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News: April 9 Announcement regarding Premium Processing and the FY 2008 H1-B Cap

April 9 Announcement regarding Premium Processing and the FY 2008 H1-B Cap
On April 9, 2007, the USCIS announced that it will premium process those H1-B applications that were filed requesting premium processing, but only after conducting the computer-generated lottery that it must conduct given the extraordinary number of H1-B applications it received on April 2 and April 3. The 15 day premium processing period will begin only after a given petition has been selected, via the lottery, for processing.

Of course, under the H1-B Visa Reform Act of 2004, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions that were filed on behalf of aliens with U.S. earned masters’ or higher degrees are exempt from the fiscal year cap. Therefore, the USCIS must first determine how many of these exempt applications were filed.

If more than 20,000 exempt petitions were filed, then the USCIS would need to first conduct a lottery to select 20,000 of these type petitions for processing. Thereafter, any such exempt petition not selected in that first lottery (assuming a first lottery must be conducted at all) would then be subjected to a second lottery that will be conducted for FY 2008 cap cases.



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