In an official final rule published on May 24, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it would implement premium processing for certain pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, filed under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications in an effort to “increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall legal immigration system.” The backlogs are a result largely in part of the pandemic and delays caused by it. As of January 2022, USCIS had a staggering 5 million cases backlogged.
USCIS has laid out a phased approach in which it plans to make the expansion. It is limited to petitions filed more than a year ago.
- June 1, 2022: USCIS begins accepting Form I-907 requests for E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before Jan. 1, 2021.
- July 1, 2022: USCIS will begin accepting Form I-907 requests for E21 NIW petitions received on or before June 1, 2021, and E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before March 1, 2021.
- Additional I-140 petitions, I-539s and I-765s may become eligible for premium processing as USCIS processes other petitions as part of the phased approach. 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. Once the agency has additional resources to hire more staff they will continue expanding premium processing benefits to additional categories. They plan to do so over the next three years.
Note that USCIS will reject any premium processing requests for Form I-140 that are filed before June 1, 2022 or July 1, 2022, to further reduce the backlogs.
How Long Does USCIS Have to Process Requests?
USCIS has 45 days to process premium processing requests for Form I-140 classifications. New (initial) Form I-140s with premium processing requests are not being accepted at this time.
On May 24, 2022, USCIS published a new version of Form I-907, dated 05/31/22. For the month of June, they will accept both the 09/30/20 and the 05/31/22 editions of Form I-907. Starting July 1, they will reject the older 09/30/20 edition of Form I-907.
What is the Cost for Premium Processing?
The cost is still $2,500 for the expanded premium processing and with it USCIS guarantees the 45 days processing timeframe (typically 15 days for other premium processing case requests). Applications without premium processing are facing processing times of around 12-18 months.
How We Can Help
The VisaNation team has helped clients navigate the complex immigration process. If you have questions pertaining to expediting your case or filing, schedule a consultation.