As per the recent major announcement of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the premium processing feature for FY2021 Cap-subject petitions are subject to temporary suspension. Premium processing is the process whereby the USCIS must adjudicate a case within a 2 week period when the petitioner submits an additional $1,440 with a particular nonimmigrant petition.

USCIS shall begin to start accepting cap-subject petitions starting April 1, 2020. Petitioners could request for premium processing for cases, however, following the recent update by the USCIS, the USCIS can no longer do the same as USCIS will not accept any Form I-907, which is filed along the cap-subject H-1B Form I-129 until further notification.

For better management of the premium processing requests for FY2021 cap season, USCIS will follow the similar two-phased approach, which it has been following in the past years. Under the first phase, the following cases will be included:

• FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions
• Advanced degree exemption petitions, who are requesting for a change from the non-immigrant F1 status

All other FY 2021 cap-subject positions will be included in the second phase of the process. Last year as well, USCIS temporarily suspended the premium processing of cap-subject petitions. This move will assist in processing the cases in reduced time. The latest date by which USCIS is expected to continue the premium processing for FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status is March 27, 2020.

USCIS will update the public on the confirmed date to resume the premium processing of the FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions. Once the premium processing resumes, petitioners filing for the FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions would be able to upgrade the cases to premium by filling form I-907. To be eligible to file a Form I-907, petitioners must appropriately select response “b” for Item 4 in Part 2 of Form I-129 and indicate “F-1” for Item 5, “Current Nonimmigrant Status” in Part 3 of Form I-129.

For all other FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS shall start the premium processing for these cases as early as June 29, 2020.

For H1-B petitions that are exempt from the cap, such as the extension of stay requests, premium processing continues to be available for premium processing.