H1B Visa Regular or Premium Processing — Which is Better?

Updated on August 10, 2023
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With the H1B visa selection process now existing in such a competitive environment, you may be considering upgrading your application to premium processing.

This article will help you decide whether or not you need premium processing and whether it’ll be of benefit to you, as well as explain the differences between regular and premium processing.

Regular Processing vs. Premium Processing

Regular processing

All applications that are submitted without the extra fee for premium processing are filed as regular. You can expect to wait much longer for a decision.

Premium processing

If the extra fee of $1,225 is paid by the applicant or employer, the application will be filed as premium. Premium processing applicants will receive a decision on their application within fifteen calendar days.

How long does Regular Processing take?

Typically, regular processing will take somewhere between two and six months. The length of time needed to process a regular application varies from case to case.

Is there a predetermined turnaround time?

No, there is no predetermined turnaround time for regular processing. For premium processing, the turnaround time is fifteen calendar days.

Is premium processing any better?

If you are making a new claim, there are not many benefits to premium processing. You will not be able to start work before 1 October and paying the fee does not give you any advantage in the selection process.

So why get premium processing?

Premium processing is helpful if you are applying for an H1B visa transfer or looking to change employer because it will allow you to work once processing is finished, which is within fifteen days. If you do not file for premium processing when looking for a transfer, your application will still take two to six months.

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H1B Visa Regular or Premium Processing — Conclusions

So, to summarize, unless premium processing is absolutely necessary, there is no real advantage to it. However, one thing it will give you is peace of mind and extra time to prepare. The waiting time between submitting your application and finding out if you have been successful can be long and stressful, and it is very little you can do during this time other than be patient and think positively.

Have you had any experiences with premium processing? What advice would you give someone thinking of upgrading to premium processing? Let us know in our comments section below.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.