Notification submitted by 
International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO)
Academic Human Resources Shared Services Team
Postdoctoral Scholar Shared Services Team

Summary
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is backlogged in processing all H-1B petitions. It is taking approximately 8 months for the USCIS to approve an H-1B petition. This does not include the time required for UCSF Human Resources and the UCSF International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) internal processing, which is 4 months. This is an unprecedented delay for the USCIS, and there has not yet been USCIS guidance or an explanation regarding the slowdown. 

Department Action
As a result, we strongly recommend UCSF departments submit HR Service Request System (SRS) tickets for H-1B requests at least 9 months in advance of the start date. This will allow us to submit H-1B petitions to the USCIS around 6 months prior to the program start date, the earliest that the government will accept H-1B applications.

Premium Processing 
In addition, because regular processing is subject to many factors outside our control, we cannot guarantee the H-1B will be approved even with early submission.  We strongly recommend submitting applications with premium processing service. Premium processing is the only way to ensure timely USCIS processing, and should be used if an appointment has a time-sensitive start date. With premium processing, the USCIS will adjudicate or provide an update to the petition within 15 calendar days from the date that USCIS receives UCSF’s H-1B petition filing. Premium processing does not include HR’s and the ISSO’s 4 months internal processing prior to the USCIS filing date. The fee for premium processing is $1,225, payable to the Department of Homeland Security.  For requests that have already been submitted (or that are in process), the ISSO may recommend upgrading the case to USCIS premium processing to expedite service. 

Please see the ISSO website for details regarding specific H-1B requests.  

For questions regarding H-1B timing, please contact H-1B advisers Russell Guajardo for Postdoctoral Scholar appointments and Chris Flores for Specialist, Researcher, Faculty, and all other appointments.