The United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that starting June 29th, the agency will once again offer premium processing services for alien workers applying for immigration via form I-140. Pursuant to 8 CFR 103.2(f)2, this rule change aims to eliminate backlog for I-140 form processing and speed up adjudication over these petitions.
Who can use this premium processing service, and who cannot?
Many visa petitioners can take advantage of this service. Those who can include:
• EB-1 aliens with extraordinary ability
• EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers
• EB-2 members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability (who are not concurrently applying for a national interest waiver)
• EB-3 professionals
• EB-3 skilled workers
• EB-3 workers other than skilled workers and professionals.
Immigrants who cannot use this premium processing service include:
• EB-1 multinational executives and managers
• EB-2 members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability (who ARE applying for a national interest waiver)
New rules and standards for premium processing service
The program works as follows. Qualified petitioners will pay a $1000 processing fee to USCIS. The agency then has 15 calendar days to process the application. At the end of that time, USCIS must respond by doing one of the following:
• Submitting an approval notice
• Submitting an intend-to-deny notice
• Submitting a request for more evidence
• Opening an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation
If USCIS does not respond in any one of the above ways, the petitioner will get his or her $1,000 fee refunded, and the application will be processed as quickly as possible. There is a dedicated premium processing email and phone hotline.