U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services resumed premium processing for all H-1B visa petitions on Sept. 18, less than six months after it was suspended. This includes premium processing for H-1B petitions filed by U.S. companies seeking to transfer or extend an existing employee’s status.
The highly coveted H-1B visa allows U.S. companies to employ highly skilled workers. H-1B visas are in high demand from Bay Area tech companies seeking software engineers, biotech scientists, and other skilled workers from other countries to fill positions.
What is Premium Processing?
With premium processing, a company can pay a $1,225 fee to find out within 15 calendar days whether a prospective employee is eligible for an H-1B visa. Without premium processing, a company may wait six to eight months—and possibly longer—for a determination. However, an approval of an H-1B petition does not guarantee the employee will receive an H-1B visa.
Who is Currently Eligible for Premium Processing?
During the summer, USCIS resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions filed by:
- An institution of higher education.
- A nonprofit affiliated with an institution of higher education.
- A nonprofit research organization.
- A government research organization.
- An employer on behalf of a physician under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program. This program allows medical doctors who have completed the J-1 Educational and Cultural Exchange program to apply for a waiver of the two-year residency requirement. The program helps alleviate the shortage of qualified doctors in underserved areas in the U.S.
We Can Help
It’s never too early to start planning for an H-1B visa. The Alcorn team assists employers and their prospective employees file H-1B petitions with standard or premium processing. We also help companies and individuals devise alternatives if an H-1B petition is not selected in the annual lottery. Contact us.