Premium processing has historically been available for all H-1B applications filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, from time to time, USCIS has suspended premium processing. On March 19, 2019, USCIS announced that it would use a staggered approach to premium processing for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap filing season, with two distinct phases for those cases filed in the lottery conducted in April 2019.

Phase one commenced on April 1, 2019, allowing H-1B lottery petitioners applying for a change-of-visa status to file a request for premium processing concurrently with their H-1B petition. USCIS began processing those requests on May 20, 2019.

On June 10, 2019, USCIS announced the commencement of phase two, allowing premium processing for all other cap-subject petitions, including those petitions requesting consular notification.

Premium processing is currently also available for all cap-exempt H-1B petitions (extensions of stay, amendments, and change of employer filings).

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