h1b visa 2020 premium processing
H1B Visa

H1B Visa Premium Processing Available for FY 2020 Season in Two Phase. But, What About Approval Chances?

Premium Processing dates for H1B Visa FY 2020 to be offered in two phases, USCIS announced on Mar 19, 2019.

The Bottomline:

H1B Visa 2020 Premium Processing will not be closed for an extended period of time like FY 2019 Season.

Kudos to USCIS!

Premium Processing for H1B Visa 2020 Cap season will be offered in two phases.

  1. Phase 1 – The first phase will include FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status and the
    1. Premium Processing should be filed concurrently with H1B Visa petition (April 1 to 5, 2019)
    2. You cannot request to upgrade at a later date
  2. Phase 2 – The second phase will include all other FY 2020 cap-subject petitions.

H1B Visa 2020 Premium Processing phase 1 and phase 2 Dates

H1B Visa 2020 Premium Processing – The Dilemma:

As per your Immigration Attorney, is it a good strategy to apply for H1B Visa with Change of Status for your Petition?

For some H1B Visa applicants, Attorney’s are not recommending Premium Processing because of Unlawful Presence Memo.

Here’s one such example. Even though this is for H1B Visa Transfer, you get the gist of its message.

h1b visa premium processing not recommended attorney

If you are applying for H1B Visa with Change of Status, like F1 OPT to H1B or H4 Visa to H1B, then Premium Processing will start no later than May 20, 2019.

Starting April 1, H-1B FY 2020 cap-subject petitioners requesting a change of status on their Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, may request premium processing by concurrently filing Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.

If your employer is applying for H1B Visa via Consular Processing, Premium Processing will begin after June 2019.

Premium processing for all other FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not begin until at least June 2019. Cap-subject petitioners not requesting a change of status may not submit their premium processing request concurrently with their H-1B petition. These petitioners will be eligible to upgrade to premium processing by filing Form I-907 once premium processing begins for this group.

USCIS will notify the exact date later.

So, how much would it cost to apply for Premium Processing?

Check this out – H1B Visa Filing Fees 

And share this article with your social network.

And, please talk to your Immigration Attorney or HR Specialist handling your H1B Visa petition.

Related Articles: H1B Visa FY 2020

  1. 13 Useful Tips for H1B Visa 2020 Season You Need to Know Today
  2. H1b Visa 2020 Probability in the Lottery
  3. H1B Visa 2020 Cap Count for Regular and Advanced Degree

Timeline of H1B Visa Premium Processing

  • Mar 12, 2019 – Premium Processing Open for all applicants
  • Feb 15, 2019 – Premium Processing Open for applicants applied before Dec 21, 2018
  • April 1, 2018 – Premium Processing Suspended until Sep 2019
  • Sep, 2019 – Premium Processing suspension extended until Feb 2019

Compared to the last two years, for USCIS to streamline the H1b Visa Process to start P

UCIS Resumes Premium Processing for all H1B Visa Applications from March 12, 2019.

Please upgrade to Premium, while it’s open. They may close it before H1B Visa Season resumes on April 1, 2019.

uscis h1b premium processing resumes

As of today (Feb 15, 2019) – USCIS Resume Premium Processing for Petitions Filed On or Before Dec 21, 2018.

You may recall that USCIS had suspended Premium Processing for H1B Visa petitions since April 2, 2018, for H-1B petitions filed under H1B Visa 2019 Cap until Sep 10, 2018.

USCIS resumed Premium Processing from Jan 28, 2019, for FY 2019 cap-subject petitions.

Around August 2018, USCIS made another announcement.

  • Jan 25, 2019 – USCIS announced today that Premium Processing for H1B Visa 2019 cap-subject petitions will resume from Jan 28, 2019.
  • Feb 15, 2019 – USCIS announced premium processing is available for all H1B applications filed on or before Dec 21, 2018


As of today (Jan 25, 2019), availability of Premium Processing for H1B Visa petitions looks as follows.

h1b visa premium processing service centers

You may recall that, once the H1B Visa Petition is filed, applicants can continue to work up to 240 days after the petition filed with USCIS while the decision is pending.

