Earlier today USCIS released a press alert indicating that they are adjusting the premium processing timeline to start from May 12th, instead of May 16th. Let’s look at the summary and what it means to everyone of you waiting for the H1B Visa 2017 Lottery results.
Basics : What is H1B premium processing ? What is the SLA ?
For all the newbies, premium processing is basically an option provided by USCIS to submit their H1B petition by paying extra money of $1,225 USD and the SLA that USCIS guarantees with premium processing is 15 calendar days. Typically, the 15 calendar days starts from the day your H1B package is received by USCIS. They promise to refund the fee, if they do not adjudicate within 15 calendar days. You can read full details on USCIS website
Quick Summary of USCIS News Alert on Premium Processing
- USCIS indicated that the premium processing for H1B Petitions to start from May 12th, 2016 instead of the original guidance of May 16th, 2016
- The H1B Premium Processing Start Date of May 12th applies to both H1B FY 2017 Masters Cap and Regular Cap quota applicants.
- For non-cap subject H1B Petitions, this May 12th start date does not apply, they will process it as per standard guidelines of 15 calendar days from the date they receive it.
What does this H1B 2017 Premium Processing Alert Mean for applicants ?
Basically, it means that everyone who filed their petition under premium processing will need to get their H1B receipt notices by May 12th and adjudication of their petition will complete by May 27th, 2016. I see all kinds of rumors and opinions by everyone saying that “game is over for premium processing folks, if they have not received case number by now”, that is not true. The deadline for receiving receipts is May 12th, you need to positive up until May 12th hoping to get a receipt based on your luck. Don’t be in panic looking at other comments and other blogs or attorney’s opinions. All of the opinions are based on their filings and experience and does not indicate that will be true for everyone…Just stay calm. When USCIS says that the processing is 15 days, it is not that they will take all 15 days and everyone will get decision after 15 days…USCIS will make a decision as they process depending on the complexity of the case, they may approve, issue an RFP before the 15 days window ends.
What does Premium Processing Date Change indicate ?
If we look at past year data, the FY 2016 Premium Processing start date was changed from May 11th to April 27th, which was about 15 days. This year USCIS changed the premium processing start date from May 16th to May 12th, that is just 4 days change from the original date. It tells that the number of premium processing petitions that USICS anticipated for FY 2017 were almost in-line with their processing load estimation. Last year, the number of Premium processing applications were lesser than they anticipated, that why they pushed the date much earlier. But for this year quota, it seems like USCIS received more premium processing petitions than last year…
You can look at our H1B Visa Tracker for some high level status info of others. It is fully anonymous and community contributed data. Please add your case as well, if you filed your petition. You may read What’s Next after H1B Lottery for next steps.
What are your thoughts on premium processing ? What do you think about the news alert ?
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Reference : USCIS news Alert Premium Processing