For Many H-1B applicants who are eager to start work, and L-1s and E-2s anxious to come to the U.S. or change their status here to start their business, the filing of application through premium process is the only way for them to be able to obtain the applied status within a short time. The reason is because the regular BCIS processing for these types of cases filed with Form I-129 will take over four months, sometimes over half a year or longer. Especially for H-1B applicants with expiring OPT, if the applications are filed through regular application, they will have to wait out the pending period before they can resume or start work for the employers. L and E applicants all face the same problem. The resolution, is to file the application through premium process for speedy processing with a payment of $1,000.00 additional fee.
So far BCIS has established a very good record in following the premium processing rule, and applicants can mostly receive the approval, or at least a request for additional evidence notice within 15 days after BCIS receives the application. Currently, the BCIS has stepped up their service for premium processing by sending e-mails to attorneys for approvals. As a result, we will know that a case is approved even before the approval notice is received through mail. For H-1s this is a very good news as they can start work, or prepare to work once we receive the e-mail notice. We certainly are very appreciating to the government for providing this level of customer service, but feel sorry that they can not provide equal service to all other applications.