H1B Visa approval via Premium Processing has Higher Approval Rate?

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa 46 Comments

Do you think applying for H1B visa approval will be higher through Premium Processing or even getting selected in the lottery?

Most of the first-time H-1B visa petitioners tend to have the same above question. If you happen to read the latest H-1B visa approvals, only petitions submitted through premium processing got their receipt numbers, and a considerable number got approved.

H1B Visa Filing fees shows that it costs additional $1225 to apply for Premium Processing.

H1B Visa Approval with Premium Processing

By paying an additional $1,225 to the H-1B filing of fees, your application will be processed within 15 days.

All H-1B visa petitions will be received by the USCIS within the first five business days of April, the 15-day premium processing window starts based on when USCIS will report. Sometimes it would require as much as 20 days before USCIS can being the count for 15 calendar days for Premium Processing.

However, for the cases received after that, the 15-day processing will start from the day when the USCIS receives an application physically. This is what USCIS had to say about this matter:

For cases filed for premium processing during the initial five-day filing window, the 15-day premium processing period began April 26th (for  FY2016)
For cases filed for premium processing after the filing window, the premium processing period begins on the date USCIS takes physical possession of the petition.

Premium Processing and Approval Rate

PP service is just a faster way to get approval. The USCIS should approve the application submitted through Regular Processing and Premium processing in the same way.

Verification and checks performed by the USCIS would be the same for both types of processing. Premium processing should get your approval notice within 15 days if there were no issues with your application and your candidacy. If USCIS need more information about your H1B petition, an RFE will be sent by the case adjudicator.

  • With regular processing, it will take 4-5 months to get the H-1B visa approval notice.

RFE and Premium Processing

But what if an RFE is issued to premium processing case, how does the 15-day period apply?

15 Day window will start after the response for RFE is received by USCIS.

Let’s look at this scenario:

If the USCIS issues an RFE on the 10th day of the Premium Processing, and USCIS receives a response to RFE within a week, then would USCIS process the application in with new clock of 15 days.

After observing the trend in H1B Visa over last 15 years, premium processing doesn’t impact the lottery selection chances or increase the approval rate of applications.

The only benefit, you would get is a faster decision from USCIS.


  1. Hi,
    I need an urgent views on my problem regarding fresh h1b rfe. I got an rfe in regular processing in june 2015. It was replied in august 2015. But due to visa extension my husband filed his extension and not mine h4 extension so that my h1b status do nit get affected by h4 extension. Now the problem is I want to file premium processing of my case because my h4 is getting over in oct 2015 and my h1b is still in rfe.. I have heard that upgrading rfe in PP will create issues?? Is it really so??? I do not get any ligical explaination for this…. Can any ody help me here and guide me whether i shud upgrade to PP or not…any serious suggestions will be very helpful…TIA RUPALI

  2. well …. stop reading/writing on this blog. just wait for the right time to come.

  3. Hi,
    I have applied for H1B visa through regular processing. It’s been 3.5 months already. I am yet to receive any notification from USCIS. Now my employer is asking me if I want to go for premium processing, waving off my other benefits. I would like to know, how much time H1B processing takes, if its through regular? Will it be advantageous for me to go for premium at this point waving off my other benefits?

    1. I applied in mid-Nov and got a response in End of march with RFE. If you’re in no hurry, just wait it out. After you get some response, ask your friends around whether after RFE it makes sense to apply premium processing (again, only if you’re in a hurry). This is a process.

  4. Need info please help 🙂
    I allied my H1 by this month, I received my receipt, says they started on 5th oct, still not updated till today in online. I really got afraid of this situtation. Till now no update no mail or rfe, I don’t know what to do now, please suggest is there in any way to check my status.


  5. Hi,
    I have applied for H1 visa through Premium Processing on 12th OCT. Received RFE on 19th asking for client letter. I have submitted Client Letter on 20th.
    May I know, How long will take for my H1 get approved ?
    Appreciate your quick answer’s.

    Thanks, Nag

    1. Hello Nag,

      Did you received your H1b Approval, if so when did you received it. I applied on 17th Oct with premium processing . I dont hear anything back from them.

      Please let me know your inputs.


