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.

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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.