Fast H-1B Approval Without Premium

Update 11/21/2023

This is probably the fastest approval for a cap-subject H-1B this year in 8 days.

Recent Case Highlight:

  • H-1B Case Filed: 10/10/2023 at Nebraska Service Center
  • Status: Approved
  • Approval Date: 10/18/2023
  • Processing Duration: Just 8 days!

Update 10/30/2023

As we reach the end of the H-1B cap filing season, processing time for cap H-1Bs remains fast. At this point in October, we’ve already received 90% approvals for both first and second-round lottery selectees. Here’s a second-round lottery winner whose H-1B was approved in just 14 days.

Update 07/11/2023

Feel like a lot more cap-subject H-1Bs this year are enjoying expedited processing free of charge. This one filed at the Nebraska Service Center took just 12 days.

Update 06/26/2023

We have completed filing all of the cap-subject H-1Bs for this year and have received all of the receipt notices. Just like the past 2 years, the earlier you file (as early as April 1), the more likely you may get a quick approval. Here are some samples which took less than 2 weeks.

Update 03/13/2023

Are fast approvals back? Here’s a normal processed H-1B transfer that took less than a month. Adjudicated at Vermont.

Update 06/10/2022

Fast approvals have returned. Here’s a sample cap-subject H-1B approved in 11 days. It’s interesting how there are more fast approvals for cap-subject than extension/transfer cases.

Update 10/18/2021

This is another cap-subject petition filed with the California Service Center on 10/06/2021. H-1B was approved on 10/13/2021. Total Processing time is just 7 days.

Update 10/07/2021

Another fast approval. This is a cap-subject petition filed with the California Service Center on 09/17/2021. H-1B was approved o 09/28/2021. 11 days in total.

Update 10/01/2021

It’s a great feeling to receive expedited approval without having to pay the premium fee ($2,500). At this rate, this year will turn out to be a record year for the most expedited approvals of non-premium processed H-1B petitions.

The sample below is a cap-subject H-1B selected during the second-round lottery selection. Total processing time was 8 days.

Update 07/12/2021

It does seem like the adjudication time is much faster than before. Many H-1Bs have been approved within 2 months.

The example below is another cap-subject H-1B. Approved in 12 days under normal processing.

Update 06/09/2021

We are now seeing fast H-1B approvals without premium for cap-subject filings. The samples below were filed on May 24, 2021 and were approved on June 1, 2021 and June 2, 2021. Total processing time: Less than 9 days.

Update 06/02/201

Another one. We received a fast approval under normal processing in just 15 days. H-1B extension was filed on May 10, 2021 and approved on May 25, 2021.

Update 03/08/2021

We received another fast approval under normal processing. H-1B transfer petition. Filed on 01/19/2021 and approved on March 1, 2021.

Original Post: February 24, 2021

The current H-1B processing time frame is about 5 months to over a year. It is therefore common for beneficiaries to request or ask about premium processing. Premium processing costs $2,500 and guarantees adjudication within 15 business days. Please note that adjudication means approval, RFE, or denial.

Given the high rate of RFEs, the likelihood of receiving an RFE after requesting premium processing is also high. An officer can easily generate RFEs without much effort by simply copying and pasting standard templates with minimal adjustments. Officers at the Vermont Service Center for example spend just one hour for case adjudication.

As such, we don’t recommend premium unless absolutely necessary, for example, when there are urgent travel plans or the beneficiary is facing the end of the 240-day automatic extension.

But regular processed H-1Bs do get processed faster than the posted time frame from time to time. Here’s an example of our H-1B case that got the premium treatment for free. Filed on 01/22/2021 and approved on 02/04/2021. So don’t give up hope on regular processed H-1Bs. There’s always the option to upgrade later on if the need arises.