Virginia, US

Mar 13 2019

No Announcement Yet on Premium Processing for FY 2020 H-1B Cap Cases

United States

At a glance

  • In a statement to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, USCIS officials indicated that the agency has not yet announced whether it will allow petitioners to request premium processing service for FY 2020 H-1B cap cases. USCIS plans to make an announcement at a later date.
  • Premium processing is available for all non-cap H-1B petitions.

The situation

USCIS will announce at a later date whether to permit employers to request premium processing service for FY 2020 H-1B cap cases, agency officials told the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). 

The clarification comes two days after USCIS issued an announcement stating that premium processing service would be available for all H-1B case types as of March 12, including extensions, amendments and changes of employer. That announcement did not specifically mention filings under the FY 2020 H-1B cap. This ambiguity prompted business immigration stakeholders to seek clarification.

USCIS has suspended premium processing for H-1B cap cases in the last two filing periods. Before that, the agency typically permitted cap petitioners to request premium service, but deferred the start of the 15-day premium processing clock until after it had completed initial intake of cap submissions.

Fragomen is closely monitoring FY 2020 H-1B cap policies and procedures, and will issue an update as soon as USCIS announces its decision on premium processing for the upcoming filing season.

What employers should do now

Employers planning to file FY 2020 H-1B cap cases should discuss premium processing with their Fragomen team, with the understanding that USCIS could later decide to suspend that service for cap cases.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.