Premium Processing dates for H1B Visa FY 2020 to be offered in two phases, USCIS announced on Mar 19, 2019.
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.
- Phase 1 – The first phase will include FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status and the
- Premium Processing should be filed concurrently with H1B Visa petition (April 1 to 5, 2019)
- You cannot request to upgrade at a later date
- Phase 2 – The second phase will include all other FY 2020 cap-subject petitions.
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.
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
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- 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.
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.
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.
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?