H1B Visa Transfer to New Employer:

  • Premium Processing is still suspended
  • You can continue to work up to 240 days from the receipt date
  • 240 days from Sep 10, 2018 comes to May 9, 2019

What about applicants on cap-gap?

If you are on cap-gap, then you should fall under FY 2019 cap.

If you have been waiting on USCIS for H1B Visa approval, today’s announcement is welcome news, right?

H1B Visa applicants on Cap-Gap status can work until Sep 30, 2018

You may wonder, what happens after Oct 1, 2018.

You should have stopped working (you better have!).

And then you would have to wait until the H-1B Visa is approved.

Your attorney should be able to upgrade to premium by filing the additional fee, along with the I-907 form.

If there was an RFE, you could upgrade to premium processing while submitting the response to the RFE.

I could see you dancing as you read this news!

Upgrade to H1B Visa Premium Processing?

You should consult your employer’s Immigration Attorney.

Some attorney would recommend your employer to upgrade.

Some employer would ask you to pay for the Premium Processing, while others would bear the cost of upgrading to Premium Processing.

Some attorney would think that sticking with Regular Processing is a better idea to deal with RFE.

And your attorney might thin, it’s easier to prove your RFE with a USCIS officer who deals with Premium Processing.

So, there’s no right or wrong answer here and you have to discuss with your employer and attorney.

Extension of Status (Same Employer):

Premium Processing is available for extension of H1B Visa status if there is no change to employment (like job duties, an increase or decrease in hours or new job title, etc).

In other words, premium processing was not suspended at all for you folks! So, no dance moves for you all.

You should save the moves for your Priority Dates to become current.

Premium Processing for FY 2020

USCIS suspended Premium Processing on April 2, 2018, for H1B Visa 2019 season.

USCIS would begin accepting petitions from April 2019 for upcoming FY 2020 season.

So, you would have to wonder, if or when USCIS would suspend the Premium Processing again for the new H1B Visa season.

But, wait!

If the new H1B Registration process is implemented, how would that impact the Premium Processing?

I will update the chart once the Premium Processing opens for other categories.

Let me complete this article with a question for you to ponder!

Why USCIS did not suspend the Premium Processing for Cap Exempt Petitions?


Similar Posts


  1. Can my employer still pass the H1B petition under cap bachelor’s degree this Sept 1 for employment on October 2019, with premium processing?

  2. Background:
    Currently working in United States on CPT (2nd Masters) for Cognizant Tech solutions US corp.
    Masters Cap
    Regular Processing
    Counselor filling
    Level Wage 2
    SOC Code – 15-1121
    Petition got picked Receipt notice received on 20th May 2019.

    I wanted to expedite my process and change my application to premium processing.
    Will it make a difference if the application is processed in Regular or Premium Processing?
    And what are the steps i need to take after the application is picked as it will be under Counselor filling.

  3. I applied for regular processing under master cap. My petition got picked. I want to upgrade to premium processing now. Attorney says that this can be done after May 20. However, will USCIS formally announce that they have started the processing of premium processing cases? Or is it safe to assume that they will accept my request for premium processing after May 20?

  4. Hi I got my receipt number on May 1st, but the check for premium processing was returned to me with the receipt. I’m under regular cap for h1b I guess it’s in phase 2. Is that means if I wish to upgrade to premium processing I can do that after June? How can I mail my check again?

  5. Hi,

    Thank you for answering my question. I really appreciate you taking time to answer all these questions and guiding in a possible right way.

    It’s my fourth apology post (First three weren’t recorded even though I submitted them). The very same thing happened with my previous comments too. I posted a comment first but I wasn’t able to see it after I submitted and refreshed the page. SO, I create an account and posted anohter comment. It just happend as an accident but not an intentional thing (As I know that I will get the same answer even if I asked the same question twice).

    I apologize for any inconvenience caused.

