USCIS Implements Third Phase of Premium Processing Expansion

October 6, 2022

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it is implementing the next phase of its expansion of premium processing. This announcement will mark the third phase of the agency’s expansion of premium processing, which applies to certain petitioners under the EB-1 and EB-2 categories.

This expansion is part of USCIS’s initiative to introduce premium processing for specific forms and expects to take at least three years. It will start in May 2022 with the introduction of premium processing for certain pending EB-1, multinational executive and manager, and EB-2 national interest waiver petitions. Furthermore, in July 2022, the scope of petitions eligible in these categories saw moderate expansion.

As of September 15th, 2022, this expansion began accepting requests for an upgrade to premium processing. Accepted petitioners included those in the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications for pending Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. Additionally, petitioners seeking an upgrade to premium processing will need to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Service.

As with the previous two phases of the expansion, no new Form I-140 requests will be eligible for premium processing. In addition, this expansion will only apply to those who have previously filed a Form I-140 petition under the EB-1 Multinational Executive and Manager and EB-2 National Interest Waiver Categories. Specifically, USCIS will begin accepting Form I-907 requests, including the $2,500 filing fee for:

  • Those who filed petitions under the EB-1 multinational executive and manager category on or before January 1st, 2022; and
  • Those who filed under the EB-2 category seeking a national interest waiver for those in professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability on/before February 1st, 2022

Requests for premium processing for Form I-140 classifications with a receipt date after any of these dates will face automatic rejection. After upgrading to premium processing, USCIS will have 45 days to take adjudicative action on the case. However, the 45 days will only begin once the adjudicating case meets all prerequisites, such as receiving all necessary documentation.

For example, if USCIS sends a Request for Evidence Notice of Intent to Deny, the 45-day period will begin again once a response from the petitioner is received. Depending on the case, petitioners could wait far longer than the 45-day processing time frame. Despite this delay, this phase is still likely to result in a far faster processing period than the processing times for regular immigration requests.

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