H1B Premium Processing Changes for FY 2017 USCIS Alert

News : USCIS update – H1B 2017 Premium Processing from May 12th

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 212 Comments

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 ?

H1B 2017 - Latest News Updates

Most recent and complete history of all latest breaking news updates from Official sources like USCIS and Unofficial sources for FY 2017 Season.

Reference : USCIS news Alert Premium Processing 


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Comments ( 212 )

  1. Tirumala

    I came to know that premium processing is in active now.
    I have H1b petition and it is going to expire in Dec 2017 and my current company wants to extend.
    Please let me can i go with premium processing now.


    1. Ram

      Nope. Premium processing is active only for FY2018 Cap petitions. Extensions and transfers are not eligible for Premium processing yet. You can do it in normal processing (As of 09/20/2017)only.

      1. Tirumala


        Thanks for the response.
        Recently I came to know from USCIS portal and Murthy’s that premium processing will be active from Oct 3rd 2017.
        I have H1b petition and it is going to expire in Dec 2017 and my current company wants to extend.
        Please let me can i go with premium processing now.


  2. MKS

    ********** validation error >> My Case Status does not recognize the receipt number entered**************

    I can also see another WAC16145***** series receipt number showing Approved in USCISMycase website and these are regular processing but I’m still getting validation error

    WAC1614551899 – Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed – On July 12, 2016
    WAC1614551881 – Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed -On July 13, 2016
    WAC1614551862 – approved on – On July 6, 2016
    WAC1614551891 – approved On July 5, 2016
    WAC1614551664 -Case Was Approved And My Decision Was Emailed on On June 21, 2016

    1. IBMER H1B

      I am also from the same series, still not able to see the status, getting validation error. Not sure whether it was the error for complete series or even the part of the series. Now I saw many of the cases got their status.
      Do you have any idea like the cases which got approved now, also having the similar issue before, like are they also getting the validation error before, but now once their case is approved/RFE, they are able to see the Case status ?
      Can anyone conform ?

    2. common-sense

      hey guys, forgot to update you guys in this thread. Mine was approved and then I could check the status again, so please wait until they update the status and you would be able to check again. Be patient.

      1. MANOJ KUMAR

        Thanks and congratulations common-sense!!!
        When your got approved? and from when are you able to see ?

        Still I’m not able to see but i can see below 2 case number which are approved and these are from same series (My is WAC161455187*, only 1 number different :))

        WAC1614551862 – approved on – On July 6, 2016
        WAC1614551891 – approved On July 5, 2016

        Regards, Manoj

        1. common-sense

          as far as I know, it doesn’t go by order. Mine was a couple of days back. I was able to check it immediately on the next day.

    3. BB

      My status shows RFE now…i had WAC16145**** series receipt number…did any one’s RFE status cleared now….assuming my employer responds in time..how long usually it takes to clear RFE? Any idea anyone?

      1. Confused

        I’m facing same problem since 2nd May. Though my lawyer got a hard copy of receipt which she shared to me as well. My employer told me that is fine if we got a hard copy but web still shows error message. Really don’t know about the situation what will happen?

        1. Varaprasad

          I am also getting still validation Error with receipt number WAC16145**…Please let me know If any one has update on this.

  3. jana reddy

    i did not receive any package from uscis till now(1 july 2016) can anyone tell me what can be the reason of the delay. can we track it.

      1. BB

        I can see another WAC16145***** series receipt number showing Approved in USCISMycase website…..WAC1614551664…this one is approved on 21st June…should be a regular processing

  4. Nishika


    I work for Amazon. My H1B petition did not get picked this year. Next year would be my last attempt. I applied in advanced category.

    Could anyone please let me know of improving my chances for getting through the lottery? As in can I get recruited by some other firm as well and ask them to file my H1B as well.?

    Please let me know. Do consultancies do this?

    1. Bell


      to increase your chance for lottery, the only way is to increase the number of petition file under your name. Since 1 company can only file 1 petition per person, it means that you must find more company that is willing to apply H1B for you. Although 1/200000 and 5/200000 is not really that much different, but it is at least something. I suggest you try your best first and let your fate be when time comes. good luck.

  5. srinidihi

    Is that validation error been solved ? I am also getting the same error. My receipt date is also 25th April. starts with WAC1614552***. Filed under NON-AD/PP. still receipt number is not visible. though we can see after Many 27th since 15 day SLA completes for PP 🙁

    1. bb

      Hi Srinidhi,
      It really does not make any sense, your case is PP they should have already taken decision on your case (hopefully Approved) , but still now you can not see your status online. So frustrating, what your employer or attorney is saying? They should have received some confirmation about your case as it is PP.

