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USCIS Plans to Expand Premium Processing Services

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US Visa Processing

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS“) plans to “increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall legal immigration system“. To decrease their extensive adjudication backlogs and increased processing times. By expanding the premium processing service to include extra form types.

Premium Processing, is a choice currently available to candidates of certain applications and petitions. Including most nonimmigrant visa petitions and some employment-based Green Card applications. The Service allows candidates to pay an extra charge of $2,500 to have their cases adjudicated on an expedited basis. Beginning on or around 1st June 2022, USCIS plans to make premium processing available to extra case types with differing fees and time frames. USCIS will announce in the future exactly when it will start accepting applications for premium processing in the new categories.

USCIS Intends to Increase Premium Processing Services

In particular, a 45-day premium processing will become available for I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. Requesting EB-1 immigrant classification as a multinational executive or manager (EB-1(c)), or EB-2 immigrant classification. As an individual from professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (“NIW”), for a premium processing fee of $2500. DHS expects a phased implementation approach, hoping to grow the extra I-140 categories in Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2022.

Certain I-539 Applications for Change of status or Extension of Stay will be adjudicated in thirty days for an expense of $1,750. DHS anticipates accepting premium processing requests for I-539 applications. Form F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, M-1, and M-2 categories in FY 2022. However, E-1, E-2, E-3, L-2, H-4, O-3, P-4, and R-2 candidates can likely not be able to apply until FY 2025.

Lastly, I-765 Applications Employment Authorization is to be adjudicated in thirty days for an expense of $1,500. DHS expects the phased implementation of work cards from F-1 students applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and J Exchange Visitors in FY2022. However, other people who require an EAD might need to wait until FY 2025.

[ICE Extends Interim COVID-19 Flexibility for Form I-9 Compliance Through October 31, 2022]

Together with the premium processing services, to reduce existing processing backlogs. The Service has established “new internal cycle time goals” to have candidates and petitioners receive decisions on their cases in a shorter time. USCIS will increase capacity, develop technology, and grow staffing to achieve these new goals by the end of FY 2023. USCIS will also commit to “streamlining many EAD processes. Including extending validity periods for certain EADs and giving expedited work authorization renewals for healthcare and childcare workers.”

We will continue to monitor the execution and update this article. When we have news on the phased implementation of premium processing.

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