The USCIS has announced that, starting June 29nd, 2009, alien workers petitioning for immigration via Form I-140 will be allowed to resume using the so-called premium processing service. The USCIS had removed this service due to the influx of I-140 filings in 2007. However, because their backlogs have decreased, the USCIS is in a position to resume I-140 premium processing.
Who can use premium processing service?
Not all petitioners can enjoy this faster processing service. Those who can include:
• EB-1 aliens with extraordinary ability or outstanding professors and researchers • EB-2 aliens with exceptional ability or members of professions with advanced degrees (who are NOT concurrently trying to apply under a national interest waiver).
• EB-3 professional, skilled, and other workers.
Petitioners who cannot use this service include:
• EB-1 multinational executives and managers • EB-2 petitioners (discussed above) who are applying under the national interest waiver category
How does the premium processing service benefit petitioners?
By paying a $1,000 fee to USCIS, petitioners can get responses to their applications guaranteed within 15 days (“approval,” “denial,” or “request to collect evidence or investigate further”). Petitioners can also access information about their petition status via email and a special phone number.
The USCIS press release reaffirms that petitioners who have previously been designated as available for premium processing service will continue to have this option at their disposal. For instance, non-immigrant workers petitioning via Form I-129 can still use the premium processing service.
For more information on changes to I-140 processing, you can connect with USCIS via the official website, www.uscis.gov or via 1 (800) 375-5283.