The USCIS has announced that it will accept premium processing requests for all H-1B Cap petitions submitted during the 2018 Fiscal Year Cap. This change applies to petitions that were filed in the H-1B Lottery in April 2017.
This information is especially relevant to foreign workers present in F-1 status with OPT. Many foreign workers selected in the H-1B Lottery are present in the U.S. in F-1 status with OPT and may remain lawfully in the U.S. until their H-1B petition is approved via the Cap Gap. For workers whose Forms I-129 on page 2 show that box 4.b. was selected, and but their petitions have not been approved, they may want to consider filing a premium processing request to receive a decision or Request for Evidence from the government within 14 days. This will minimize the employment gap that may exist between when the foreign worker’s EAD expires and the H-1B approval notice is received.
On June 23, 2017, the USCIS announced that it would accept premium processing requests for some H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians and those filed by qualifying nonprofits. The USCIS has not reinstated premium processing for any other petitions, such as H-1B extension or amendment petitions.
Our firm will continue to follow this development closely.
Victoria Gentry is an associate attorney with The Immigration Group, P.C. practicing exclusively in the areas of work visas and employment-based green cards. She first became interested in immigration law when her stepfather emigrated from El Salvador to the United States. Now she enjoys assisting corporate clients with a variety of immigration needs including international transfers, visa eligibility, and the green card process. She works primarily with professionals in IT, Engineering, Finance, Pharmacy, and Insurance.