On May 12, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. USCIS first announced in a news release that it would temporarily adjust its premium processing practice due to the historic premium processing receipt levels, combined with the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season.
USCIS provides premium processing service for certain employment-based petitions and guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time.
For H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap and for any other visa classification, the 15-day processing period for premium processing service begins on the date that USCIS receives the request. However, for cap-subject H-1B petitions, including advanced degree exemption petitions, the 15-day processing period set by 8 CFR 103.7(e)(2) will begin on May 12, 2016, regardless of the date on the Form I-797 receipt notice, which indicates the date that the premium processing fee is received.
We encourage H-1B applicants to subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates located on the H-1B FY2017 Cap Season Web page.
To learn more, visit our website.
USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, on 4/9/16 to select enough petitions to meet the FY2017 H-1B cap. USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period and will begin premium processing no later than 5/16/16.
USCIS revised Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The 9/13/13 edition of the form may be used until 8/9/16. USCIS made several changes to the form: removed the 2D barcode, streamlined the application, and added language to the instructions to help identify evidence needed.