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Category: H-1B

H-1B Advanced-Degree Quota Exemption Is Completed for FY 2020

Posted April 12, 2019H-1B


USCIS received 201,011 H-1B petitions during the H-1B cap filing period, which began April 1, enough cases to meet the FY 2020 H-1B quota for the advanced-degree quota exemption of 20,000 and the regular cap of 65,000. USCIS has completed the computerized selection process. After USCIS completed the random selection process for the regular cap, USCIS determined that they had received enough petitions to meet the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. master’s cap.

Filing Receipts and Adjudication

Employers whose petitions were selected should get receipts within weeks, generally by the end of May. Employers who filed their petitions with premium processing have begun to receive email receipts for those petitions. USCIS will set the premium processing 15-day adjudication clock to start on May 20th. However, employers may receive decisions before that date.  It will likely take USCIS several weeks to compete initial data entry and issue filing receipts for petitions filed by regular processing and they are expected to begin working on regular processed cases by mid-June. The cases that were not selected in the lottery will be returned to petitioners with their filing fees in the upcoming months.  

Cap Exempt Petitions

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, are exempt from the FY 2020 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position

Please contact your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney for any questions regarding H-1B cap cases.

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USCIS Reaches H-1B Regular Cap for Fiscal Year 2020

Posted April 8, 2019Kristen KellarH-1B

On April 5, 2019, USCIS announced it received enough H-1B petitions to reach the select the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for fiscal year 2020. Next, USCIS will determine whether it has received enough petitions to meet the 20,000 visas allotted through the master's cap.

At this time no additional cap-subject petitions can be filed.

We will continue to update clients as USCIS releases additional information about the H-1B cap.

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USCIS Announces Updates to FY 2020 H-1B Cap Premium Processing

Posted March 30, 2019Kristen KellarH-1B

USCIS has confirmed that it will open premium processing for FY 2020 H-1B Cap cases requesting a change of status on May 20, 2019. In addition, those who filed an H-1B cap case requesting a change of status who did not initially request premium processing can upgrade a selected case at that time.

USCIS previously announced that it will implement a two-phase approach for premium processing this year.  

  • Concurrent Change of Status filings: April 1, 2019 when all FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitioners requesting a change of status may request premium processing by concurrently filing. 
  • Consular Processing filings: Will not begin until at least June 2019. At that time USCIS will accept premium processing upgrades with H-1B cap subject petitions not requesting a change of status.

USCIS will announce at a later date when premium processing for those cases will be available. If you have any questions about premium processing and this year's H-1B cap please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney.  

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Premium Processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2020

Posted March 19, 2019H-1B

USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2020 cap on April 1, 2019. Premium processing will be offered in a two-phased approach during the FY 2020 cap season. The first phase will include FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status and the second phase will include all other cap-subject petitions.


Concurrent Filing for H-1B changes of status: The first phase begins on April 1, 2019. All FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitioners requesting a change of status, may request premium processing by concurrently filing. In order to prioritize data entry for cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS will not begin premium processing for these petitions until May 20, 2019.

Upgrades for H-1B changes of status If a petitioner does not file Form I-907 concurrently with an FY 2020 H-1B cap-subject petition requesting a change of status, the petitioner must wait until premium processing begins to a request for premium processing.  Until premium processing begins for these petitions, USCIS will reject any Form I-907 that is not filed concurrently with a cap-subject Form I-129.

Upgrades for all other H-1B cap filings: The next phase will not begin until at least June 2019. This phase is the remainder of all other FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions. Cap-subject petitioners not requesting a change of status may not submit their premium processing request concurrently with their H-1B petition. These petitioners will be eligible to upgrade to premium processing by filing Form I-907 once premium processing begins for these petitions. USCIS will notify the public with a confirmed date for premium processing for cap-subject petitioners not requesting a change of status.

Premium processing for H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap, such as extension of stay requests, remains available. Please contact your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney for any questions regarding eligibility for premium processing.

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USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B applications

Posted March 11, 2019Stephanie WedelArticles, H-1B

USCIS announced that it will resume premium processing on Tuesday, March 12, for all H-1B petitions. If you received a request for evidence (RFE) for a pending petition, you should include the RFE response with the premium processing request. When an H-1B petitioner properly requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. If USCIS does not take action within the 15‑calendar day processing time, USCIS refunds the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continues with expedited processing of the petition.   If you or your employee received a transfer notice for a pending H-1B petition, and you are requesting premium processing service, you must submit the premium processing request to the service center now handling the petition. You should also include a copy of the transfer notice with your premium processing request to avoid possible delays associated with the receipt of your premium processing request. If your petition was transferred and you send your premium processing request to the wrong center, USCIS will forward it to the petition’s current location. However, the premium processing clock will not start until the premium processing request has been received at the correct center.    If you have any further questions regarding the addition of premium processing, please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung LLC attorney.

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