MYTH: Premium Processing Will Improve the Chances of H-1B Cap Petitions Being Selected or Approved

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As H-1B cap season approaches, we’ve come across some online material which suggests that Premium Processing a petition can result in a more successful outcome in H-1B cap cases.

Don’t believe it.

While in some cases there may be legitimate reasons to spend the additional $1225.00 in USCIS filing fees to Premium Process (expedite) an H-1B petition, doing so has no effect on the odds of approval, denial, or being selected under cap in the H-1B lottery. All it does is require USCIS to work the case faster, after the petition has been selected from the pool of submitted petitions - if it is selected at all. Since approved cap-subject H-1Bs cannot become effective earlier than October 1st, spending the money to expedite only buys you a decision on the case sooner than you would otherwise have it. If peace of mind is worth the money for you, then by all means, request Premium Processing. But that's all you are getting.

If you are an employer who utilizes the H-1B program, and you are interested in optimizing the chances of your candidate’s petition being selected under the annual H-1B cap lottery, you should consider candidates holding advanced graduate level degrees in the field issued from accredited United States colleges and universities. There are other case-specific factors, of course, which may influence the ultimate success or failure of a cap-subject H-1B petition, and those should be discussed with competent immigration counsel. Just rest assured that shelling out the additional money to move the case faster isn’t one of them.