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What is premium processing and is it available in every type of immigration case?

As people and organizations that deal with the immigration service know, there are often frustrating delays involved in pursuing benefits from that service. Important decisions are delayed by backlogs and employers and their current/prospective employees must often wait several months to learn the outcome of an application.

Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has created a program through which certain employment-based petitions and applications can be considered and adjudicated on a significantly expedited time frame. For employers willing to pay an $1,225 (in addition to the filing fee for the actual petition/application), USCIS commits to adjudicating the underlying petition/application within 15 calendar days. For employers needing a quick resolution a petition/application, this is an important accomodation provided by an immigration service with otherwise frustrating and lengthy processing timeframes.

The 15 day period begins upon receipt of a Form I-907 submitted to the USCIS. This form can accompany an original petition/application or be filed at a subsequent date to expedite processing already underway. USCIS frequently issues a Request for Evidence and the 15 day time clock is stayed while USCIS awaits the response from the petitioning party.

There are some important considerations to understand and address as employers determine whether premium processing makes sense for them:

  • As with the filing fees, the employer itself (not the beneficiary/employee) must pay the filing fees for premium processing.
  • The nonimmigrant petitions for which an employee may utilize premium processing include the treaty trader/investor program (E visas), some temporary worker petitions (H-1B, H-2B, and H-3), intracompany transfers (L visas), O and P visas for extraordinary ability and performers, religious workers (R visas) (under certain conditions) and NAFTA-based workers (TN visa status).
  • In addition, employers may now utilize premium processing for employment-based immigrant visa petitions for EB-1 through EB-3 categories.

There are strategies for how best to consider, assemble, and pursue premium processing based cases and we are well-versed in these determinations. If you need assistance with premium processing, please contact the St. Louis immigration attorneys at Hacking Immigration Law, LLC. You can use our online contact form or call our toll-free number - 314-961-8200.

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