In March 2022, USCIS published a final rule expanding its expedited processing services to include additional immigration and other types of petitions. This announcement is good news for businesses and foreign nationals facing significant delays in processing immigration benefits. In this informative guide, we will give you the contents of the rule and the various steps involved in this expansion.
What does the final rule say?
On May 24, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is implementing expedited processing for certain applicants with pending Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications.
This expedited processing extension applies only to certain I-140 petitions previously filed under the E13 Multinational Executive and Manager classification or the E21 classification as a professional member with an advanced degree or skill requesting a National Interest Waiver (NIW).
What is the scope of this extension?
As stated above, the premium processing extension only applies to certain Form I-140 petitions previously filed with the E13 multinational classification or the E21 advanced degree classification.
If this does not occur, the applicant will receive a refund of the expedited processing fee and USCIS will continue to expedite the process. Applicants wishing to request an expedited processing upgrade must complete the Form I-907, the Expedited Processing Application and the USCIS filing fee of $2,500.
The different phases of the expansion
The expansion will occur in two phases:
1.) Beginning June 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 applications for E13 petitions from corporate and multinational executives received on or before January 1, 2021.
2.) Beginning July 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for E21 NIW petitions received by June 1, 2021, and requests received by March 1, 2021, for E13 petitions for officers and directors of multinational corporations.
As the expansion of expedited premium processing is implemented in phases, we will continue to work to provide additional processing of Forms I-140, I-539, and I-765 in FY 2022, USCIS explained. The agency will also comply with congressional requirements that the expansion of premium processing not result in increased processing times for regular immigration applications.
Any filings made prior to the announced start date of June 1, 2022 or July 1, 2022 will be rejected. USCIS is not currently accepting new (initial) Form I-140 applications with premium processing requests.
The most recent version of Form I-907 issued on May 23, 2022 and dated May 31, 2022 must be used. Older Form I-907s dated September 30, 2020 will be rejected effective July 1, 2022.
The announcement follows USCIS’ previously announced expansion of expedited processing to other form types as part of its efforts to increase efficiency and reduce system-wide burden for legal immigrants.
USCIS’s goal in introducing the additional benefits
USCIS has stated that additional premium processing benefits will be introduced to increase efficiency on a staggered basis when there is revenue to hire additional staff and will not negatively impact other processing times.
It is not yet known when expedited processing of Form I-539 Change of Status or Extension of Dependent Nonimmigrant Residency Applications will be available, or when Form I-765 Applications for Employment Authorization will be available. However, USCIS has previously noted that all new benefits may not be available until 2025.
If you have questions about this issue, be sure to schedule a personal consultation with attorney Richard Herman by calling 1-216-696-6170, or by booking online. Consultations can be conducted via zoom, skype, whatsapp, facetime, or in office.