USCIS H-1B Premium Processing to Begin April 28

 
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
 
On April 28, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2015 cap, including H-1B petitions seeking an exemption from the fiscal year cap for individuals who have earned a U.S. master’s degree or higher. USCIS provides premium processing service for certain employment-based petitions and guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time.

The annual cap is 65,000 H-1B visas, with an exemption for the first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of those with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.

USCIS will continue to accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, with fee, concurrently with the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, during the time period that premium processing is unavailable. Petitioners may also upgrade a pending H-1B cap petition to premium processing once USCIS issues a receipt notice.

While the Form I-797 receipt notice indicates the date USCIS received the premium processing fee, the 15-day processing period set by 8 CFR 103.7(e)(2) will begin April 28, 2014.  This allows for USCIS to take-in the anticipated high number of filings, conduct the lottery to determine which cases meet the cap, and prepare the volume of cases for premium and regular processing.

The 15-day processing period for premium processing service for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap, or for any other eligible classification, continues to begin on the date that the request is received.
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