H-1B Premium Processing Start Date For Phase-1 & Phase-2

Published On
September 28, 2023
Read Time
3 Minutes

Are you waiting for the H-1B Premium processing start date for Phase-2. This year, USCIS has followed a Two-phase approach for premium processing of H-1B petitions (Continue reading the blog to know more about this two-phase approach). The Phase-1 of the premium processing is concluded earlier this month, while phase-2 is right around the corner.

June 10, 2019: H-1B Premium Processing Start Date for Phase-2

USCIS announced that phase-2 will commence from June 10th 2019.The first phase included the H-1B petitions with the status change, while all the remaining petitions are now included in this second phase. Petitioners can now file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, with the USCIS.

Temporary Suspension of Pre-Paid Mailer From June 10th - June 24th (Phase-2)

Another major announcement from USCIS is regarding the suspension of pre-paid mailer. Similar to the phase one approach, USCIS is suspending the usage of pre-paid mailers temporarily. This suspension lasts from June 10th-June 24th, after which USCIS will resume the usage of the same.

May 20, 2019: H-1B Premium Processing Start Date for Phase-1 (Completed)

USCIS has announced the premium processing start date for the upcoming Fiscal Year, which is May 20th, 2019. The petitioners who have filed the Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing) along with the H-1B petition requesting a status change are eligible for this premium processing.Any petitioner who hasn't filed the Form I-907 along with an H-1B petition can now upgrade to premium processing from May 20,2019.

The Two-Phase Approach

Earlier in March, USCIS has announced a two-phase approach for premium processing of the H-1B petitions during the FY 2020. The First phase of premium processing includes all the Cap-Subject petitions requesting the status change. And the second phase includes all the remaining Cap-Subject petitions. This update would ease up the burden on USCIS making it easier for them to manage the premium processing requests, rather than suspending it like the previous years. USCIS has canceled the premium processing in the previous years due to an increase in demand.

This premium processing start date is only for the first phase of premium processing. However, USCIS will notify the confirmed date for the second phase, which will not be until June 2019. At this time, premium processing for H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap, such as the extension of stay requests remains available.

Temporary Suspension of Pre-Paid Mailer From May 20th - June 3rd(Completed)

USCIS has temporarily suspended the pre-paid mailer during the first phase of premium processing from May 20th to June 3rd. Instead, they will use the regular mail for sending out final notices of premium processing for H-1B petitions requesting a status change. The pre-paid mailer is a time-consuming manual process which will delay the issuance of an approval notice compared to the standard process. This is due to the surge in premium processing requests which brings in a limitation on the resources of USCIS. So, USCIS has suspended the pre-paid mailer to make sure that premium processing is carried out in a timely manner. Hence, they will use the regular mail in which the printing of the notices and the process is fully automated.

However, after this two-week period, USCIS will resume sending out the notices in pre-paid mailers sent by the petitioner. USCIS has confirmed that it will follow a similar approach when it commences the second phase of premium processing.

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