The Myth of Premium Processing

by Pranav Ramesh
November 06, 2019

The Myth of Premium Processing

There seems to be quite a bit of misunderstanding around the Premium Processing Service offered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Most commonly, many IT consultants believe that using Premium Processing means their entire employment process can be reduced to roughly two weeks. This is grossly inaccurate as you’ll see outlined below.

What Premium Processing does in regards to the H1B process?

Premium Processing enables employers to attempt to expedite one part of the overall H1B process. For $1,410, employers can utilize Premium Processing to move the H1B applicant to the “front of the list” of those filing for transfer. This filing is then guaranteed, by USCIS, to be processed within 15 calendar days (just over 2 weeks).

What Premium Processing does not do in regards to the H1B process?

Premium Processing does not shorten any other stage of the overall H1B process. Only the “file for transfer” stage can be expedited. There are multiple other steps in the process (outlined below) that cannot be expedited and that the Premium Processing has no effect on.

What does the overall H1B process generally entail?

1. Labor Condition Application (LCA) which typically takes about 1 week

2. File for transfer which typically takes 4-6 weeks without Premium or 2 weeks with Premium

3. Request for Evidence (RFE) typically takes 1 week

4. File an RFE response typically takes 1-2 weeks

5. Notify candidate of pre-employment typically takes 1-2 weeks

As shown above,

Premium Processing can only reduce a small portion of the overall H1B process. Without Premium Processing, the entire process typically takes 10-12 weeks. With Premium Processing, the entire process typically takes 6-8 weeks. (The above timelines are generalizations. Every situation is different and yours may vary.)


Premium Processing may reduce a portion of the overall H1B process down to 2 weeks. This, however, is only one part of the larger process and does not reduce the entire process to 2 weeks.None of the other steps involved can be expedited so the entire process, from start to finish, will still take 6-8 (with Premium) or 8-10 (without Premium) weeks regardless. While there are certain scenarios where using Premium Processing is beneficial, it’s often not necessary. In fact, based on our personal experience, there are times when using Premium Processing can actually hinder or slow-down the H1B process as a whole.

About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has been Chicago’s premier I.T. staffing, consulting, and recruiting firm for over 20+ years. Named after Chicago’s historic Peterson Avenue, PTP has built its reputation by developing lasting relationships, leading digital transformation, and inspiring technical innovation throughout Chicagoland. Now based in Park Ridge, IL, PTP’s 250+ employees have narrowed their focus to a single market (Chicago) and 4 core technical areas;

  • Application/mobile/web development and eCommerce
  • Data science/analytics/business intelligence/artificial intelligence
  • Information security/cybersecurity
  • ERP SAP/Oracle and project management/BA/QA

PTP exists to ensure that all of our partners (clients and candidates alike) make the best hiring and career decisions.

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Peterson Technology Partners is an equal opportunity employer.


1030 W Higgins Rd, Suite 230
Park Ridge, IL 60068



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