  6. Hi Guys,

    I filed my H1 transfer through PProcessing on Jul 13th without Client letter, got the receipt number in a week. I was in project when i filed for it. Now I received an RFE for the client letter but I am not in project(looking for new project though) now.So how much time would they give to answer that RFE. what are the next steps. Please guide me.

  7. Hi All.

    What is the average time taken by USCIS to send across the receipt numbers for Premium Processing? (PP). For example, if filed on 6th AUG 09, when should one hope to receive the receipt number?

    I read the article, above but it does not seem to mention this number.

  8. Hi HSB.

    Thanks for the informative posts. Appreciate if you can share your contact (phone or email). I would like to get in touch with you personally.



    (952 955 6338)

  9. Could anyone refer any trusted consultants who can file H1B visa for me. I am working professional in India, have 6+yrs of experience in embedded systems..

  10. I have applied for H1 transfer two weeks back. I am still waiting for my receipt to come by. I was under the assumption that receipts

    for premium processing was done by email and later with a hard copy. I have not received anything till now. They have received my petition application. Has anybody have received email notification

    from USCIS for receipt or approval by email before receiving hard copy of it for PP.

  11. hello, like what was listed above, my lawyer sent me the receipt saying that USCIS received the application on the 7th of April but when i check my status online, it still says that my case has been received and pending and that they received my application on the 10th so i am very confused. if the processing times begins on the 10th, that means that the 15 day window ended on the 1st of May (friday). Still my status says: case received and pending. isnt USCIS supposed to send out the results by at least the 1st of May or is it that the website is not updated regularly? I haven't gotten any RFE or anything. I am beginning to freak out a little. Please help. One last question, is the result that your application has been selected for review the receipt that they mail your lawyer? I have Premium processing. Thanks

    1. Receipt number for my petition came on April 13th and approval on April 16th. My case was masters with premium processing (CSC). The usCIS online case status still shows the case as pending. So I am thinking that it is not updated real time.I got the Approval notice from the attorney on may 1 when I contacted him and asked about the update.

      Ask your attorney about your case.

      I also called the Uscis and talked to customer service at California Service Center and they told me that they have processed and approved the case. I called them on April 28 as I was also freaking out.

  12. Guys could you please say what does this mean?

    Current Status: Response to request for evidence received, and case

    processing has resumed

      1. Snowbro,

        I understand what this says, I wanted to know if somebody has such experience and what was the outcome.

        I am PP and my online status is saying

        "You should expect to receive a written decision or written update within 60 days of the date we received your response unless fingerprint processing or an interview are standard parts of case processing and have not yet been completed."

        Who has such status an who knows what are next steps?

        Is this expected for PP?

        1. Ok it seems possible from below Rays message :


          I did apply using premium processing. I got a recipt numbers and RFE on 4/13, then case received and pending to review on 4/16, saying it might take up to 60 days to make a decision or another RFE.

          However, I just got “Approval notice sent” on 4/20!!

          Premium processing is much faster.


  13. I don't understand why people apply on PP(and pay the government more 1000 USD) for just getting the approval decision earlier.,

    It doesn't make sense, as either ways you cannot start your Official H1 before Oct 1st.,just waste off 1000 USD, which one could spend on some useful thing( else at least given to me…[:p] )[:) just kidding]

    just wondering,.is there something which i didn't know about PP?

    i think for most people, waiting and keeping finger crosses gives more stress., or rather if some people consider H1 as their LIFE!!..that also makes sense to apply through PP.,(even for those, i think it doesn't matter…as to how they apply..will just know approval or RFE earlier) Well this is just my thought!!

    1. i had no choice …my firm does PP for everyone…i think if my h1 was rejeceted they wanted to quickly apply for l1…hence they didi PP

  14. I got my H1- visa approved. This website has been really helpful for providing updates. I used to check status everyday atleast 10 times… I hope all ppl get there visas…best of luck..

    I did premium processing…some of the guys in my firm got RFE…so I think the process is subjective…depends on who looks at ur case in the service center …also I think california center takes more time


    Receipt Number: WAC09XXXXXXXXX


    Current Status: Approval notice sent.

    On April 21, 2009, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. Please follow any instructions on the notice. If you move before you receive the notice, call customer service.

    You can choose to receive automatic case status updates, which will be sent via email. Please click here to create an account online.

    1. Congratulations!

      I got my Receipt Number on 4/10 (sent on 4/9), but my case is still pending (in california center).

