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"Happy Friday!   Joe,

It is great to hear from you and know that we got approved.  Hopefully we will get the refund soon as well as the approval letter.   

Thank you for all the effort and time you spend in this process.  I really appreciate it.   

Stay safe!



Attorney Joe Jian Zhou comments: In February  2020  in anticipating of the delay of H-1B processing  and possible suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B processing, Joe assisted a client filed an H-1B renewal that expires October, 1, 2020.   Due to the requirement that any H-1 must be filed within  180  days of anticipated starting date, Joe requested  the starting date to be August 1, 2020, two months ahead of the expiration date.  By this wya, the H-1B renewal can be filed in February 2020.  The law does not prohibit a request to renewal with an earliest starting date.  USCIS issued an RFE challenging that a request for renewal usually cannot be made more than 180 days from the expiration date of previously approved H-1B.  In RFE response, Joe pointed out that the law never stated so as USCIS claimed, rather the law requires that the filing date cannot be 180 days earlier than the anticipated starting date of the employment.  In the current case, the employer make  a choice of starting date of the employment as 08/01/2020 for the petition; it is not necessary for employer to choose the expiration date of the previously approved H-1B as starting date.  USCIS then took more than two months to make the decision.  Joe through the email communication with the USCIS to request the refund of the premium processing fee as the USCIS failed to respond within 15  days after filing of RFE.    USCIS officer confirmed by email that a refund would be made after the final decision is made.  USCIS approved the H-1B afterwards, accepting Attorney Zhou’s argument and the approval  is with a starting date two months prior to the current expiration date.  We also expect the  USCIS will refund the premium processing fee.