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How Do I Use the Premium Processing Service?

immigration lawyer

What is it?

Premium Processing Service provides faster processing for certain employment-based petitions and applications. Specifically, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing to those petitioners or applicants who choose to use this service or USCIS will refund the Premium Processing Service fee. If the fee is refunded, the relating case will continue to receive expedited processing.

The 15 calendar day period will begin when the current version of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is received by USCIS at the correct filing address noted on the form. USCIS will issue and serve on the petitioner or applicant an approval notice, a denial notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within the 15 calendar day period. If the petition or application requires the submission of additional evidence or a response to a notice of intent to deny, a new 15 calendar day period will begin upon receipt by USCIS of a complete response to the request for evidence or notice of intent to deny.

 

Who is eligible?

The chart below sets forth the forms, designated classifications within each form type, and current availability and termination dates for premium processing service.

Note: Premium Processing Service is currently suspended for all Form I-129 filings that request a change or an initial grant of status for beneficiaries within the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Note: the H-1B, H-2B, and certain H-3 classifications may have annual numerical limit (“cap”) restrictions. It is recommended that petitioners verify whether a cap is applicable to their particular filing, and whether that cap has been met. Filing Form I-907 does not give special cap benefits to the petitioner. (See “How will USCIS manage those categories that have an annual limit in relation to this faster processing?” below.) For additional information relating to the current cap count for these classifications, see the Related Links at the top right of this page.

 

Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker

Designated Classification WithinForm I-129

Corresponding Nonimmigrant Classification

Availability Date*

Termination Date**

Treaty Trader

E-1

June 1, 2001

 

Treaty Investor

E-2

June 1, 2001

 

Alien in Specialty Occupation

H-1B

July 30, 2001

 

Temporary Worker performing nonagricultural services

H-2B

June 1, 2001

 

Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor

H-3

June 1, 2001

 

Intracompany Transferee, Executive or Manager Capacity

L-1A

June 1, 2001

 

Intracompany Transferee, Specialized Knowledge Professional

L-1B

June 1, 2001

 

A petitioner meeting certain requirements which seeks continuous approval of itself and some or all of its parents, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates

LZ

(Blanket L-1)

June 1, 2001

 

Alien of extraordinary ability or achievements in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics

O-1

June 1, 2001

 

Alien providing essential support services for a principal O-1 alien

O-2

June 1, 2001

 

Internationally recognized athlete or member of an internationally recognized entertainment group

P-1

June 1, 2001

 

Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-1 alien

P-1S

June 1, 2001

 

Artist or Entertainer under a Reciprocal Exchange Program

P-2

June 1, 2001

 

Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-2 alien

P-2S

June 1, 2001

 

Artist or Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Program

P-3

June 1, 2001

 

Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-3 alien

P-3S

June 1, 2001

 

International cultural exchange alien

Q-1

June 1, 2001

 

Alien in a Religious occupation

R-1

July 30, 2001 and reinstated July 20, 2009***

 

NAFTA professional, Canada

TN-1

July 30, 2001

 

NAFTA professional, Mexico

TN-2

July 30, 2001

 

  * The availability date is the date that the classification was initially deemed eligible for Premium Processing Service.

** The termination date reflects the last day that USCIS accepted filings requesting that specific classification. If a date is entered in this column, that classification is currently ineligible for filing.

*** Premium Processing Service for nonimmigrant religious worker visa petitions was initially suspended on November 28, 2006. On July 20, 2009, USCIS resumed acceptance of Form I-907 for I-129 petitions seeking R-1 classification but only from those petitioners who have previously completed a successful on-site inspection at the location where the beneficiary will be employed.  See the Related Links section of this page for a USCIS Update and accompanying Questions and Answers on reinstitution of premium processing service for nonimmigrant religious worker visa classification.

 

Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

Designated Classification Within Form I-140

Corresponding Employment-Based (EB) Immigrant Visa Classification

Availability Date+

Termination Date**

Aliens of extraordinary ability

EB-1

November 13, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009++++

 

Outstanding professors and researchers

EB-1

September 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009++++

 

Multinational executives and managers

EB-1

Not Yet Available

 

Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability not seeking a National Interest Waiver

EB-2

September 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009++++

 

Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a National Interest Waiver

EB-2

Not Yet Available

 

Skilled workers***

EB-3

August 28, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009++++

 

Professionals***

EB-3

August 28, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009++++

 

Workers other than skilled workers and professionals

EB-3

September 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009++++

 

 

+ The availability date is the date that the classification was initially deemed eligible for Premium Processing Service.

