On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that on April 27, 2015, it will begin reviewing cases filed with a request for premium processing. USCIS previously confirmed completion of the random selection “lottery” process for approximately 233,000 H-1B cases filed between April 1 and April 7, 2015.

For petitions filed with a request for USCIS “premium processing,” whereby USCIS adjudicates the petition within 15 calendar days in exchange for an optional government fee of $1,225, USCIS typically sends a courtesy email receipt to the attorney of record in advance of the official Form I-797 receipt notice that is sent by U.S. mail. USCIS will start the 15-calendar day processing clock on April 27, 2015.

Cases filed using regular processing will be issued hard copy receipt notices (Form I-797) only. Cases that were not selected in the lottery process will not receive a receipt notice, and eventually the petitions will be returned to the attorney of record, along with the government filing fees. This process generally takes up to several months to complete.