The government has announced changes to its Premium Processing service. Premium Processing requires USCIS to issue a decision within 15 calendar days for an additional government fee.  So far, this service is only available for certain applications filed with USCIS, such as:

  • Temporary Status: E-1, H-1B, L-1, O-1, TN.
  • Immigrant Visa for Permanent Residence based on: Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professor/Researcher, or Labor Certification.

USCIS plans to add to that list. It will phase in additional application types, which will be eligible for Premium Processing in 2022. These application types include:

  • Applications for Extension of Status for students and exchange visitors (Form I-539)
  • Employment Authorization applications for Optional Practical Training (OPT) (Form I-765)
  • Immigrant Visa for Permanent Residence based on classification as a multinational executive or manager and members of a profession with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (Form I-140)

The expansion of Premium Processing is one of a few strategies meant to reduce backlogs and wait times. As the government rolls out this program, we will review our clients’ cases and let them know if they are eligible for this additional service.