USCIS Final Rule Expands Premium Processing

USCIS Final Rule Expands Premium Processing

On March 30, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule titled Implementation of the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act.

Of note in the new rule is expanding the availability to request “Premium Processing” of certain USCIS applications, including:

*Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (including for F-1 Optional Practical Training and F-1 STEM OPT Extension)
Fee:  US$1,500
Processing Timeframes for Application:  30 business days

*Form I-539 Application for Change of Nonimmigrant Status (including applications to F student visa status or J-1 Exchange Visitor from certain statuses)
Fee:  US$1,750
Processing Timeframes for Application:  30 business days

*Form I-129 and Form I-140 (for most employment-based status petitions including H-1B and O petitions)
Fee: US$2,500 (this is the same fee for current Premium Processing for these categories)
Processing Timeframes for Application: 15 business days

The effective date of the rule is May 31, 2022, however the ability to actually file Premium Processing requests for the new application form types will not be available until USCIS issues new versions of the premium processing request forms, instructions, and confirming processing timelines.  USCIS indicates the planned effective date will be “Fiscal Year 2022”, which may not be until Fall 2022 at the earliest.

The ISO will be sure to notify students, and update the ISO website, once Premium Processing is available for Form I-765 and Form I-539 applications. 

A full USCIS announcement about the expanded premium processing and actions being taken to reduce processing backlogs is available here.