H1B Visa Premium Processing: Time, Fee & Eligibility

The premium processing service for a visa application provides expedited processing for certain employment-based visa applicants. The H1B visa premium processing is an optional but highly beneficial service that allows visa applicants to speed up their application processing, who meet the eligibility requirements. Here is everything about H1B premium processing time, fee and requirements. 

H1B Visa Premium Processing: Requirements, Application & Charges
H1B Visa Premium Processing

What is H1B visa premium processing

Premium processing for an H1B visa application is a unique service that provides expedited processing for petition and application for H1B visa with US immigration department. The beneficiary of the H1B visa must meet the eligibility requirements for the visa. Your future US employer needs to sponsor your visa

How to apply for premium processing 

Apply for Department of Labor Certification

First of all, your prospective employer will have to file an ETA9035, Labor Condition Application (LCA) to apply for the US Department of Labor (DOL) certification. The certification is applicable to the specialty occupation and fashion model subcategories. 

File I-129, Petition for nonimmigrant worker

After the approval of DOL certification, your employer will proceed by filing the Form I-129. The petitioner needs to submit the completed and signed form along with filing fee and related supporting documents. The approved DOL-certified LCA must be submitted along with the I-129 petition.

H1B visa application

After the completion of above steps, the beneficiary can apply for an H1B visa with the US Department of States (DOS) at a US consulate or embassy in India. 

H1B premium processing time

H1B visa petitioners and applicants can opt for the premium processing service when they can’t wait for the long H-1B processing time. The USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Service) guarantees that it will process the visa petition within 15 days under premium processing. 

In case the request is not catered in 15 days, a refund of the filing fee will be initiated. In case, the applicant is required to submit additional documents or a response to a notice of intent is denied, the USCIS will notify the petitioner or applicant. In such a case, a new 15 calendar day period will begin once a complete response is submitted to the USCIS.

Eligibility for the H1B premium processing service

A US employer files the H1B premium processing service on behalf of an alien visa beneficiary. You can also apply for an H1B visa as an entrepreneur when you set up your own company with a board of directors or CEO and then have the company sponsor your H1B visa application. The USCIS also allows the attorney or representative who files a G-28 notice of appearance on behalf of the employer to apply for the premium processing service.

Since there are numerical restrictions on the H1B visa issuance, the petitioner should verify whether a cap applied to the chosen category has been fulfilled before filing for this service. Premium processing applicants are also kept within the purview of the cap.      

As your petition is subject to the H1B cap, you can be restricted to certain dates of filing. The petition can be filed only during the week of April. 

How to request premium processing service

An H1B petitioner must complete the Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. It can be filed simultaneously with the I-129 or filed separately. A concurrent petition can be filed with the service center mentioned as the suitable location on the form instructions. However, petitioners who have already filed their I-129 and now wish to file for a premium processing service separately will need to file their I-907 with the visa service center where the Form I-129 is currently pending. 

Submit the request with a copy of the I-797, Receipt Notice for the I-129. If the USCIS has transferred your petition to another service center and you received a transfer notice, it is important for you to file your I-907 with the service center along with the transfer notice.

Your premium processing request may get rejected if you file your I-907 at an office which has no jurisdiction on the petition. You can find a phone number and email address for each of the service centers provided by the USCIS, available to premium processing users to communicate with officers in charge. They will ask for your contact information to send an automatic email notification of the receipt and/ or approval of your petition.

H1B premium processing filing fee

The USCIS fee for H1B visa premium processing is paid by the employer, although some fees can also be paid by the beneficiary. Following are the four major components of H1B visa fees for premium processing services. 

  • H1B Premium Processing Service fee: $1,440
  • Charges for fraud prevention and detection: $500
  • Form I-129 filing fee: $460
  • Public law 114 – 113 fee: $4,000 (To be paid by organizations that have upwards of 50 employees with more than half of H1B or L1 status)

There are other optional fees including certain charges at the embassy or consulate and attorney fees. These charges will vary depending on the charges applicable at the embassy where you file an application and your choice of attorney.

H1B visa holders of Indian origin may have several India-related queries. To get tailor-made answers/ solutions, you can download SBNRI App from the Google Play Store or App Store. You can also use the SBNRI app for investment in stock market/ mutual funds, NRI account opening, tax filing, etc. To ask any questions, click on the button below. Also, visit our blog and YouTube channel for more details. 

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