233,000 Fiscal Year Cases Filed this Year; USCIS will start processing cases filed by Premium Processing no later than May 11, 2015
April 13, 2015 | Written by Laura J. Mazel
Updated April 14, 2015: Note new April 27, 2015 start date to begin premium processing of FY H-1B cases. Electronic Receipt Notices for FY cases filed by Premium Processing are starting to trickle in. The government announced today that it will begin adjudication of premium processing cases on April 27, 2015, regardless of the date on the electronic receipt notice. This means that the government should issue determinations (including issuing Requests for Evidence) for premium processing cases by May 11, 2015.
The government announced April 13 that it has completed the computer generated Fiscal Year H-1B lottery. Given the record 233,000 Fiscal Year H-1B cases filed during the first 5 business days of April (as compared to last year’s 172,500 FY cases filed during the same period), it will be surprising if the government is able to begin processing cases filed by Premium Processing too much earlier than the self-imposed May 11, 2015 deadline it announced back in March.
What this means for anxious employers and employees wondering if they are FY H-1B Lottery winners:
- Expect electronic receipt notices for lottery winner cases filed by Premium Processing to start trickling in during the next week or so, but no later than the week of May 11, 2015. [Last year, the government started issuing electronic Premium Processing Receipt Notices starting April 11, 2014, right after it completed the lottery. Given this year’s significantly higher volume, however, we shouldn’t count on speedy processing.]
- Expect receipt notices for cases filed by regular processing by late May/early June.
- Remember, the consolation prize for a FY H-1B lottery loser is return of the filing fee checks and application package. Until that time, even if beyond anticipated times to receive receipt notices, it isn’t over until it’s over: There always may be some straggler receipt notices.
We will be updating our clients with developments on their cases, as well as back up strategies for FY H-1B lottery losers. It is certainly time for Congress to step up and increase FY H-1B numbers.