Premium Processing

premium processingOn October 16, USCIS announced it would both expand and increase fees for premium processing, effective on October 19, 2020

The legislation requires USCIS to expand premium processing to include applications for EADs and applications to change or extend status for the dependents of H-1B, L-1 and other nonimmigrant categories. The law also gives DHS authority to designate other case types for premium service. However, for the time being, premium processing will remain limited to certain I-129 nonimmigrant worker petitions, including H, L, O, P and R petitions, and certain Form I-140 immigrant worker petitions.

Premium processing allows petitioners to pay an additional filing fee to expedite the adjudication of certain forms, generally within 15 days. The Act included the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which requires USCIS to establish and collect additional premium processing fees.

The Act increases the fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, from $1,440 to $2,500, for all filings except those from petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status. The premium processing fee for petitioners filing Form I-129 requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status is increasing from $1,440 to $1,500.

See the chart below.

Premium Processing (PP) Service provides faster processing for certain immigration employment-based petitions and applications. The USCIS promises 15 day processing to those petitioners or applicants who choose to use this service or they will refund the premium processing service fee. Even if the fee is refunded, the relating case will continue to receive expedited processing.

The 15 day period begins when Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is received by USCIS accompanied by a filing fee of $2,500. USCIS will issue and serve the petitioner or applicant with one of the following: an approval notice, a denial notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within the 15 day period. If the petition or application requires the submission of additional evidence or a response to a notice of intent to deny, a new 15 business day period will begin upon receipt by USCIS of a complete response to the request for evidence or the notice of intent to deny.

Premium Processing applies to various nonimmigrant petitions like H-1Bs and L-1s, and to certain I-140 immigrant petitions like I-140s listed on the chart below.

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Form I-129 Petitions Eligible for Premium Processing

 

Designated Classification Within Form I-129 Corresponding
Nonimmigrant
Classification
Availability Date
Treaty Trader E-1 June 1, 2001
Treaty Investor E-2 June 1, 2001
Alien in Specialty Occupation H-1B July 30, 2001
Temporary Worker performing nonagricultural services H-2B June 1, 2001
Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor H-3 June 1, 2001
Intracompany Transferee, Executive or Manager Capacity L-1A June 1, 2001
Intracompany Transferee, Specialized Knowledge Professional L-1B June 1, 2001
A petitioner meeting certain requirements which seeks continuous approval of itself and some or all of its parents, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates LZ

(Blanket L-1)

June 1, 2001
Alien of extraordinary ability or achievements in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics O-1 June 1, 2001
Alien providing essential support services for a principal O-1 alien O-2 June 1, 2001
Internationally recognized athlete or member of an internationally recognized entertainment group P-1 June 1, 2001
Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-1 alien P-1S June 1, 2001
Artist or Entertainer under a Reciprocal Exchange Program P-2 June 1, 2001
Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-2 alien P-2S June 1, 2001
Artist or Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Program P-3 June 1, 2001
Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-3 alien P-3S June 1, 2001
International cultural exchange alien Q-1 June 1, 2001
Alien in a Religious occupation R-1 July 30, 2001 and
reinstated July 20, 2009
NAFTA professional, Canada TN-1 July 30, 2001
NAFTA professional, Mexico TN-2 July 30, 2001

 

Form I-140 Petitions Eligible for Premium Processing

 

Designated Classification Within Form I-140 Corresponding Employment-Based (EB) Immigrant Visa Classification Availability Date
Aliens of extraordinary ability EB-1 Nov. 13, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009
Outstanding professors and researchers EB-1 Sept. 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009
Multinational executives and managers EB-1 Available on October 19, 2020
Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability not seeking a National Interest Waiver EB-2 Sept. 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009
Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a National Interest Waiver EB-2 Available on October 19, 2020
Skilled workers EB-3 Aug. 28, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009
Professionals EB-3 Aug. 28, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009
Workers other than skilled workers and professionals EB-3 Sept. 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009

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