Premium processing has historically been available for all H-1B applications filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, from time to time, USCIS has suspended premium processing. On March 19, 2019, USCIS announced that it would use a staggered approach to premium processing for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap filing season, with two distinct phases for those cases filed in the lottery conducted in April 2019.
Phase one commenced on April 1, 2019, allowing H-1B lottery petitioners applying for a change-of-visa status to file a request for premium processing concurrently with their H-1B petition. USCIS began processing those requests on May 20, 2019.
On June 10, 2019, USCIS announced the commencement of phase two, allowing premium processing for all other cap-subject petitions, including those petitions requesting consular notification.
Premium processing is currently also available for all cap-exempt H-1B petitions (extensions of stay, amendments, and change of employer filings).
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to premium processing and will post updates on our immigration blog as additional information becomes available.