Premium Processing Now Available to All H-1B Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the agency will start accepting requests for premium processing for all H-1B visa petitions, including applications to extend H-1B status, effective today.
What is Premium Processing?
For an additional fee of $1,225, the premium processing service guarantees adjudication and a decision—whether approval, denial, or request for additional evidence (RFE)—within 15 calendar days of receiving a petition. Requests for the service are filed with Form I-907, either along with the relevant petition or after one has been pending.
Premium Processing Developments
All H-1B petitioners are now permitted to request premium processing. As we informed our readers last month, USCIS most recently resumed offering premium processing for H-1B petitions that were randomly selected in the annual quota, or cap, for fiscal year 2018. “Cap” refers to the numerical limits Congress has placed on the H-1B category. Each fiscal year, USCIS is authorized to award a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas, plus an additional 20,000 H-1Bs for beneficiaries who have at least a master’s degree from a U.S. college or university. (For guidance on which employers are not counted in the cap, refer to our analysis here.)
This resumption in expedited service is the fourth—and final—the agency has announced in the last few months. In late June, USCIS informed stakeholders that H-1B petitions for physicians applying under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program could once again be filed with premium processing. And in late July, USCIS reinstated premium processing for cap-exempt H-1Bs. As we wrote earlier this spring, USCIS had suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions, initially forecasting the hiatus to last for up to six months. Today marks the sixth month since the suspension was announced.
For the last several years, the statutory limits and popularity of the H-1B category have combined to create a filing season characterized by high demand and low supply. The number of H-1B petitions filed in fiscal year 2018 alone, for instance, amounted to more than twice the total number available. As a result, tens of thousands of qualified alien workers are unable to contribute to the businesses of their U.S. employers—and to the economy at large.
And given the volume of petitions received, compared to the two-week turnaround with premium processing, regular adjudication of H-1B applications can take weeks, if not months.
Our Firm is Here to Help
Over the past two decades, Zhang & Associates has successfully represented thousands of clients applying for H-1B visas, including both cap-subject and cap-exempt petitioners. If you are a prospective alien beneficiary or petitioning U.S. employer contemplating your H-1B or other nonimmigrant visa options, we invite you to click here to contact our experienced immigration attorneys for a free evaluation of your potential case.
And for more information on the H-1B visa, refer to our articles here.
Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients worldwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled over ten thousand immigration cases.
At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, EB-5, PERM, I-485 I-130, H-1B, O, L and J cases. In the past twenty-one years, we have successfully helped over ten thousand clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a free evaluation.
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