Premium Processing Now Available for Remaining H-1B Filings
Consistent with its March 19, 2019 announcement, USCIS has confirmed that starting June 10, 2019, premium processing will resume for the remaining 2020 fiscal year H-1B cap petitions. The March 19, 2019 announcement explained that premium processing for H-1B cap cases would resume in two phases. First, only H-1B cap cases requesting a change of status would be eligible for premium processing starting on May 20. The second phase starting June 10 is for all other H-1B cap-subject petitions. These are primarily H-1B petitions that requested approval not as a change of status to H-1B, but as petition only and requesting consular notification of approval.
In previous years, premium processing was suspended for all H-1B cap cases until much later in the calendar year. This year, most cap cases have been eligible for this additional service since May 20 and now all cap cases are eligible. This should eliminate problems encountered in prior years when some H-1B cap cases were not adjudicated until well after the October 1 start date. All cases can now be upgraded as needed to avoid this issue.
As with all premium processing cases, the request to upgrade these pending H-1B petitions is accomplished through filing Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, along with the appropriate fee of $1,410, with the Service Center where the H-1B is pending.
USCIS has also announced that due to the influx of H-1B cap filings, from June 10 to June 24 it will temporarily suspend use of pre-paid mailers for return of premium processed approval notices. This procedure requires additional resources since it differs from the normal process of sending notices by regular mail. USCIS expects use of pre-paid mailers to resume on June 25, 2019 or when operationally feasible.