Connecticut, US

Mar 29 2019

USCIS Will Begin Premium Processing for Certain H-1B Cap Cases on May 20

United States

At a glance

  • USCIS will begin 15-day processing of FY 2020 cap cases requesting a change of status on May 20, 2019, provided that the H-1B petitioner files a premium processing request concurrently with the petition.
  • Premium processing for H-1B cap petitions not requesting a change of status will begin in June at the earliest.
  • From May 20 to June 3, USCIS will not honor petitioners’ requests to use pre-paid mailers to send H-1B cap approvals and other final notices.

The issue



USCIS announced today that it will begin premium processing of FY 2020 H-1B cap cases requesting a change of status on May 20, 2019, provided that the petitioner files a premium processing request concurrently with its cap petition. 



How H-1B cap premium processing will be implemented this filing season



USCIS will begin accepting FY 2020 H-1B cap cases on Monday, April 1.  Premium processing will be available to all FY 2020 cap cases, but in stages, as follows:

  • Concurrent filing for H-1B changes of status: Between April 1 and 5, 2019, employers filing H-1B cap changes of status will be able to request premium processing concurrently with their petitions. As announced today, USCIS will delay the start of the 15-day processing clock for these cases until May 20, 2019.
  • Upgrades for H-1B changes of status: H-1B change of status petitioners who do not request premium processing concurrently with their cap filings will need to wait until May 20 to upgrade their cases to premium processing.
  • Upgrades for all other H-1B cap filings: Employers filing H-1B cap cases that do not include a request to change status, including all requests for consular processing, will be required to wait until June 2019 at the earliest to upgrade to premium processing. No concurrent requests for premium processing will be accepted with these cases.



Use of pre-paid mailers will not be honored from May 20-June 3



USCIS has also announced that it will not honor petitioners’ requests to use pre-paid mailers to send H-1B cap approvals or other final notices between May 20 and June 3. Instead, final notices will be sent by first-class mail only during this period.  This means that employers and beneficiaries may wait longer to receive approval notices.  The change will affect H-1B cap petitioners who are requesting a change of status and premium processing services.



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