USCIS posted an announcement indicating that it will begin processing cap-subject H-1B petitions filed with requests for Premium Processing on April 15, 2014. The announcement also stated that USCIS is anticipating that it may reach the cap during the first week of April. Where more petitions are received than H-1B visas during the first week of April, USCIS conducts a lottery to randomly select the petitions that will be counted in the H-1B cap.
Premium Processing allows a Petitioner to receive notification from USCIS regarding a petition within 15 calendar days of receipt at USCIS. Premium processing requests must be accompanied by a $1225.00 fee. Premium processing an H-1B petition does not affect the likelihood of being selected for the H-1B cap – it allows a company whose petition is selected to be notified more quickly of any need for additional information so a Request for Evidence (RFE) will be issued faster, and the Petitioner will be notified more quickly of USICS’s final decision (approval or denial) of the petition.