USCIS Updates- Expansion of Premium Processing
Dev B. Viswanath, Esq.
USCIS has announced some very welcomed news, that they are moving forward with various implementations to reduce backlogs that have been created by the previous administration and because of the covid-19 pandemic. The agency has announced new plan goals of processing which includes among other goals: 2 week processing for premium processing cases, 2 months for non premium I-129 worker cases, 3 months for Work Authorization, Travel Authorization, and Extensions or Changes of Status, and 6 months on N-400 Citizenship, I-360 for Vawa and Religious Workers, I-140 for Workers and I-130 for Family Members as well as I-290B for Motions and Appeals, and I-485 adjustment of status among a few other categories. All really positive news.
Moreover, the agency has announced an expansion of premium processing, which is an expedited adjudication service now available only to petitioners filing a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and to certain employment-based immigrant visa petitioners filing a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers.
This final rule expands the categories of forms ultimately eligible for premium processing services, including Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status; Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and additional classifications under Form I-140.
USCIS intends to begin implementing, through a phased approach, premium processing availability of Form I-539, Form I-765 and Form I-140 in fiscal year 2022. USCIS will also adhere to the congressional requirement that the expansion of premium processing must not cause an increase in processing times for regular immigration benefit requests.
USCIS plans to begin this phased implementation process by expanding premium processing eligibility to Form I-140 filers requesting EB-1 immigrant classification as a multinational executive or manager, or EB-2 immigrant classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver.