On May 20, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions that were filed (1) requesting a change of status; and (2) with a Form I-907. To manage high demand during the initial surge of premium processing requests for H-1B cap petitions and to meet the 15-day adjudication timeline, USCIS will implement the following restrictions during the first phase of premium processing, affecting FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status:

  • From May 20 to June 3, USCIS will not send final notices for premium processing using pre-paid mailers. Final notices for cap-subject, change of status petitions will be sent via regular mail.
  • Petitioners who did not concurrently file Form I-907 with their cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status must wait until May 20 to request premium processing.

The second phase of premium processing affecting all other FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not begin until at least June 2019 (the exact date has yet to be announced). Premium processing for petitions exempt from the cap remains available.

Even with the two-phased approach and additional restrictions on premium processing for this year’s H-1B cap season, USCIS says petitioners can expect more efficient service than previous years, when premium processing was suspended for cap-subject petitions.