Premium Service

How Do I Use the Premium Processing Service?

What is it?

Premium Processing Service provides American businesses with the opportunity to obtain faster processing of a petition to meet their needs for a foreign worker. Specifically, the USCIS will provide 15-calendar day processing to those who choose to use this service or the USCIS will refund the Premium Processing fee and the relating case will continue to receive expeditious service.

The processing period that will be used to determine whether or not the USCIS meets the 15-day period will begin when the Premium Processing filing request is delivered to the USCIS (at the appropriate address) and will end upon the USCIS mailing of a notice. The notice may be a notice of approval, request for evidence, intent to deny or notice of investigation for fraud or misrepresentation. If the notice requires the submission of additional evidence or of a response to an intent to deny, a new 15-day period will begin upon the delivery to the USCIS of a complete response to the request for evidence or notice of intent to deny.

Who is eligible?

Since implementation of the program on June 1, 2001, those employers who file to classify a beneficiary under one of the following nonimmigrant categories may request Premium Processing Service: E-1, E-2, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-2, P-3 and Q-1.

Since July 30th, 2001 the USCIS has made this service available to employers who wish to file to classify a beneficiary as an H-1B, TN or R nonimmigrant.

Will the USCIS expand who is eligible to request Premium Processing Service further?

The USCIS will review the program and evaluate the ability to incorporate additional forms into the program on a regular basis. No specific forms or dates for incorporating new forms have been identified at this time. It is noted, however, that statutory authority limits the USCIS to expanding only to other employment-based forms.

May the beneficiary of a visa petition seek premium processing?

No. Only the visa petitioner, or the attorney or representative who has filed a notice of appearance (Form G-28) on behalf of the visa petitioner, may seek premium processing.

What is the USCIS fee for Premium Processing?

The fee for this service is $1000. The Premium Processing fee may not be waived. In addition to the Premium Processing fee, all filing fees relating to the Petition must also be submitted. The Premium Processing fee must be submitted in a separate check or money order.

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

Yes. The discretionary expedite requests will no longer be available for those classifications who have been designated as eligible to file for Premium Processing Services except in the case of a petitioner who has been designated as non-profit by the Internal Revenue Service.

Petitioners who have been designated as non-profit may continue to request discretionary expedited service with the Service Centers as the have in the past or they may choose to pay the Premium Processing fee and utilize that service. If the criteria for a discretionary expedite is not met and the Service Center denies such a request the non-profit petitioner still has the option of requesting Premium Processing Service by filing a Form I-907 with fee.

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

The Bureau is designating certain nonimmigrant classifications that are subject to annual numerical limitations for Premium Processing Service. The Bureau does not believe that individuals who pay for Premium Processing Service on petitions filed for these classifications will have an unfair access to these limited immigration programs as long as the numerical limitations exceed the demand the programs.

Therefore, the Bureau will process Premium Processing and expedite requests of petitions for these nonimmigrant classifications in the order they are received, as well as chronologically process all other petitions filed for these classifications according to normal procedures.

However, in order to ensure equitable access to these limited programs, the Bureau will temporarily terminate the availability of Premium Processing Service for nonimmigrant classifications that are subject to annual numerical limitations when it becomes clear that the demand for a particular nonimmigrant classification will exceed the annual numerical limitation (e.g., when the Bureau has a pending volume of petitions sufficient to reach the limitation). This termination procedure will ensure that all petitioners have equitable access to these limited immigration programs.

The Bureau will announce temporary termination of a designation of a nonimmigrant classification for Premium Processing Service by publication of a notice in the Federal Register. The temporary termination will apply only to petitions filed for the fiscal year in which the termination is announced. When the Bureau announces temporary termination of Premium Processing Service for a particular nonimmigrant classification, it will return the Form I-907 and Premium Fee for all requests subject to the termination.

How do I file a Request for Premium Processing?

The Law Office of Paul B. Christensen, P.A. will be pleased to assist you in your Petition and Premium Processing matters. Please contact us for a consultation.