      Are you in US and under advance degree cap?

        1. HI nzomniac

          could you please say what was the receive date for you?

          it is interesting dose USCIS send result on 15-th day or it sends earlier, for PP.


          1. my recieve date was 9 th april…so yes they do send approval before 15 days,…also i think if its rfe case then u will know it quickly…again these are my speculations and not documwnted

          2. thanks nzomniac

            Mine is April 9 too but the case is pending.

            That is interesting my number is WAC too as yours.

            Also in notice email it was written 04/07 in online it shows April 09 is that possible?

          3. I have the same situation as you.

            my case is pending in california service center and under 65000 cap and Premium Processing.

            In the notice email, it's "Date Received: 04/07/2009".

            Online status is "On April 9, 2009, we received this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER".

            it seems the 15-day time window is over….

          4. Jon

            if we believe to online date then the 15 day window is not over.

            from email date yes you are right the window is over.

            But i have seen following

            when i got an email about receive i checked online and the online was showing there is no such case. After some time my case was showing.

            It seems that online and email were not same.

            So It is a question which one is more valid :((((

          5. Hi Realist,

            Till now, the online status is still “Case received and pending.”.

            Since the 15-day time window was over, I had to contact the lawyer office for checking the update of my case yesterday.

            And the lawyer notified me that actually my case has been approved!

            My experience shows that you cannot only reply on the online status. It is not updated in realtime!

          6. Hi Jon,

            Thanks for information and congradulations!!!!

  15. 2 ppl from my company (incl me) have filed under advanced degree quota and not heard anything – nor receipt notice nor approval/denial. Ironically people who filed under the general quota have all recd conditional approval via emails.. I dont know what to make of it! Isnt masters quota supposed to be looked at first?? Does this necessarily mean that we are going to get rejected??

    1. don't be discouraged as there maybe other things they look at or even that your H-1B petition as gone to the general visa quota. I am sure you will be fine and have your H-1B visa in no time 🙂



      1. Thanks. I heard from HR yesterday that attorney recd my approval notice .When I checked the case status online it says pending but also says that they received my I129 on April 14..!!! This prob means that they sent it late right?

  16. I did apply using premium processing. I got a recipt numbers and RFE on 4/13, then case received and pending to review on 4/16, saying it might take up to 60 days to make a decision or another RFE.

    However, I just got "Approval notice sent" on 4/20!!

    Premium processing is much faster.

    1. Plz tell ur education and years of experience.I have 3 yrs exp and applied without PP thro a small consultant in CA. I hv not received Receipt no. yet 🙁

      1. Hi Prachi

        I have 2 masters, MBA and Master of International Management and about 5 yers of experience.

        My work is international trade having branch in the U.S. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and some EU.

        I guess education, experience and job wouldn't matter to get receipt.

        I hope you'll get soon.

  17. Just received a receipt notice, filed without premium processing! USCIS are on crack this year!!! Long live econ recession!!!

  18. Hi HSB,

    You mentioned that "For cases filed for premium processing during the initial five-day filing window, the 15-day premium processing period began April 7."

    But on the USCIS web site I found that "The processing period that is used to determine whether or not USCIS meets the 15 calendar day period will begin when the current version of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is received by USCIS at the correct filing address noted on the form. "

    So I think if online status is “On April 9, 2009, we received this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER, and mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case. Please follow any instructions on this notice……”, the starting date should be April 9 instead of April 7.

  19. For Premium Processing, when RFE is issued and paperwork is receieved by USCIS, another 15-day period will start from the date they physically received additional evidence. So, things start over again. That's why it sucks to have RFE for Premium Processing petitions.

    1. Um…no, PREMIUM Processing DOESN'T suck… Imagine how long it would take to get your approval if you have an RFE using REGULAR processing…

      You would wait months to get the RFE. Then, you would wait months again to get an approval after providing the additional evidence.

      15 days + 15 days = MUCH better than 2-3 months + 2-3 months

      Lessee, 30 days max vs 4-6 months

      I think it is a no-brainer…

      1. I have applied through PP at CSC. I got receipt notice on 14 April and today it is 22 April. People with NON PP at VSC get started to receieve receipt. whats the deal? THIS CSC sucks!!!


        FEB 17 – NOR

        FEB 27 – RFE


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