Posted March 15, 2019 - Vineesha Kakarlapudi
The H-1B cap season is around the corner, and the premium processing for previously filed H-1B petitions has commenced on March 12th, 2019. USCIS has started the premium processing only for the H-1B petitions received on or before Dec 21st, 2018.
The usual processing time for H-1B petitions is around 5-6 months, which is very long. So USCIS has started the premium processing service to minimize the time taken for processing the employment-based petitions. Any petition filed under premium processing will take only 15 calendar days for completion of the process.
This 15-day period will begin once the USCIS receives the petition at the processing center. Upon processing the petition USCIS will send any one of the following as a response to the petition within 15 days.
In case you have received an RFE or NOID, you are responsible for sending an RFE/ NOID response to the USCIS for further processing. A new 15-day period will begin on the day USCIS receives the response to the RFE.
USCIS charges a huge amount of fee for the premium processing of your petitions. If USCIS fails to provide a response within the specified 15 days, it would refund your fee, but your petition will still be eligible for the premium processing.
USCIS has suspended the premium processing of H-1B petitions in the previous year in order to clear all the pending petitions. Recently USCIS has resumed this process for all the H-1B petitions filed on or before Dec 21st, 2018. This latest update from the USCIS has brought in a little hope for the suspended the premium processing of H-1B aspirers from different countries. However, there is no update regarding the premium processing of the petitions received after this date.