For the past two years, immigration law officials have suspended premium processing for new H-1B visa petitions to make the workload more manageable. However, USCIS has recently announced that expedited service will be available to new applicants filing in the FY2020 lottery, as well as those petitioning for a change in status. To effectively manage the influx of petitions, USCIS will be instituting a two-phase system, beginning on April 1, 2019.
Premium Processing for H-1B Visa Petitions
Understanding Premium Processing
Premium processing is an expedited service that guarantees USCIS will respond to your petition within 15 calendar days. If they fail to approve your petition, request further evidence, or open an investigation within the allotted time. Your fees will be refunded while premium processing continues.
Phase One of Premium Processing
The first phase of premium processing begins on April 1 and is restricted to those seeking a change in status. However, immigration law officials won’t begin processing these applications until May 20, at the earliest. To receive expedited service, you must request premium processing when you submit your petition; otherwise, you will have to wait until premium processing begins.
Phase Two of Premium Processing
The second phase of premium processing is open to all new cap-subject H-1B visa petitions, although the requirements differ somewhat. Petitioners in this group may not request premium processing when filing their initial petition. Instead, you must wait until USCIS announces that premium processing for these petitions has begun, which will not be before June 2019. After the announcement, anyone with a pending H-1B visa petition subject to the annual cap may send in a premium processing request.
Successfully navigating US immigration law requires an in-depth understanding of the law, informed by the latest policy changes and developments. The attorneys at Berd & Klauss, PLLC in New York City provide effective service to clients from across the world, establishing themselves as skilled professionals who always provide personalized service and customized solutions. Visit their website to learn more about this NYC immigration law firm, connect on Twitter, or call (212) 461-7152 to discuss your case and schedule a consultation.