USCIS is implementing the final phase of the expansion of premium processing to new (initial) Form I-140 petitions under an E13 multinational executive, or E21 classification as a member of professions of advanced degrees, or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver.
USCIS originally introduced the expansion of premium processing back in April 2022 to help reduce the backlog of applications. To learn more, please click here. Premium processing is an expedited service offered by USCIS where applicants can pay an extra premium processing fee to have their applications adjudicated within a certain number of days. The cost and number of days differ by the type of application. For more information about the applications that are currently available for premium processing, please click here. Information on the second phase is here.
USCIS has announced the final phase of the expansion will begin on January 30, 2023. The final phase includes the following types of applications:
- All pending E13 multinational executive and manager petitions and E21 NIW petitions; and
- All initial E13 multinational executive and manager petitions and E21 NIW petitions.
For the ones listed above, once the premium processing request is accepted, USCIS will review the applications in 45 days, provided that USCIS receives all prerequisites for adjudicating the case. This means that USCIS will not start counting the 45 days clock until it determines that it has received all necessary documentation and information from any necessary interviews, biometrics, or background checks, as appropriate to the case type. If a RFE or NOID is issued, a new 45 day clock will begin once USCIS receives the petitioner’s response to the RFE or NOID. The cost for the premium processing will be $2500.
USCIS has also announced that, starting March 2023, it will expand premium processing to certain F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking STEM OPT extensions, who have pending EAD applications. In April, USCIS will expand premium processing to F-1 students seeking OPT and F-1 students seeking STEMP OPT extensions who are filing an initial EAD. Specific dates will be announced in February.
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