H1B 2017 cap premium processing v/s normal processing

I have the below questions -

1.) Premium processing - If a fresh application for H1B is filed on April 1st in Premium processing, assuming I don’t get a denial or RFE or any other hurdle, what’s the earliest I get my petition approved by USCIS? Once I have the approved petition mailed to me by my employer can I go for stamping immediately and travel or I can get stamping but cannot travel before Sept/ Oct 2016? in short - how/ what are the timelines in case of H1B premium processing

2.) Normal processing - my last H1B was in Normal processing so I guess first you get selected in the lottery then around August my petition was approved, September I went for stamping and February I traveled to US. So the earliest you can travel is September / October, am I correct?

  1. USCIS will announce a date when they will commence processing for PP petition. They won’t start immediately on April 1 or April 7 as they need time to enter everything into system for lottery. They would also keep a buffer expecting lot of petitions to be filed in PP and may not have enough officers. Once that date is declared, your petition will be processed within 15 calendar days from that date (like you said this assumes no RFE). Once approved, you can appear for stamping only after Jul 1 (90 days prior to actual H-1 start date of Oct 1). Once stamped, you can travel as early as Sep 20 to start working from Oct 1.

  2. Earliest when you can travel is same for both RP and PP. Its just that w/ RP, sometimes the processing is delayed so much that actual travel date is after Oct 1.

Can anyone me tell me if we receive below confirmation if its not getting selected in Lottery?

The sample Rejection in Lottery case says that –
Reject Case # , Notice Date # , Form Type , Petitioner and Beneficiary saying
"Your Petition, Supporting Documents , and fee was returned to you. your petition was returned for the following reason –

All H1B cap subject petitions received at the XXX Service Centers from April 1, 2016 to Aril 7, 2017 were subject to a computer generated randon selection process. USCIS received your petition during this timeframe, however , it was not among those randomly selected for processing."

So and So…. Please confirm once if the above is true!!

If I understand correctly you’re asking if the employer/ attorney receive such a notification if you don’t get selected in the lottery. I believe yes, you’d get such a letter/ email. But I will let Saurabh confirm

Hi Saurabh, Thanks for your ever helpful replies. I guess by now you’d have figured out by my multiple posts that my Employer A was earlier very keen in trying to use my old expired petition for remainder years, however he was expecting me to share half the application fee. Once you confirmed, if the file is picked up for processing, both, the attorney fees and petition application fee will be consumed and not returned, and you also mentioned that it had a high risk of denial.

When I confirmed to my employer that I am not ready to share any cost in case of a rejection of the old petition reused, he changed his strategy and is now thinking on these lines.

He now plans to file a fresh H1B in 2017 cap on April 1 (but in premium processing) so that the lottery results and final approval can come as soon as possible (evading all RFEs etc).
If, either it doesn’t get selected in the lottery, or else gets RFE or denied, then he plans to drop the fresh H1B application and again try to use the old petition (just as a gamble, once again in premium processing).
Worst case, this may also be denied, so he will lose money here. In the fresh application he estimates to lose only attorney fees if not selected in lottery. he doesn’t expect a denial.

What do you think of this approach? Does it make sense? Any other alternates?

meanwhile I am also trying to get another h1B application (only fresh) with Employer B. Just to increase my chances of getting in a lottery.

This looks reasonable. They can try in new cap and if it is not selected in lottery then try the cap-exempt route.

The only drawback with new cap filing is that you cannot work until Oct 1. If that’s not an issue then go for it.

Thanks Saurabh…for your valuable inputs?
Any guesstimates as to whether you forsee a lottery this year also ?

Oh yes, definitely a lottery. My guesstimate is that the number of petitions may be higher than last year.