    2. MKS

      Some receipt number is working which starts with WAC161455****

      Like Below, not sure why getting validation error in my case which is also starts with same.(WAC161455****)


      On May 23, 2016, we approved your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WAC1614551871, and emailed you an approval notice. Please follow any instructions on the approval notice. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

      1. BB

        Hi MKS,
        You proved our hypothesis wrong by providing that WAC number which is working. Till now i was thinking all WAC16145 series numbers have same issue.

    3. varaprasad

      Hi I am also facing the same issue valditation error. My receipt date is also 25th April. starts with WAC16145***. Please let me know if any update on this


  6. bb

    Any one having receipt number starting with WAC16145***** ? Are you able to check your status online in USCIS website?


    1. common-sense

      I’m in the same boat.

      My assumption: the batch process for WAC to sync the USCIS case status failed for 25th Apr, it’s not something they could go back and restore coz they may not be able to identify the point of failure? It would return back to normal once they update the status again by USCIS officer who is taking care of the cases. Please don’t trust my rubbish words but to use it to comfort your souls instead.

      TLDR; if your attorney/employer can be trusted, you have nothing to worry about because i797 is the concrete proof 🙂

      1. BB

        Thanks common-sense , there could be various reasons…as you said it should update as and when they take of the case..

          1. bb

            Hi MKS,
            You can see your I797C at top left hand side, it says “Notice Date” thats your receipt date.

          2. MKS


            Actually i got only receipt number from my employer(Techmmmmmmm).
            they did’t share the I797C.

            is there any way to know receipt date ?

            Regards, MKS

          3. MKS

            Hi All,

            is receipt date and Notice date is same ?

            My Received Date : 11th April
            and Notice date : 25th April

          4. AP

            I am also same employer as yours, am also getting validation error. My receipt number also starts with WAC16145***** and receipt date is 25th april. Let me know if you have any updates from our visa cell.

      1. bb

        Same for me as well…still says invalid receipt number…
        Not sure how long they will take to update the system..hope when they start processing all cases for which receipt was generated on 25th April they will update the website…finger crossed till then…

  7. Sri

    Hey Saurabh !!
    Appreciate your work buddy..

    I have a question. How to verify the EAC number belongs to me or not?? Can i call USCIS Customer Care.
    I have receipt and stuff. Please suggest.

      1. administrator


        You cannot verify in USCIS database. You can verify it against someone else’s 797C to see if the formatting, sections etc are same. If the employer issues fraud 797C, he would be committing wire fraud.

  8. Yogesh

    Hi ,
    I applied for H1B using Premium Processing , My Employer says that they have not received any notification yet from USCIS .

    From above comments , official SLA date is May 12th , But it says that USCIS take 15 days for Premium processing .

    So, this means that people who applied using PP should hear something by May 27th ?

    or they should have got notified by May 12th ?

    Appreciate your response …

    1. administrator


      Actually they should get the selection notification by May 12 and final decision or RFE by May 27.

  9. iti

    What are the hopes for people who have not yet received any information on the lottery? I applied in AD/Regular Processing.
    Any idea when was the last regular processing receipt received last year?

  10. ana

    Hi I applied my petition as advanced degree regular processing. I have no update. Do you think I still have chances. I stay in los anageles… it shdnt take long to get the mail if picked in the lottery.

  11. Juan

    I think I don’t fully understand how premium processing works. My receipt notice says that it will be processed within 15 days of the RECEIPT DATE, which for me is April 14. So this would mean I should have heard something back by April 29, I did not.

    According to what I read on this post, the 15 days start on May 12.

    Which one is it??
    Should I worry that I haven’t had any updates since receiving my receipt notice in April 14?

    Appreciate any help. Thank you!

    1. administrator


      Usually PP service is done within 15 calendar days of receipt date. However, there are thousands of PP applications received when the cap opens in April, and USCIS doesn’t have bandwidth to adjudicate all within 15 calendar days.

      So they set the official SLA date is May 12 so that they have more time to process this and PP attorneys are not breathing down their throat asking for PP updates.

      1. Juan

        Thank you for clarifying , Saurabh!
        So, it is possible (although not guaranteed) that I will hear something before May 12?

          1. Ahmed

            Hi suhrab

            I applied in non-adv/RP and got selected , i want to convert it to premium processing , is it possible if yes is there any deadline to do so ?

          2. administrator


            As you are selected, your employer can upgrade to PP. There is no deadline as to when it can be upgraded. The official PP SLA won’t start until May 12. So you should know the result in PP by May 27.

      2. AD/PP/CA

        Hello Saurabh,
        Mine is AD/PP/CA. Are all hopes lost? Mine is done through Seyfarth and they wont tell me anything. Just saying that we haven’t heard anything yet and will update you as soon as we hear anything from USCIS. They haven’t got any email for approval receipt. Havent checked in Sevis yet and not sure about the check cashing too..but do you think there is still hope to receive the email by 12th May. Thanks.

