Premium processing of FY 2017 H-1B cap cases will be
postponed until no later than May 16, 2016, U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services has announced. Employers will be
able to request premium service for H-1B cap cases when the
filing season opens on April 1, but the agency will not begin
working on those cases until May 16 at the latest.
USCIS is delaying the start of the 15-day premium processing
clock so that it can focus on initial intake, data entry and
receipting of the large number of petitions it expects to
receive between Friday, April 1, and Thursday, April 7, 2016,
the critical window for the FY 2017 H-1B cap filing season.
What This Means for Employers
USCIS’s announcement means that employers requesting
premium service may not see agency action – i.e., an
approval, request for evidence (RFE) or denial – on their H-1B
cap petitions before Tuesday, May 31, though USCIS could
begin cap premium processing earlier than anticipated.
The agency did not address the status of premium processing
for other eligible case types. It is expected to remain
generally available, though delays during the busy cap
season and beyond cannot be ruled out.
If you have any questions about this alert, or about H-1B cap
processing in general, please contact Umut Ozturk at Larson
King. This alert is for informational purposes only.