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Premium Processing for FY2021 H-1B Cap Initially Suspended, Then Available in Stages

USCIS announced today that it is temporarily suspending premium processing for FY 2021, but will resume the service in a two-phased approach starting no later than May 27, 2020, for certain H-1B cap filings.

Petitioners filing FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not be able to request premium processing when USCIS begins accepting cap-subject petitions on April 1. However, beginning no later than May 27, 2020, the agency will begin accepting premium processing requests for H-1B petitions requesting a change of status from F-1.

Then beginning no earlier than June 29, 2020, USCIS will begin accepting premium processing requests for all other cap-subject H-1B petitions. USCIS is expected to announce specific opening dates for its two phases of cap premium processing in the coming months.

As a reminder, under the new H-1B registration system process, the H-1B cap filing period lasts from April 1 to June 30.

Premium processing remains available and unchanged for H-1B extensions, changes of employer and other filings that are not subject to the cap.

What this Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Employers will not be able to premium process H-1B cap petitions in the beginning of the filing period, but will have the opportunity to do so or upgrade at a later time. Employers should identify change of status cases that may qualify for premium processing in the first phase of implementation.

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