USCIS is extending the previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions and, beginning September 11, 2018, will expand this temporary suspension to include ALL H-1B petitions except: (1) petitions for cap exempt employers and (2) extensions for the same job with the same employer.

USCIS expects these suspensions will last until February 19, 2019.

This is an extremely concerning development for employers and employees filing H-1B “port” (or “transfer”) petitions, where the H-1B employee is moving from one employer to another. Though technically the H-1B employee may commence work with the new employer upon filing of the new petition, due to current uncertainties in the H-1B process we have been advising employers and employees to wait for petition approval to commence the new employment. Because standard processing can take close to a year in some cases, waiting for approval to commence employment is not a realistic option for most employers/ employees. Thus in many cases H-1B employers will have to take the risk that if the petition is denied, they could lose the services of their H-1B worker at a moment’s notice, and H-1B workers will have to assume the risk that they might need to pack up and depart the US, without any advance warning.

Hammond Young Immigration recommends that H-1B employees and worker plan ahead to avoid any surprises, and that H-1B workers do not leave their current employer without having a new H-1B petition filed.

For more information see: suspension-premium-processing-h-1b-petitions-reduce-delays.