        1. administrator


          Unfortunately for PP I wouldn’t have any hopes. They should have all been notified about their selection by now.

    1. Hue

      Congrats! Thank you very much for your updates.

      I’m non AD/RP and have not received a word from USCIS, still hoping if my case is selected. ..

      Do you know if your check was cashed days before?.. I heard this is one way ppl figure out..

  12. kmn8022 AD/RP

    Hi All,

    I have tried this H1B for 4 times and finally today I received a good news from my company that they have received I-797C receipt notice from USCIS. Mine is AD/RP.

    To those who is asking if there’s still chances for RP this year. Based on my experience, yes you are. And for PP, yes you still are, but chances might not be as high as couple weeks before.

    To everyone who is still waiting for the result. I’d like to say please keep your chin up. there is still hope. And if you do not get it at the end, think of it as if it was written. Try again next year or give up and move on are all good, just don’t be depressed and stuck to the pass. Good luck to you all.

    Special thanks to Kumar. I really appreciate the time and effort you gave to this site. It has been helping me a lot with many good info that could lead and guide me in making my decision.

    1. Hue

      Congrats to you !!

      I’m non AD/RP and still waiting for news…

      Can you please let me know if your checks were cashed several days before you received the notice or at the same time-today? I contacted HR today but no checks are cashed.

      1. kmn8022 AD/RP


        I actually do not know that answer myself. I heard some ppl check if their money was cashed as an indicator for petition was picked, but I never have an authority to ask my HR that question. However, this is what ppl also said, if USCIS cashed out your check, it is a good sign and likely your petition was selected in lottery.

        Anyway, i wish you the best. Good luck.

  13. HopesRemain

    Do I still keep hopes?
    my employer filled 13 h1bs, he got 2 till now.
    All are non AD/regular/VT

    Please let me know if I should still keep hopes ?

    Hope Guy – Maju

  14. Srikanth

    Hi, Today I have got an email from our HR that USCIS issued confirmation (receipt) notice for the H-1B New CAP-2016 petition filed on your behalf. The receipt number is “EAC……..”.
    When I check the status with the receipt number it says that “Case was Received”. Does this mean that mine got picked up in the Lottery?

    1. Srikanth Question

      Wow .. you asked very good question. I think you should call USCIS and ask them whether you got picked in lottery or not.

  15. AD/PP

    Hi All,

    Just got the confirmation from HR that my H1 has been picked in Lottery. I almost lost hope and it was indeed a wonderful news to start my morning. Mine was filed in AD/PP. I am not sure in which center my application was picked though. I haven’t seen the receipt yet. Best of luck everyone!!

  16. H1Question

    Can anyone help me on this issue.

    when I am checking my receipt umber in case status I am getting below error. Can any one let me know what could be issue.

    Validation Error(s)
    You must correct the following error(s) before proceeding:

    My Case Status does not recognize the receipt number entered. Please check your receipt number and try again. If you need further assistance, please call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

    1. FirstTimer

      @H1Question it means you have the wrong receipt no. Double check the receipt no you are trying to check status on.

        1. James Bond

          Looks like 16145XXXXX Series has database entry issues, hold on for while, it will get updated when they start processing the case of these series… 🙂

    2. @hyderabad

      I am also facing the same issue. I have my I797C notice with me. My receipt number starts with WAC16145****. I have asked my HR to contact our attorney and waiting for the response. Please update me if this issue has been resolved. Thanks. Have a good day.

      1. Varaprasad

        I am also facing the same issue and when i did contact my employer, he says that for the people who received receipts on 25th April, this issue exists and need to wait for some time. Still, i am worried if this is correct information or not.

        Please keep all informed if anyone of you got the update about above issue.


        1. @hyderabad

          It seems many are facing the same issue. BTW my receipt too generated on april 25th. I have contacted couple of attorneys through some forums and they said its not uncommon and cause of technical glitch. As long as we have receipt in hand we are in. Meanwhile try to reach out to your attorney please. I did the same and waiting for the response. Please update us if any. Have a good day.

          1. BB

            HI ..i am having a receipt number that starts with WAC-16-145-***** and getting same invalid receipt number error…that means all receipts that was issued on 145th work day that is 25th April 2016 are facing same issue…its clear now that there is some technical glitch in USCIS …hope we are all in and it sorts out on its own…

      2. srinidhi

        Hi @hyderabad,

        did you get any update with WAC16145**** from your HR or attorney. Still we are unable to see in online.

    3. 123

      Don’t directly copy paste your receipt no from I-797C form . you HV to put just letters n numbers no dash (-) sign between no and letters

  17. krish V

    What does the below statement mean while most of them saying the No hopes on NON AD PP(NON Advance Degree Premium Processing) :

    Source : uscis.gov/news/fiscal-year-2017-h-1b-cap-premium-processing-begin-may-12

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