H1B Premium Processing for April 2019 Lottery Applications
USCIS has opened Premium processing for April 2019 cap subject H1B petitions to be filed concurrently as “Change of status” Application only.
The premium processing for H1B consular processing applications is NOT available until June 2019.
|April 2019 Cap Subject||Premium Processing Allowed?|
|H1B Change of Status|| Yes, if premium filed concurrently.|
Can upgrade to premium only after June 2019 if not filed concurrently.
|H1B Consular Processing|| Premium Not available until June 2019.|
Can upgrade to premium after June 2019.
With extremely long H1B processing times especially for California service center, I strongly recommend to file your new H1B application in Premium.
It is better to pay premium processing fees of $1410 and get peace of mind instead of waiting for 12+ months and lose money by NOT working in USA.
H1B Change of Status Premium Processing Start Date
USCIS will start processing H1B applications selected in lottery with “Change of Status” option on May 20, 2019.
You will be able to get H1B approval within 15 calendar days but the official H1B employment start date will still be Oct 1.
If you did not file premium processing concurrently with your H1B application, you have to wait until premium processing begins in June 2019. USCIS will reject any premium processing upgrade requests that were not filed concurrently with a cap-subject Form I-129.
H1B Consular Processing Premium Processing Start Date
You cannot file H1B in premium processing on April 1, 2019 if you are filing as “Consular processing“.
If you file your H1B quota application as consular processing meaning that you want to go outside USA and get H1B visa stamp from US embassy, then you can upgrade your H1B lottery application to premium on or after June 2019.
H1B Lottery System Changes
Starting April 1, 2019, USCIS is also reversing the order of lottery to give more H1Bs to people who have done masters from US based university.
F1 students on OPT are eligible to stay in US while H1B application is pending using Cap Gap rule.
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