USCIS Premium Processing Open for i140, H1B (Lottery Too)

USCIS reopens premium processing for all H1B, i140, L visa workers in phases starting June 1, 2020. Earlier, all 15 day premium options were suspended in Mar 2020.

Am22tech
  By Am22tech    Updated  5 Jun, 20


USCIS has reopened premium processing for H1B and i140 applications starting June 1, 2020.

  • Starting June 1, 2020 – All i140 Applications are eligible for premium processing.
  • Starting June 8, 2020 – All H1b Extensions, Transfers, Amendments, COS, I-129 forms filed before June 8, 2020, are eligible for a premium upgrade. H1B lottery applications filed in 2020 or in 2019 (pending till now) are not eligible for the premium.
  • Starting June 15, 2020 – All H1b Extensions, Transfers, Amendments, COS, I-129 filed after June 8, 2020.
  • Starting June 22, 2020 – All H1b Lottery applications along with extensions, transfers, and Amendments filed after June 8, 2020.

Read USCIS official premium processing resume announcement. Note that they have added a disclaimer that dates may be changed.

I-129: 

E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, LZ, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1, TN-1 and TN-2.

I-140: 

EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3.

Earlier, USCIS placed a completed ban on premium processing starting Mar 20, 2020.

Is H1B premium processing available for transfer, extension, or Amendment?

H1B transfer, extension, and amendment are available starting June 2020 by USCIS.

H1B change of status and cap-subject lottery applications are also eligible for premium processing at this time.

Can I upgrade to premium processing without getting the receipt?

You cannot upgrade to premium processing without a USCIS receipt number unless you are filing premium application along with initial filing.

Is premium processing suspended for i140 Applications?

Premium processing for i140 applications is not suspended at this time.

USCIS has resumed premium processing for i140 applications starting June 1, 2020.

What is current Processing Time for H1B applications?

California service center has the longest H1B processing time, followed by Vermont and Nebraska.

You can check the current processing time for regular H1B petitions.

Can USCIS transfer H1B application to new center after lottery?

USCIS can transfer your H1B application to a new center after lottery selection.

When will premium processing open for H1B cap?

USCIS has announced that H1P Cap applications can start using premium processing starting June 22, 2020.

Is L1 premium processing also suspended?

L1 premium processing is available at this time starting June 2020.

What is batch printed notice as mentioned by USCIS?

USCIS batch printed notice is the standard page that they have already printed for sending as common reply for premium processing applications.

When you send a premium processing application, your employer has an option to send a pre-paid envelope to get USCIS response faster than regular USPS mail.

If you wish to have the notice mailed to you rather than wait for the batch-printed notice, submit a pre-paid express mail label and an envelope for mailing.

In this case premium processing suspension, USCIS has specifically mentioned that they will only send pre-printed receipt notice and no pre-paid envelope will be honored.

USCIS batch printed notice

USCIS h1b lottery registration dates
USCIS h1b lottery registration dates

Sample H1B form for F1 Premium Eligibility

Your H1B employer should select the correct value on H1B I-129 form to be eligible for F1 category.

Step 1

Go to Part 2 (on Page 2) -> Question 2 (Basis for Classification) -> Select option “a – New employment“.

Choose F1 change of status in H1B application form
Choose F1 change of status in H1B application form

Step 2

Go to Part 2 (on Page 2)-> Question 4 (Requested Action) -> Select option “b – Change the status and extend the status of each beneficiary because the beneficiary is/are now in the United states in another status“.

Step 3

Go to Part 3 (on page 3) ->Question 5 -> Current Immigration Status -> Choose ‘F1 – Student -Academic‘ from dropdown box.

Select F1 as current status in H1B form
Select F1 as current status in H1B form

F1 Student Filing H1B Change of Status Gap Cap

If you are filing first time H1B and are currently on F1 status, you are eligible for F1 Cap-Gap to cover your gap between F1 end date to Sep 30 automatically.

Remember, that cap-gap is only available for change of status if your current F1 status is expiring before Oct 1, which is the earliest date when H1B can start working.


