Tuesday March 29, 2022

USCIS TO EXPAND PREMIUM PROCESSING FOR FORMS I-539, I-765 & CERTAIN I-140s

by Rabindra Singh

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a final rule that will expand premium processing service for Forms I-539, I-765 and certain EB-1 and EB-2 I-140s. 

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 plans to 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.

This much needed expansion of premium processing will result in fast adjudication of H-4 EADs and change of status to H-4, L-2, F-1 or other nonimmigrant status and/or accompanying extension of stay requests. Rather than waiting for months, such applicants can expect to receive decisions within a few weeks. 

Additionally,  this is welcome news for petitioners filing EB-1 (multinational executive or manager) or EB-2 (member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver) I-140 petitions. Currently, such EB-1 and EB-2 petitioners need to wait months for adjudication of their I-140 petitions. 

USCIS is taking this action to align premium processing regulations with the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act. The rule codifies premium processing fees and adjudication timeframes provided by Congress.

Premium processing 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 StatusForm I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and additional classifications under Form I-140.

HSD Immigration will continue to monitor the expansion of premium processing service and provide updates, as necessary. 

If you have any questions about this recent development or need assistance with any type of immigration matter, please contact HSD Immigration via phone [(312) 291 1234] or email [rsingh@hsdimmigration.com].

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