++ The termination date reflects the last day that USCIS accepted filings requesting that specific classification. If a date is entered in this column, that classification is currently ineligible for premium processing.

+++ If designated as available.  Please see the section on additional conditions placed on Premium Processing Service availability.

++++ On July 2, 2007, USCIS announced the temporary suspension of Premium Processing Service for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2(f)(2).   However, after an evaluation of its Form I-140 backlog reduction efforts and increased Form I-140 adjudicative efficiencies, USCIS concluded that as of June 29, 2009, it would reinstate Premium Processing Service for this benefit.

Can the beneficiary of a visa petition seek Premium Processing Service?

No, except in cases where the petition is eligible to be filed as a self-petition (i.e., the petitioner and the beneficiary are the same).  Otherwise, only the petitioner, or the attorney or representative who has filed a notice of appearance (Form G-28) on behalf of the petitioner, may request Premium Processing Service for a designated petition. The petitioner, attorney or representative, or beneficiary may pay the Premium Processing Service fee, but the beneficiary cannot sign or file the Form I-907.

How do I verify that I am using the current version of the form?

To verify that your version of Form I-907 is currently accepted by USCIS, compare the “edition date” located on the lower right corner of your Form I-907, to the “edition date” listed on USCIS’s “Request for Premium Processing Service” Form page.  Your version of Form I-907 will be accepted by USCIS if:

  • Both dates match, or
  • USCIS’s “Request for Premium Processing Service” Form page lists a later date, but there is a designation “Y.” 

Your version of Form I-907 will not be accepted by USCIS if a later edition date is listed followed by an “N” designation.

How do I file a request for Premium Processing Service?

As the petitioner or its attorney or representative, you must complete and sign Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, in accordance with the instructions on the current version of the form. If you are filing Form I-907 concurrently with Form I-129 or Form I-140, you must file both forms at the Service Center designated as the appropriate filing location on the form instructions.  If you have already filed Form I-129 or Form I-140 and you now wish to request Premium Processing Service, file Form I-907 with the Service Center where the Form I-129 or Form I-140 is currently pending. Submit a copy of the Form I-797, Receipt Notice, for your Form I-129 or Form I-140.  If you received a transfer notice, it is very important that you include a copy of it and that you submit Form I-907 to the transfer location. 

If a petitioner erroneously filed a standalone I-907 relating to a Form I-140 petition at the wrong service center, USCIS will not reject the filing, but instead will forward the filing to the correct service center having jurisdiction over the petition or application.  For incorrectly filed Forms I-907, the 15 calendar day period will start on the date the file is received at the correct service center as indicated in the Form I-907 filing instructions. 

USCIS will reject any Form I-907 premium processing service requests that are filed at an office without geographic jurisdiction over the underlying petition if the Form I-907 is filed:

  • concurrently with a Form I-140 petition;
  • concurrently with a Form I-129 petition; or
  • as a standalone relating to a Form I-129 petition.

Are there any additional conditions of availability being placed on Premium Processing Service at this time?

Yes.  Form I-907 premium processing service requests may be rejected if the filing fails to clearly establish the conditions of availability and/or is incorrectly submitted concurrently with a Form I-140 petition at a USCIS office without geographic jurisdiction over the Form I-140 petition.

Premium Processing Service is available for the Form I-140 classifications indicated on the chart above provided that the case does not involve:

  • A second filing of a Form I-140 petition while an initial Form I-140 remains pending;
  • Labor certification substitution requests;
  • Duplicate Labor Certification requests (i.e., cases filed without an original labor certification from the Department of Labor), and;
  • A Form I-140 petition in which a final decision has been made.

USCIS is prescribing these additional conditions of availability on Premium Processing Service for Form I-140 because of their special processing requirements, including locating and transferring other files or documents internally and requesting initial evidence from an outside agency, that make it difficult for USCIS to guarantee that it will process the case within a 15 calendar day period.

What is the fee for this service?

