Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced it will begin premium processing of H-1B cap cases on April 27, 2015. This means that if a company has already received a receipt notice for a cap-subject H-1B petition filed via premium processing, the 15-day window for premium processing will begin on Monday, April 27, 2015. Additionally, employers whose premium processing cases were selected in the H-1B case lottery should see an initial action on their case (an approval, request for evidence (RFE), or a denial) by May 12, 2015.
Receipt notices for cases filed via regular processing should arrive in the mail in the next few weeks. USCIS expects to begin processing cases filed via regular processing no later than May 26, 2015. Employers will not know if their case has been selected in the lottery until USCIS completes initial case data entry and issues receipt notices. H-1B petitions that were not selected in the lottery will be returned with their filing fees. This is expected to occur sometime in June.
USCIS received 233,000 H-1B petitions this year; this is approximately a 35% increase from last year. After 20,000 cases were selected under the advanced degree cap, 213,000 cases were placed in the standard cap lottery. Those in the latter pool have about a 30% chance of being selected.