Posted April 05, 2019 - Vineesha Kakarlapudi
Are you waiting for the Premium processing start date for the FY 2020? Here is the latest announcement from USCIS regarding the premium processing of certain H-1B petitions.
USCIS has announced the premium processing start date for the upcoming Fiscal Year, which is May 20th, 2019. The petitioners who have filed the Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing) along with the H-1B petition requesting a status change are eligible for this premium processing.
Any petitioner who hasn’t filed the Form I-907 along with an H-1B petition can now upgrade to premium processing from May 20,2019.
Earlier in March, USCIS has announced a two-phase approach for premium processing of the H-1B petitions during the FY 2020. The First phase of premium processing includes all the Cap-Subject petitions requesting the status change. And the second phase includes all the remaining Cap-Subject petitions.
This update would ease up the burden on USCIS making it easier for them to manage the premium processing requests, rather than suspending it like the previous years. USCIS has canceled the premium processing in the previous years due to an increase in demand.
This premium processing start date is only for the first phase of premium processing. However, USCIS will notify the confirmed date for the second phase, which will not be until June 2019. At this time, premium processing for H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap, such as the extension of stay requests remains available.
USCIS has temporarily suspended the pre-paid mailer during the first phase of premium processing from May 20th to June 3rd. Instead, they will use the regular mail for sending out final notices of premium processing for H-1B petitions requesting a status change. The pre-paid mailer is a time-consuming manual process which will delay the issuance of an approval notice compared to the standard process. This is due to the surge in premium processing requests which brings in a limitation on the resources of USCIS. So, USCIS has suspended the pre-paid mailer t0 make sure that premium processing is carried out in a timely manner. Hence, they will use the regular mail in which the printing of the notices and the process is fully automated.
However, after this two-week period, USCIS will resume sending out the notices in pre-paid mailers sent by the petitioner.
USCIS has confirmed that it will follow a similar approach when it commences the second phase of premium processing.