U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Thursday that it would soon launch the final phase of its premium processing expansion for Form I-140 petitions under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications.

Key Points:

  • Beginning Jan. 30, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for:
    • All pending E13 multinational executive and manager petitions and E21 NIW petitions.
    • All initial E13 multinational executive and manager petitions and E21 NIW petitions.
  • Earlier phases of the premium processing expansion only covered specific previously filed petitions in these categories.

Additional Information: USCIS is taking a phased approach to expanding premium processing as part of a broader effort to reduce backlogs and provide relief to foreign nationals affected by processing delays.

USCIS said it would further expand premium processing in March to certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking STEM OPT extensions who have pending Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. The agency plans to extend premium processing in April to OPT and F-1 students seeking STEM OPT extensions filing initial Forms I-765.

USCIS also said it is working toward expanding premium processing in May to certain student and exchange visitors with pending Forms I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and in June to student and exchange visitors filing initial Forms I-539.

BAL Analysis: The extension of premium processing to additional benefit categories will shorten processing times for eligible applicants who pay the applicable fee. USCIS said it would provide more detailed information next month regarding the OPT/STEM OPT expansions in March and April. BAL will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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