United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has started to follow through with their plan to expand premium processing; an endeavor previously discussed in our article entitled “USCIS SEEKS TO ADDRESS DELAYS THROUGH EXPANSION OF PREMIUM PROCESSING.” Under a final rule – Implementation of the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act – becoming effective on May 31, 2022, USCIS announced its plan to make premium processing service available to various forms which had previously been ineligible for expedited processing. USCIS cautioned that expectations must still be managed because it will only expand premium processing provided that other pending benefit requests will not be disadvantaged.
Now, as an initial step, USCIS will implement premium processing for certain pending Forms I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, filed under the employment-based first (EB-1) or second (EB-2) preference. This expansion specifically applies to Form I-140 petitions filed under an E13 multinational executive and manager classification or E21 classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (NIW). To request premium processing, petitioners must file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.
The expansion will occur in phases:
- Beginning June 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Forms I-907 filed requesting an upgrade to premium processing for Form I-140 multinational executive and manager petitions filed on or before January 1, 2021.
- Beginning July 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Forms I-907 filed requesting an upgrade to premium processing for NIW petitions filed on or before June 1, 2021 and for multinational executive and manager petitions filed on or before March 1, 2021.
USCIS will have 45 days to complete premium processing for these newly included Form I-140 classifications. The issuance of an RFE or NOID will stop the premium processing clock and the clock will restart once USCIS receives a timely response. Until further notice, new Form I-140 petitions filed under these employment-based categories cannot be filed with a request for premium processing.
Also, petitioners must ensure that the correct version of the Form I-907 is being submitted. A new version of the Form I-907 dated 05/31/22 was published on May 24, 2022. For the month of June, USCIS will accept both the old version dated 09/30/20 and the new version dated 05/31/22. However, starting July 1, 2022, USCIS will reject the old 09/30/20 edition of the Form I-907.
While any implementation of USCIS’ expansion of premium processing is met with gratitude, expansions that include newly filed petitions and the Forms I-765 and I-539 are still most highly anticipated.