Premium Processing is now available for most I-140 petitions.
The Premium Processing Program permits U.S. businesses and individuals to pay a $1,000 premium processing fee to expedite the processing of their case. Within a 15 day calendar period, USCIS will either issue a favorable decision, or take other action in the form of request for additional evidence, issue a notice of intent to deny, or initiate an investigation for fraud.
I-140 petitions qualifying for premium processing include:
- First employment based preference ("EB-1") aliens with extraordinary ability
- First employment based preference (“EB-1”) outstanding professors and researchers;
- Second employment based preference (“EB-2”) members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability not seeking a national interest waiver
- Third employment based preference (“EB-3”) skilled workers, professionals and other workers
Not included are First employment based preference multi-national intracompany executive and managers and Second employment based preference categories where a national interest waiver is requested.
Premium Processing Program Benefits
- Foreign nationals who are from countries where quotas are oversubscribed, including India and China, will benefit from the premium processing program which applies to most EB-2 and all EB-3 petitions. For these foreign nationals, corporate sponsors will now be permitted to file H-1B visa extensions beyond the sixth year in H-1B status in three-year increments based upon EB-2 and EB-3 quota unavailability upon approval of the I-140.
- While AC-21 (the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act) allows H-1B extensions to any permanent resident applicant who holds H-1B status in one-year increments, approval of an I-140 petition will benefit both employers and employees, allowing for extensions of H-1B visa status for a three-year period, to the foreign national.
- For those foreign nationals not subject to quota retrogression, premium processing facilitates expeditious resolution of I-140 petition applications and thereafter enables foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence processing. Under the USCIS interpretation of AC-21, portability will attach to the foreign national once an I-140 petition has been approved and an application for adjustment of status has been pending for more than 180 days.