AILA: H-1B cap premium processing announcement forthcoming

14 Mar 19

UNITED STATES

According to a practice alert issued by the American Immigration Lawyers Association on Wednesday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is expected to make a separate announcement regarding premium processing availability for the upcoming fiscal year 2020 H-1B cap season.

The practice alert follows USCIS’ announcement on Monday that premium processing would resume the next day, March 12, for “all H-1B petitions.” AILA contacted USCIS Service Center Operations for clarification as to whether the announcement covered the upcoming cap season and was told that the details about the H-1B cap season would be addressed in another announcement.

Key points:

  • It remains unclear whether or when USCIS will suspend premium processing for H-1B cap season.
  • Currently, premium processing is available for all H-1B petitions, according to USCIS’ announcement on Monday.
  • USCIS could suspend premium processing for H-1B cap petitions at any time, either before April 1 or after. Last season, the agency announced the suspension of H-1B cap premium processing on March 20, 2018.

BAL Analysis: The conflicting information has caused confusion for companies preparing for H-1B cap season. Until there is an official announcement by USCIS, premium processing is available for all H-1B petitions. Not all employers will necessarily seek premium processing for all H-1B cap petitions, and companies should work with their BAL professional to weigh considerations, such as cost, timeliness, and the recurring unavailability of premium processing for their program.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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