On May 20, 2019, USCIS will start premium processing for FY2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions that are requesting a change of status on Form I-129 and that filed Form I-907, the request for premium processing service, with the H-1B petition. For FY2020 cap-subject petitions not requesting a change of status, premium processing will start in June 2019 or later. Form I-907s that were not filed alongside H-1B petitions can be submitted when premium processing begins on May 20.
On March 19, 2019, USCIS announced that premium processing would be available in two phases this FY2020 cap season. The purpose of this is to better manage premium processing requests. For the past few years, USCIS has had to suspend premium processing due to high demand. The two-phased approach is intended to alleviate this problem and to ensure greater efficiency. The first phase will include all FY2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status and will begin May 20. The second phase will include all other FY2020 cap-subject petitions and will likely begin some time in June or later. The date for the beginning of the second phase has not yet been confirmed, but USCIS will notify the public as soon as it is.
In addition to the new two phase approach, USCIS will not use pre-paid mailers to send out final notices for premium processing between May 20 and June 3 for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status. USCIS will use regular mail instead because it is faster and therefore more time-efficient, which will be very important during the first major influx of petitions. After this two week period, USCIS plans to resume use of pre-paid mailers until the second phase of premium processing begins. It is likely that USCIS will temporarily suspend use of pre-paid mailers again for the first two weeks of the second phase of premium processing.
Read USCIS's announcement about these changes here.
This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.
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This information comes from a news release from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA Doc. No. 19032937).