On March 6, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced “the expansion of premium processing for certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT extensions.” According to USCIS’s press release, the expansions apply to individuals who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and wish to request a premium processing upgrade.
While the paper version of the Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is available, online filing of Form I-907 is now also available to F-1 students in these categories.
In its announcement, USCIS confirmed that it will expand premium processing for certain F-1 students in phases. In addition, USCIS announced that “students requesting premium processing should not file before these dates.”
According to USCIS, the agency will accept Form I-907 premium processing requests for newly eligible F-1 applicants in two phases:
- On March 6, 2023, USCIS started accepting Form I-907 for F-1 students who have a pending Form I-765, as long as they have filed “under one of the following categories:
- (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;
- (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and
- (c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension for STEM students.”
- Starting April 3, 2023, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for F-1 students filing under one of the above categories when their Form I-907s is filed concurrently with Form I-765.
This expansion for F-1 students is part of the broader expansion of the Premium Processing Service, which previously included the addition of this service to certain employment-based petitions, including the EB-1 Multinational Executive/ Manager Petitions and the EB-2 National Interest Waiver petitions.
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to these and other policy changes and will post updates on the Immigration blog and in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.