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Am22tech
  By Am22tech  

Recent discussion on forum

  1. Jeet
    Jeet

    Hi Anil,

    I need some information about the H1B premium processing. I read your information and I had some doubt about it. Some of my friends said that USCIS has stopped all premium processing including non cap also, Is that true?

    I got new offer 02/03/2020 and they’ve started my visa transfer process.
    Here I got stucked

    1. The new company has applied my LCA on 02/20/2020 and still not yet certified and I contacted to immigration team and they were saying that DOL taking long time to certify it these days and it’s been more than 3 weeks. Is that happening all LCA cases recent days? . Usually DOL takes 7 to 10 business to certify the LCA.

    I cant check my LCA status in DOL web site because they’ve stopped on March 1st for public access.
    Can you suggest your opinion?

    Thanks,
    Thulasi Jeet


  2. Anil.Gupta
    Anil.Gupta

    USCIS has announced H1B premium suspension for all types of H1B applications on Mar 20, 2020.

    I am not sure how your friends knew it 2 days ahead. They may have super powers or some contacts in USCIS.

    Anyways, the LCA is taking more time these days due to Coronavirus closures everywhere.


  3. Jeet
    Jeet

    Today I saw this news and I also got surprised:). Thanks for your reply.
    Its very stressful. I don’t know when USCIS will resume the PP.
    Hopefully it will open soon (many of them got stuck with visa processing)

    Thanks,


  4. simtler
    simtler

    I am wondering whether premium process will be opened or not. I heard (not sure) that PP is not an option for this year. Do you have any idea about that?


  5. Anil.Gupta
    Anil.Gupta

    H1B premium processing is suspended at this time and there is no confirmed date of reopening.

    I expect it to be reopened by end of June 2020.


  6. favcker1
    favcker1

    @Anil.Gupta

    I had my H1 cap except applied premium on January and got RFE on Feb 7th

    The RFE responded on April 14. There is no decision yet. It’s saying RFE doc received

    Could you please confirm is there a chance USCIS would convert it as normal processing because RFE responded after USCIS announcement that they no longer processing premium?


  7. Anil.Gupta
    Anil.Gupta

    Hi @favcker1

    I have not heard of any case yet where they converted premium case to regular.


  8. favcker1
    favcker1

    Thanks @Anil.Gupta

    Wondering why no decision even after 15 days of RFE response. USCIS site says they got RFE doc on April 14 and they are working on it

    Any insights ?


  9. Anil.Gupta
    Anil.Gupta

    Your employer can email USCIS on premium email address to check the reason behind delay. I do not know why it is delayed.

    Normally, the premium processing delays only if USCIS is waiting for ‘security checks’ on your case. But, this is too early to say if your case falls in that category.


  10. Meen
    Meen

    Hi ,H1 extension after i40 approved(2015) in January (premium processing) but got rfe and rfe submiited on 22nd April now waiting for result.

    Does USCIS doing premium processing for cases those got accepted in Jan as a premium.


  11. Anil.Gupta
    Anil.Gupta

    If you had filed application using Premium processing in Jan, your application RFE will be processed in premium.


  12. Meen
    Meen

    Hi, Did you heard back from USCIS about your case?Because i am also on same boat.


  13. favcker1
    favcker1

    Not yet. My attorney said he raised a service request with USCIS to know what exactly the issue . Waiting for that


  14. Anil.Gupta
    Anil.Gupta

    Hi @cnshah02

    H1B premium processing is currently suspended.


  15. h1buser
    h1buser

    Hello @Anil.Gupta,

    In the article, you have mentioned the following:
    Starting June 15, 2020 - All H-1B extensions, transfers, amendments, COS, I-129 filed after June 8, 2020.

    On the USCIS site, for June 15 date, there is an eligibility clause stating that either the employer should be cap-exempt or the beneficiary should be cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver under INA section 214(l).

    For all the general H-1B transfers (for candidates who do not fall under Conrad/IGA waiver category), my understanding is that they would be eligible for premium processing from June 22. Is this correct?


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