On May 24, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began implementing an expansion of the agency’s premium processing service for certain pending Form I-140 petitions. Specifically, the expansion of premium processing services applied to the EB-1C multinational executive and manager and the EB-2 National Interest Waver (NIW) I-140 categories. This expansion relates back to USCIS’ agency-wide backlog reduction goals and attempts to improve timely access to employment authorization documents.
USCIS has since released additional information relating to the second phase of expanding premium processing for the EB-1C and EB-2 NIW I-140 categories. Starting on August 1, 2022, USCIS will begin accepting Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for the following:
- E-13 (EB-1C) multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before July 1, 2021; and
- E21 (EB-2 NIW) petitions received on or before August 1, 2021.
USCIS will continue to reject premium processing requests for these specific Form I-140 classifications if the receipt date is after the above-listed dates.
Moreover, under the traditional premium processing route, a response from USCIS (approval, denial, notice of intent to deny, or a request for evidence) would be provided within fifteen calendar days of receipt of the premium processing request. However, here, USCIS has stated that the agency has forty-five days to take action on these specific premium processing requests. USCIS has also reiterated that it will not accept new (initial) Form I-140 filings with a premium processing request for these specific I-140 categories.
Lastly, USCIS has confirmed that the expansion of premium processing will take place in a phased approach. While USCIS must adhere to legislative requirements that work to ensure that the expansion of premium processing does not cause an increase in processing times for regular immigration benefit requests, USCIS continues to move towards expanding premium processing availability for additional Form I-140 petitions, Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, in the coming years.
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.