USCIS indicated this H-1B season that they would not be initiating premium processing immediately on receipt of H-1B cap cases. The reason for this is that they have to take the time to conduct the lottery, receipt cases, and return cases not selected prior to actually adjudicating cases. USCIS has now indicated that cases that were filed premium, will have their premium process begin on May 12, 2016. The press release states:
On May 12, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. USCIS first announced in a news release that it would temporarily adjust its premium processing practice due to the historic premium processing receipt levels, combined with the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season.
USCIS provides premium processing service for certain employment-based petitions and guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time.
For H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap and for any other visa classification, the 15-day processing period for premium processing service begins on the date that USCIS receives the request. However, for cap-subject H-1B petitions, including advanced degree exemption petitions, the 15-day processing period set by 8 CFR 103.7(e)(2) will begin on May 12, 2016, regardless of the date on the Form I-797 receipt notice, which indicates the date that the premium processing fee is received.
We encourage H-1B applicants to subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates located on the H-1B FY2017 Cap Season Web page.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.