What is premium processing and is it available in every case at USCIS? Hi I’m Jim Hacking immigration attorney practicing law here in St. Louis, Missouri. People often want to know if premium processing is available for every kind of immigration case. First let’s step back and talk about what premium processing is. For an addition fee well over $1,000 currently $1,225 people in certain Visa categories can apply for what’s called premium processing. What this means is that you are going to go to a different office for analysis of your case. With the additional filing fee USCIS promises that they will turn around your case within 15 working days.
That is that once you file is receipted and your case is underway at the premium processing office that they have 15 calendar days which is roughly three/four weeks to adjudicate or issue an opinion on your case, a decision. That’s a guarantee. The one thing you need to know is that the clock stops if the premium processing unit issues a request for evidence. A request for evidence is a letter from the immigration service asking for additional evidence just like it sounds. They’ll give you a certain amount of time to respond to the request for evidence. Then once they receive back the evidence that you’ve submitted that 15 day starts again.
They have 15 working days from the time you submit your response to the request for evidence to get the premium processing approval or denial. There is no guarantee the premium processing gives you an approval or you can’t pay … It sounds like you are paying extra to get an approval. They do promise to adjudicate the application within those 15 working days. It’s important to know that premium processing is not available for spouse based Visas I-130s, it’s not available for naturalization. Premium processing is typically utilized with employment situation, Visas or green cards.
For H-1B applications you can get premium processing, for green cards through the employment process you can get your premium processing, for TN Visas, for people from Mexico or Canada you can get premium processing. There is a list that will put a link on the website to of the exact Visa classifications that allow you to get premium processing. It’s certainly a nice option especially when time is short. We frequently ask our H-1B clients, the employers to pay for premium processing. We believe that you get a little higher level of analysis. Of course the quick turnarounds are often very nice to have that your clients and the employees know exactly what their situation is as quickly as possible.
If you have any questions about premium processing or about H-1B Visas or anything related to the employment Visa process and the immigration process, feel free to give us a call, (314) 961-8200. Or you can always shoot me an email [email protected] and would be happy to answer any questions that you have. Thanks a lot and have a good day.