1B visa status.

For example, Rajesh’s 3 years H1B visa is about to expire in the month of April. So, the employer of Rajesh applies for H1B Visa extension to get 3 more years of Approval in the month of March via Regular Processing. As per USCIS guidelines, the employee can continue to work for 240 days even after the submission of H1 B extension period.

But the H1B processing time via regular extension is over 12 months. So, Rajesh can work for 8 months while his H1 B visa extension is pending. So, in this case, the only scope is to maintain his visa status by upgrading to the H1B Premium visa processing by paying additional $1225. 

What is the H1B Real Scenario now?

In the year 2016, 569,000 LCA was certified. Which means USCIS have to process the same number of H1B applications. For the employees who want to work beyond 8 months must upgrade to the H1B Premium processing.

Now, Can you imagine the workload of USCIS For H1B Visa Premium Processing

The USCIS has stated the same reason for the H1B Premium processing suspension. The USCIS said that they would prioritise the H1-B extension status that is nearing the 240-day mark!

H1B Visa Premium Processing Suspension?

Check all the latest news from USCIS that would have an impact.

h1n premium processing suspension 240 days

That is from 3 April 2017 to 30 Sept 2017 is 6 months = 240 Days. So, USCIS will clear all the existing H1B extension applications and then focus on processing the new H1 B visa petitions of 2018.


So, Don’t worry about the mess created in the televisions. The H1 B Premium visa processing is just suspended for 6 months. But the H1B visa applicants can still proceed with H1B visa extension but the time of H1B approval will be more due to the workload of USCIS.