USCIS announced today that they are resuming premium processing for all remaining cap-subject H-1B petitions, including those filed consular processing, starting on June 10th. Employers wishing to upgrade their cap-subject H-1B petitions to premium processing (and receive a decision from USCIS within 15 calendar days) may do so starting Monday. Premium processing still remains available for all other types of H-1B petitions, including transfers and extensions. With this announcement it appears there is cause for optimism that USCIS will not suspend premium processing for H-1Bs like they have in years past.
Copied from USCIS:
On June 10, we will begin premium processing for all remaining FY 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions. Starting on that date, petitioners may file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, with the USCIS service center that is processing their petition.
On March 19, we announced that we would offer premium processing in a two-phased approach during the FY 2020 cap season to best manage premium processing requests without fully suspending it. In the past few years, we suspended all premium processing for H-1B petitions due to high demand. Based on feedback from the public, we are using this phased approach to benefit petitioners and ensure efficient premium processing. The first phase, which started on May 20, included FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status and the second phase includes all other FY 2020 cap-subject petitions.
At this time, premium processing for H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap, such as extension of stay requests, remains available.
Pre-paid Mailer Temporary Suspension
Starting on June 10 and continuing through the end of June 24, we will not use pre-paid mailers to send out final notices for premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions not requesting a change of status. Instead, we will use regular mail. We will be doing this due to resource limitations as we work to process all premium processing petitions in a timely manner.
The process for printing approval notices and sending them by regular mail is fully automated, whereas using pre-paid mailers requires a separate and more time-consuming manual process. As such, and given the initial surge of premium processing requests for H-1B cap petitions and its impact on USCIS resources, using pre-paid mailers may actually delay the issuance of an approval notice compared to the standard process, or otherwise negatively affect our ability to timely process premium processing petitions. After the two-week period, we intend to resume sending out final notices in pre-paid mailers provided by petitioners, when operationally feasible.
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