Immigration Alert: USCIS Imposes Conditions on Availability of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions Subject to the FY-2008 Cap

On April 9, 2007, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (?"USCIS?") announced that the fifteen day premium processing period for petitions subject to the fiscal year 2008 (FY 2008) H-1B cap will commence only after the computer-generated random lottery has selected the petitions for processing.

The USCIS determined that the large number of H-1B filings on April 2nd and 3rd mandated the placement of conditions on the availability of the premium processing service. The USCIS's ability to provide premium processing service to these petitions is affected by the fact that the cap was reached and exceeded the first day employers could file H-1B petitions.

The Agency is not postponing or ending the premium processing service for the H-1B classification. It has merely imposed a restriction on the availability of the service for H-1B cap petitions. That provision is that the fifteen day premium processing period starts when the petition is selected for processing through the random selections process. The USCIS will reject with their fees all petitions not selected in the random selection process.


The USCIS announced that as of April 9, 2007 they had determined that approximately 119,193 of the H-1B petitions received on April 2nd and 3rd were subject to the FY 2008 cap.

On April 2nd and 3rd the USCIS received a total of 12,989 US Master exempt cases. The Agency has announced that the cap of 20,000 on these exempt cases remains open and that they will continue to monitor these filings.