USCIS has announced that premium processing will be available for the FY 2020 H-1B cap season. Premium processing will be available in stages and priority will be given to H-1B cap petitions that are requesting a change of status, so that USCIS can best manage the premium processing requests without fully suspending it as they have done in previous years. USCIS’ approach to premium processing for these cases will be as follows

  1. Between April 1 and April 5, 2019, H-1B cap change of status petitions will be able to request premium processing concurrently with the filing of the H-1B petition. USCIS plans to delay the start of the 15 day processing clock for these petitions until May 20, 2019 at the latest.
  2. H-1B change of status petitions that do not request premium processing concurrently with the initial cap filing, will need to wait until May to upgrade those petitions to premium processing. USCIS will notify the public before premium processing begins for these petitions.
  3. H-1B cap cases that do not include a request to change status, such as requests for consular processing, will have to wait until June 2019 at the earliest to upgrade those petitions to premium processing. Concurrent requests for premium processing will not be accepted for the initial filing of these cases. USCIS will notify the public with a confirmed date for premium processing for these petitions.

Employers who wish to request premium processing for their initial H-1B change of status petitions should contact us immediately

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.