USCIS Announces a Two-Phased Approach for Premium Processing of FY 2020 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made its annual announcement regarding the start date for the upcoming H-1B cap season. Specifically, USCIS stated that it will begin accepting fiscal year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions on April 1, 2019, and will reject any FY 2020 cap cases filed before April 1st. An additional announcement was made regarding premium processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions. USCIS will offer premium processing in a two-phased process during the FY 2020 cap season in order to better manage requests without completely suspending the process as the agency did last year. The first phase will include FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status and the second phase will include all other FY 2020 cap-subject petitions.
Starting April 1st, 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitioners requesting a change of status on Form I-129, may request premium processing by concurrently filing Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. However, USCIS will not begin premium processing for these petitions immediately. Instead, USCIS will begin premium processing no later than May 20, 2019. USCIS will send notification before premium processing begins for these petitions.
Please be advised that if a petitioner does not file Form I-907 concurrently with an H-1B cap-subject petition requesting a change of status on Form I-129, the petitioner must wait until premium processing begins to submit Form I-907. Until that time, USCIS will reject any Form I-907 that is not filed concurrently with these type of petitions.
Premium processing for all other FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not begin until at least June 2019. Therefore, petitioners not requesting a change of status on Form I-129, may not submit a premium processing request concurrently with their H-1B petition. These petitioners will be eligible to upgrade to premium processing at a later date to be announced by USCIS.
I will provide further updates here as they become available.