News

12 Jan 2023

United States

USCIS Announces Upcoming Expansion of Premium Processing Service for Certain I-140, I-765, and I-539 Filings

The USCIS announced today that it will expand its Premium Processing Service, which reduces the processing time of a petition for an immigration benefit upon the payment of an additional fee, beginning on January 30, 2023.

On that date, the USCIS will begin to accept Premium Processing requests for all new E13 Multinational Executive and Manager I-140 petitions, as well as all new E21 petitions seeking a National Interest Waiver.  The USCIS will also accept Premium Processing requests for E13 Multinational Executive and Manager I-140 petitions, as well as E21 I-140 petitions seeking a National Interest Waiver, that are pending with the USCIS on that date, regardless of the filing date. Under Premium Processing, 140 petitions requesting E13 Multinational Manager or E21 National Interest Waiver classification are processed within 45 calendar days.

In March of this year, USCIS also plans to permit Premium Processing for pending I-765 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) applications filed by F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking a two-year OPT STEM extension.  In April of this year, the USCIS will allow Premium Processing for new I-765 applications filed by these students.

The USCIS notes that it is also planning to expand the availability of Premium Processing to applications to extend or change nonimmigrant status filed on Form I-539.  This expansion will initially apply to pending Form I-539 applications for certain students and exchange visitors in May of this year and will be expanded in June for initial I-539 applications filed by certain students and exchange visitors.  An announcement will be made by the USCIS when it is ready to implement this expansion of Premium Processing to I-539 forms.

I-765 and I-539 applications filed under Premium Processing are processed within 30 calendar days.

The below provides a high-level summary of USCIS’ announced plan to expand Premium Processing:

  • January 30, 2023: Premium Processing to be available for pending and initial E13 Multinational Executive and Manager and E21 NIW I-140 petitions.
  • March 2023: Premium Processing to be available for pending Form I-765 applications filed by certain F-1 students seeking OPT employment and STEM OPT extensions.
  • April 2023: Premium Processing to be available for initial Form I-765 applications filed by certain F-1 students seeking OPT employment and STEM OPT extensions.
  • May 2023: Premium Processing to be available for pending Form I-539 applications filed by certain student and exchange visitors.
  • June 2023: Premium Processing to be available for initial Form I-539 applications filed by certain student and exchange visitors.

T&S Takeaway

The expansion of Premium Processing for certain I-140 petitions seeking E13 Multinational Executive and Manager or E21 National Interest Waiver classification, I-765 applications filed by F-1 students, and I-539 applications filed by students and exchange visitors is a welcome development, despite that it is arguably driven by the agency’s need for financial resources. The agency notes that its expansion of Premium Processing will not negatively affect the processing of petitions and applications not eligible for the Service or cause an increase in processing times for cases filed under standard processing.

We will continue to monitor this situation and will provide analyses of any further announcements on the availability of Premium Processing as these are made by the USCIS.

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The content above is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Use of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

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