USCIS has announced that as of today, March 11, the agency will reinstate the availability of Premium Processing for all (new and pending) H-1B. In February, USCIS had re-instated Premium Processing for cases filed before December 22, 2018. Today’s announcement reopens the possibility of using Premium Processing for all still-pending H-1Bs previously filed, as well as for new cases that will be filed after today.
USCIS has not explicitly stated whether Premium Processing can be used for FY 2020 cap H-1B cases that will be filed on or after April 1, but for the present we assume that today’s notice permitting use of Premium Processing for all H-1Bs would include those cases as well. Our office generally recommends that employers not file cap cases initially with Premium Processing, but perhaps consider upgrading to Premium Processing later if the case is selected for processing in the H-1B cap “lottery.”
Premium Processing is the often-used service whereby a petitioner pays an additional $1,410 filing fee, for which USCIS is supposed to adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days.
Finnan, Fleischut & Associates will continue to keep our clients advised of important developments in this area. If you have specific questions about how these developments affect a current or possible future situation, please contact us.