Sep 19, 2017
USCIS Re-Opens Premium Processing for Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap Petitions
Joshua H. Rolf
On September 18, 2017, USCIS announced the resumption of Premium Processing for Fiscal Year 2018 (“FY2018”) H-1B Cap Petitions, effective immediately. These Petitions, which must have arrived at USCIS between April 3 -7, 2017, include the 65,000 H-1Bs selected in the Regular Cap, and the additional 20,000 selected in the U.S. Master’s Cap.
Premium Processing binds USCIS to render a decision on the filing within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt, or else the Service will return the Premium Processing fee of $1,225.00. In addition to a faster decision, Premium Processing also affords practitioners the ability to communicate directly with officers at the Service Center adjudicating the case, instead of a National Customer Service Center representative. As with other H-1B Petitions, Cap-Subject Petitions may be upgraded to Premium Processing while they remain pending, even if they are subject to a Request for Evidence.
This announcement follows USCIS’ decision to resume H-1B Premium Processing for numerous Cap-Exempt H-1B Petitions, as well as H-1B Petitions for physicians filed under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program. There is no word on other H-1B Petitions (e.g. H-1B Extensions or Amendments), for which Premium Processing was originally set to resume on October 1, 2017. For these H-1B Petitions, Expedited Processing remains a viable option in limited circumstances.
For additional guidance regarding options for securing a swift decision on your H-1B Petition, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.