As you all know H1B Premium processing was suspended till Feb 19, 2019 and opened in phases with it open for H1B 2019 cap petitions first and then for petitions that were filed before Dec 21, 2018. Many have been waiting for their turn to expedite their H1B petition processing. Earlier today USCIS announced that they have resume premium processing for all H1B visa petitions. We will summarize the news and address some common questions.
H1B Premium Processing Open for all Petitions News Summary :
- H1B Premium Processing – All petitions : USCIS will resume premium processing for all H1B petitions starting from tomorrow, which is Tuesday March 12th, 2019. What it means is that, you can upgrade any of your current pending H1B petitions with USCIS to premium processing. Also, if you plan to file New cap exempt H1B petition, you can file it in premium processing. If you do not know the difference, read H1B Regular vs Premium Processing
- H1B RFE Petitions: USCIS clarified that if you have received an RFE ( request for evidence ) for your H1B petition and you plan to upgrade such petitions to premium processing, then you should include the RFE response along with your premium processing request.
- H1B Petitions transferred to other service center : USCIS to balance load across their service centers, they transfer some petitions to other service centers. You may have filed your H1B at one service center and USCIS may have transferred your case to another service center. In such cases, they would send you notice regarding the change to you on the transfer of service center. For cases that were transferred, you need to submit your premium processing request to the new service center that is handling your case. Also, you need include you’re a copy of the transfer notice with the request to avoid delays. In case, you send your premium processing request to wrong service center, USCIS will forward such requests to the right service center that is processing your petition, but it will delay your processing and the 15 day clock will only start after the petition is received at the transferred service center. Below are the address details.
|If your H1B Visa petition was transferred to the below service center||Send your H1B premium processing request to below address|
|Nebraska Service Center||USPS:|
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
P.O. Box 87129
Lincoln, NE 68501-7129
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
850 S Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
|Vermont Service Center||USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:|
USCIS Vermont Service Center
Attn: I-129 H-1B
30 Houghton Street
St. Albans, VT 05478-2399
- Premium Processing SLA – 15 Days: USCIS also confirmed that if you properly request premium processing, with the required details for your case, then your petition would be adjudicated in 15 days. If USCIS does not adjudicate the petition in 15 days, then they will refund premium processing fee and will continue to process with expedited processing as they have missed the deadline.
- Summary of Premium Processing available for below petitions now :
- All H1B Visa 2019 Cap Subject Petitions – Regular Quota, Masters Quota
- All H1B Petitions listed below filed anytime with USCIS in the past.
- H1B Visa Extensions with Changes
- H1B Visa Transfer Petitions
- H1B Amendments with Changes
- H1B Visa Cap Exempt Petitions filed by higher education institutions, government research entities, and some qualified non-profit orgs that file petitions at California Service Center
- H1B Extensions without any changes at Nebraska Service Center.
Common Questions on H1B Premium Processing News
Will H1B Premium Processing be available for H1B 2020 Season ?
This is one of the very common questions that is asked, if you are planning for filing during the upcoming H1B Visa 2020 Season. As of now, there is no news on this from USCIS. But, looking at history, USCIS has made announcement in the last week of March or around March 20th, indicating that they are suspending H1B Premium processing for upcoming season. If we go by that assumption, it is very likely that USCIS may suspend premium processing for FY 2020 season.
I will upgrade H1B to Premium Processing, will H4 be also upgraded to Premium Processing ? How about H4 EAD application ?
Well as a matter of courtesy, if you have filed H1B in premium processing, USCIS usually processes H4 and the EAD application along with it as well with in premium processing. But, there is no mandatory rule that says H4 and EAD have to be also adjudicated in premium processing, it is subjective to their discretion and they may or may not…but for the most cases, they have done premium processing for them as well.
What are your thoughts on the premium processing news ?
Official Reference : USCIS News