    Thank you once again!

  6. Hi,

    My company applied h1-b under premium processing for me. I am seeing that a lot of people are getting receipt notices and most of the people are saying that premium processing applicants are getting it. But, USIC mentioned that the premium processing will start on May 20. I am so confused and worrying. Is it true that premium processing is available now (not from May 20)?

    Please answer this if anyone has any idea about this. Thanks in advance!

    1. USCIS started approving, but there’s no official announcement. So, there’s not a lot we can do about that.

  7. I am seeing that a lot of people who filed with premium processing got receipt notices. Is it fair to assume that I didn’t get picked up considering my company opted for premium processing.

    1. I have the same question. Can someone please answer this?

      My company filed h1 b under premium processing for me. Most of the people are saying that premium processing applicants have been receiving receipt notices. But, USCIS mentioned that premium processing will start on May 20. I am so confused.

      Please let me know if you have any idea about this.

      Thanks in advance!

  8. In the post, it is mentioned , for Phase 1, no upgrade to premium after April 1st ?
    According to USICS, “If a petitioner does not file Form I-907 concurrently with an FY 2020 H-1B cap-subject petition requesting a change of status, the petitioner must wait until premium processing begins to submit Form I-907. ” .If I am understanding it correctly, it can upgraded just has to wait till the premium processing start which no later than May 20th. Please confirm ?

    1. That is correct. The upgrade can be done after Premium is available. What if they receive more than expected Premium Applications and decide to suspend for a longer period of time like they did last year (Sep to Dec to Feb)?

  9. Hello
    This new update of March 19, 2019, mentions about H1B premium processing going to be in two phases.
    1. Can anyone please mention the meaning of premium processing Vs Regular processing
    2. This new update also refers to the premium processing done in two phases. Referring to above sentence, ” If you are applying for H1B Visa with Change of Status, like F1 OPT to H1B or H4 Visa to H1B, then Premium Processing will start no later than May 20, 2019″
    Does this imply, anything about the last date of filing H1B petition by employer, Will that still remain same April 4th, 2019 or if not what is the impact on that filing date?
    do the employers get time to file an H1B petition for us in between April 4th, 2019 to May 19, 2019
    till USCIS starts premium processing

  10. My employer is asking me what are the advantages of premium processing in order for them to decide if they should process my H1B in premium or regular (I am applying for H1B on 1 Apr 2019).
    What do I tell my employer?

    1. They should be asking this question to your Attorney 🙂 They will trust them more than your words.

      When does your OPT Expire?

      Faster Approval and you can have less headache!

      1. My OPT will be expiring next year.
        So the only advantage of Premium processing is faster turnaround time? There are no higher chances of approval with premium, right?

        Thanks for all your help Raghu

        1. No Higher chances of Approval.
          Get H1b Approval faster if you can.
          What if H1B is picked in Lottery and you lose the job? What if you get a better job?
          If they are hesitant to pay, then volunteer to pay for Premium and get it done. That’s my 2 cents.

  11. Hi recently i moved to a new employer in january 2019 and now my h1 transfer is in process and i am planning to travel to India around June so are there any chances of getting a decision from USCIS about my visa transfer petition before June? and i see that Premium processing is allowed only for petitions filed on or before Dec 21st 2018 may i know when they will accept for remaining petitions ?If you have any update pls help.

    Thank you

  12. I am new to these terms, it’s still not clear to me if the premium processing is available for New H1bBapplications filed in April 2019. Can anyone please clarify?


    1. We don’t know if USCIS will make Premium Processing available for application that will be filed in April 2019 (upcoming season).

    1. I’m not sure if USICS would do that. Maybe, they would open it for a month in March and close by end of March. If not, then only later in the year. That’s my guess.

    1. We don’t know when USCIS would begin this process. You can start working for new employer after filing the H1B petition. Why do you want Premium?

        1. Didn’t I tell consult an attorney 🙂
          OPT is pretty much like have a GC (as long as it’s related to your area of study).

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