The USCIS has commenced issuing receipts for cap-subject H-1B petitions.

On April 27, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing of cap-subject H-1B petitions that request premium processing, including petitions that seek an exemption for individuals with a US master’s degree or higher. USCIS first announced in a news release that it would temporarily adjust its premium-processing practice because of the historic premium-processing receipt levels combined with the likelihood that the H-1B cap would be met in the first five business days of the filing season.

USCIS provides the premium-processing service for certain employment-based petitions and guarantees a 15–calendar day processing time.

For H-1B petitions not subject to the cap, and for any other nonimmigrant or immigrant classification, the 15-day processing period for premium-processing service begins on the date that USCIS receives the request. For cap-subject H-1B petitions this year, including advanced degree exemption petitions, the 15-day processing period will begin on April 27, regardless of the date on the Form I-797 receipt notice, which indicates the date that the premium-processing fee was received.

We have already begun to receive a number of emailed receipts from the USCIS for cap-subject H-1B petitions. It is not clear if these receipts were issued in error (such erroneous issuance has occurred in the past) or refer to petitions that were selected in the lottery and will be adjudicated once premium processing begins on April 27.