The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may impose a short suspension of the 15-day premium processing service for FY 2019 H-1B cap filings. The suspension and amount of time premium processing may be suspended for is currently unclear. USCIS does not expect to suspend premium processing for H-1B extensions and other non-cap H-1B filings. The average time it takes a H-1B application to be processed is around 2 to 6 months, assuming there are no complications with the application and no need for a Request for Evidence. Premium processing, which costs an additional $1,225, will shorten the processing time to 15 days.
The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa suitable for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent and a job offer from a sponsoring employer in a specialty occupation that is related to their field of study. A specialty occupation is a job that is complex and specialized enough that a bachelor’s degree or higher is generally required. H-1B visa holders can be employed in the United States for up to six years, or sometimes longer if they are at a certain stage of the green card process. The number of applications each year significantly exceeds the number of available visas. In 2017, applications exceeded the allowance in just four days and USCIS logged 199,000 applications in total. To learn more about the H-1B visa and your eligibility, please click here.
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