USCIS Final Rule Expands Premium Processing For Certain Backlogged Cases

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) skilled important delays in processing work permits. Certain purposes have been pending for an prolonged interval awaiting adjudication; earlier than the pandemic, work permits (Type I-765) had been issued inside three to 6 months of submitting and now processing instances are starting from eight to 12 months. 

In an effort to scale back backlogs and supply aid to sure work allow holders, on March 29 the USCIS issued a final rule increasing the premium processing service to further classes. The rule may be efficient no sooner than Could 31, 2022, and extra implementations can be in a phased method.

By paying the present charge of $2,500, the USCIS ensures a response inside 15 calendar days. Premium processing is an expedited service that’s obtainable for sure employment-based petitions, together with non permanent staff (Type I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Employee) and sure employment-based immigrant visa petitions (Type I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Employee). 

The ultimate rule expands the classes for premium processing to incorporate Type I-539, Utility to Lengthen/Change Nonimmigrant Standing; Type I-765, Utility for Employment Authorization; and extra classifications below Type I-140. The USCIS additionally intends to start implementing, via a phased method, premium processing availability of Type I-539, Type I-765 and Type I-140 in fiscal 12 months 2022. 

Processing Charges and Timeframes

The ultimate rule units the premium processing charges and timeframes as follows:

  • Type I-140 requesting EB-1 immigrant classification as a multinational government or supervisor or EB-2 immigrant classification as a member of professions with superior levels or distinctive capacity searching for a nationwide curiosity waiver (NIW). Payment: $2,500. Timeframe: 45 enterprise days. 

  • Type I-539 requesting a change of standing to F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, M-1, or M-2 nonimmigrant standing or a change of standing to or extension of keep in E-1, E-2, E-3, H-4, L-2, O-3, P-4, or R-2 nonimmigrant standing. Payment: $1,750. Timeframe: 30 enterprise days.

  • Type I-765 requesting employment authorization. Payment: $1,500. Timeframe: 30 enterprise days. 

Of notice, the rule that gives the USCIS with authorization to develop premium processing directs the company to make sure that common (non-premium) processing instances for these case varieties will not be adversely affected by the growth of premium processing. The goal is to maintain premium processing from changing into the default alternative and the USCIS from directing all of its assets to premium processing on the expense of normal processing. 

The USCIS announcement concerning the growth of premium processing additionally established new “cycle time” objectives for frequent case varieties, together with work authorization requests which are extra cheap. These cycle processing timelines stay future goals and never a mirrored image of present processing instances.

What Ought to You Do?

The hope is that the USCIS expeditiously broadcasts the implementation of this phased method. Within the interim, employers and people ought to monitor their pending instances and put together for upgrades as soon as the premium processing service turns into obtainable. 

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