|March 26, 2014|
Previously published on March 25, 2014
Premium processing of FY 2015 H-1B cap cases will be postponed until April 28, USCIS has announced. Employers will be able to request premium service for H-1B cap cases between April 1 and April 28, but the agency will not begin issuing receipts or working on premium cap cases until April 28 - weeks later than in prior years.
USCIS is delaying the start of the 15-day premium processing period for H-1B cap cases because it anticipates a very large number of premium requests between April 1 and April 7, the first five business days of the FY 2015 cap filing season. The extra time is intended to allow the agency to complete data entry for the premium cases it receives.
Premium processing services for all other eligible employment-based petitions are expected to remain available as usual.
The announcement is a further indication that the FY 2015 H-1B cap is likely to be met quickly and that USCIS will receive more cap cases than it did last year. In the past, USCIS has postponed the start of premium processing for H-1B cap cases, but typically for just two weeks.
What This Means for Employers
When a petitioning employer requests premium processing, USCIS must approve, deny or request additional evidence in the case within 15 calendar days. The agency’s postponement means that employers requesting premium service for cap cases will wait longer for filing receipts and may not see agency action on their petitions before Tuesday, May 13, 2014.