The fee for this service is listed under the "I-907,Request for Premium Processing Service" link at the upper-right of this page. The Premium Processing Service fee may not be waived.  In addition to the Premium Processing Service fee, you must submit all other filing fees relating to the specific form(s) for which you are requesting Premium Processing Service.  The Premium Processing Service fee must be submitted in a separate check or money order.  The petitioner, attorney or representative, or beneficiary may pay the Premium Processing Service fee, but the beneficiary cannot sign or file the Form I-907.  USCIS accepts credit card, debit card, or electronic transfer of funds from a checking or savings account from a U.S. bank when a request for Premium Processing Service for an eligible Form I-129 petition is e-filed.

Are there any additional benefits to the program?

Yes. USCIS has also established a special phone number and e-mail address for each of the Service Centers.  These special communication channels will be available only to Premium Processing Service customers.

Additionally, USCIS collects your phone number, fax number and e-mail address on the Form I-907 so that we can send you (the petitioner or attorney or representative) an automatic e-mail notifying you of the receipt of your Form I-907.  If the underlying form for which you requested Premium Processing Service is approved, we will send an automatic e-mail notifying you of the approval.  It is important that you provide this information so that USCIS may correspond with you in the most appropriate manner.

In addition and at no additional cost, USCIS will strive to provide faster processing of Form I-539 applications filed by dependents of the principal beneficiary of a petition for which Premium Processing Service has been requested if the Form I-539 is filed at the same time.  USCIS provides this service as a courtesy.  Consequently, it cannot guarantee faster processing of the Form I-539.

Does this program have any effect on the USCIS’s previous expedite practices?

Yes. In general, discretionary expedite requests will no longer be available for those classifications designated as eligible for Premium Processing Service. However, petitioners designated as not-for-profit entities by the Internal Revenue Service have the choice to request discretionary expedited service as they have in the past or they may choose to pay the Premium Processing Service fee and utilize that service. If the criteria for a discretionary expedite are not met, the not-for-profit petitioner still has the option of requesting a Premium Processing Service upgrade by filing Form I-907 with fee.

How will USCIS manage those categories that have an annual limit in relation to this faster processing?

Individuals who pay for Premium Processing Service on petitions filed for nonimmigrant classifications that are subject to annual numerical (“cap”) limitations will not have an unfair access to these limited immigration programs.

If necessary, USCIS will apply a random selection process to all petitions received on the date when a sufficient number of petitions have been received to reach the applicable numerical limit (“final receipt date”) for cap-subject H-1B, H-2B and H-3 petitions regardless of whether Premium Processing Service is requested.  Petitions that are accepted through this random selection process are adjudicated to completion.  Cases subject to the cap which were not selected in the random process and cases that were filed after the final receipt date are rejected and fees are returned.

Can I contact a USCIS Service Center if I have not filed a request for Premium Processing Service yet but have questions about the program?

No. You cannot contact the Service Centers directly unless you have already filed Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for the underlying Form I-129 or Form I-140.  The Premium Processing Service toll-free phone number and e-mail addresses listed on Form I-907 are dedicated only to customers who have already submitted a request for Premium Processing Service.  If you have not requested Premium Processing Service, you can call the Customer Service toll free phone number at 1- 800-375-5283 for general information about the program.

How do I contact the Service Center concerning a Premium Processing Service request that I filed?

The unique mailing address for each of the Service Centers is listed on the instructions to the Form I-907.  Additional contact information for each Service Center will be provided to you on your receipt notice and will also be provided on this Website.

If you have already filed a Request for Premium Processing Service and you need to contact the Service Center, call the Premium Processing Service Toll Free phone number at 1-866-315-5718. You will need to have your receipt number when you call as this phone number is only for inquiries relating to a petition already receiving Premium Processing Service.

How can I get the results of the adjudication faster?

You may include a postage paid and self-addressed courier delivery slip when filing Form I-907 and it will be used to return the results of the adjudication.

 

 

Last updated:12/08/2010



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Moses Apsan and his staff, based in New York City and Newark, NJ provide exceptional legal services throughout the world, in all aspects of immigration to the United States, including non-immigrant (temporary visas), immigrant visa (Green Card) and deportation defense. In addition Mr. Apsan, has been practicing Bankruptcy law and Divorce laws for over 30 years, He was the President of the Federal Bar Association, New Jersey Chapter (1997-2002). He speaks Portuguese and Spanish..
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