NEW Premium Processing
Are you willing to pay extra money to have your case processed more quickly?
If this is something that interests you, please, be aware that premium processing is only available for certain types of cases. Prior to June 1, 2022, paying the premium processing fee for these specific types of cases allowed you to receive a response (i.e., approval, denial, request for evidence, notice of intent to deny, etc.) within 15 calendar days. Now that June 1, 2022 has arrived, the types of cases that can be premium processed has been expanded, but with some being processed within 45 calendar days (rather than 15 calendar days). In the case that USCIS issues a request for evidence or notice of intent to deny, a new 15 calendar day or 45 calendar day period of premium processing will apply upon receipt of the response to the further request. If USCIS is unable to meet the premium processing deadline, it will refund the additional fee and continue to process the case with expedited processing. The petitioner or their representative would use the current edition of Form I-907 to request premium processing with the exception of the self-petitioned cases where the beneficiary can also make the request for premium processing (ex. EB-1A, NIW).
The categories where Form I-129 can be processed with premium processing within 15 calendar days are as follows: E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-2B, H-1, L-1A, L-1B, LZ, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1 (employer must first pass on-site inspection), TN-1, and TN-2. Premium processing of the I-129 for beneficiaries within Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is not available.
The categories where Form I-140 can be processed with premium processing within 15 calendar days are as follows: E11, E12, E21, E31, E32, EW3
The categories where Form I-140 can be processed with premium processing within 45 calendar days are as follows: E13 and E21 (starting June 1 and July 1 respectively for pending petitions only see here for upgrade schedule)
As you can see, premium processing is currently not available for Form I-539, Form I-765, or family based cases. However, USCIS plans to expand the availability of premium processing to additional categories
As of May 31, 2022, USCIS requires that the additional premium processing fee be paid separately from any filing fee (ex., via a separate check). The additional premium processing fee is as follows:
$2,500 for Form I-129 requesting E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-3, L (including blanket L-1), O, P, Q, or TN nonimmigrant classification.
$1,500 for Form I-129 requesting H-2B or R nonimmigrant classification.
$2,500 for Form I-140 requesting EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 immigrant visa classification.
Tying up some loose ends:
According to USCIS, its discretionary expedite request will no longer be available for those classifications where premium processing is available with the caveat of not-for-profit entities. These IRS designated not-for-profit entities have the option of using premium processing or making an expedite request.
Premium processing will not give an unfair advantage to categories with an annual limit as USCIS will apply a random selection process to all such timely filed petitions regardless of whether they were filed with a request for premium processing.
Finally, USCIS has shared that it is possible to get the decision faster by including a postage-paid and self-addressed courier delivery slip with the premium processing request.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the timeframe for processing your case, you may wish to consult with an immigration attorney. Attorney Rebecca Carcagno offers a free initial intake consultation which can help you determine your eligibility and obtain some general information including current processing timeframe. You may schedule this free initial intake consultation with Attorney Carcagno at (734) 999-0360 or through the website.
***Please keep in mind that this blog posting is for educational purposes only (i.e., to give you general information and a general understanding of this immigration related matter); this blog posting does not provide specific legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship.***
Rebecca Carcagno Rodriguez
The Law Offices of Rebecca Carcagno, PLLC
2512 Carpenter Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48108