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» How Do I Use the Premium Processing Service?
How Do I Use the Premium Processing Service

How Do I Use the Premium Processing Service?

 

What is it?

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

The processing period that is used to determine whether or not USCIS meets 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. Within the 15 day calendar period USCIS will issue an approval notice, or where appropriate, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation. If the notice requires the submission of additional evidence or of a response to intent to deny, a new 15 calendar day period will begin upon the delivery to 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.

Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker

Designated Classification Within Form I-129

Corresponding Nonimmigrant Visa 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 CAP

July 30, 2001

May 26, 2006 (FY 07)

August 10, 2005 (FY 06)

Alien in Specialty Occupation, Advanced Degree Exception (Masters or Higher)

H-1B CAP

July 30, 2001

July 26, 2006 (FY 07)

January 17, 2006 (FY 06)

Alien in Specialty Occupation

H-1B NON-CAP

July 30, 2001

 

Temporary Worker performing nonagricultural services

H-2B CAP

June 1, 2001

November 28, 2006  (1st half, FY 07)

 

Temporary Worker performing nonagricultural services

H-2B NON CAP

June 1, 2001

 

Trainee

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

 

Petitioners that meet requirements may file a blanket petition seeking continuing approval of itself and some or all of its parent, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates as qualifying organizations

L-BLANKET

June 1, 2001

 

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

O-1

June 1, 2001

 

Aliens 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, that performs support services which are 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, that performs support services which are 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, that performs support services which are essential to the successful performance of the principal P-3 alien

P-3S

June 1, 2001

 

International cultural exchange aliens

Q-1

June 1, 2001

 

Alien in a Religious occupation

R-1

July 30, 2001

*** November 28, 2006 - December 18, 2007

NAFTA professional, Canada

TN1-CANADA

July 30, 2001

 

NAFTA professional, Mexico

TN2-MEXICO

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 because of cap restrictions or other processing restrictions.

*** In August 2005, USCIS' Office of Fraud Detection and National Security completed a Benefit Fraud Assessment (BFA) for Religious Worker Petitions. (See "Related Links" on this page for a link to a summary of this Assessment.) The BFA revealed a 33 percent fraud rate.  Because of these results, and to ensure the integrity of the religious worker program, USCIS now conducts additional system checks and in most instances also a site visit of the petitioning organization, prior to adjudication. Given these additional processes, USCIS has determined that it cannot guarantee the issuance of either an approval notice, or where appropriate, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation, within 15 calendar days of receipt of a petition for nonimmigrant religious worker.

On November 28, 2006, USCIS temporarily suspended Premium Processing Service for Aliens in a Religious Occupation which is filed on Form I-129, along with the Q-1 and R-1 Classifications Supplement. USCIS is extending the suspension for another six months, with an expiration date of December 18, 2007.  This is being done because USCIS's first and foremost mission is to ensure integrity in the adjudications process.  In the future, if USCIS is able to properly process these cases within fifteen calendar days of receipt, the Form I-129 requesting R-1 nonimmigrant visa classification will once again will be available for Premium Processing Service.  USCIS may prescribe additional conditions of availability on Premium Processing Service for religious worker petitions.  Alternatively, USCIS may publish a Federal Register Notice permanently removing the R-1 nonimmigrant visa classification from eligibility for Premium Processing Service.

For additional information relating to the Current Cap Count for Non-Immigrant Worker Visas, use the link on this page.

 

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

*** Until Further Notice

Outstanding professors and researchers

EB-1

September 25, 2006

*** Until Further Notice

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

*** Until Further Notice

Skilled workers***

EB-3

August 28, 2006

*** Until Further Notice

Professionals***

EB-3

August 28, 2006

*** Until Further Notice

Workers other than skilled workers and professionals

EB-3

September 25, 2006

*** Until Further Notice

  *** (if designated as available, please also see section on additional conditions placed on Premium Processing Availability)

 

May 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 visa petitioner, or the attorney or representative who has filed a notice of appearance (Form G-28) on behalf of the visa petitioner, may request Premium Processing Service for designated visa petition adjudications. The petitioner, attorney or representative, or beneficiary may pay the $1,000 Premium Processing 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?

Check the USCIS website at Immigration Forms, above, for the most up-to-date information as well as the most current version of Form I-907 which is available for download. 
If you are already in possession of a Form I-907, please use this webpage, Forms and Fees, to verify that your version of Form I-907 is still current. This can be done by comparing the Forms and Fees webpage which includes the “edition” date that USCIS is currently accepting and the edition date on your Form I-907. The edition date, which is referenced as (Rev. xx/xx/xx) is located in the lower right corner on every page of the form and instructions. If the edition date on your Form I-907 matches the date or dates, if applicable, on the Forms and Fees webpage, your version of Form I-907 is current and will be accepted by USCIS. If there is a designation “N” shown after the edition date on the Forms and Fees webpage, please note that USCIS will not accept any other editions of the form.

How do I file a request for Premium Processing Service?

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. You must file the concurrently filed Form I-907 with Form I-129 or Form I-140 at the Service Center designated as the appropriate filing location on the instructions to the Form I-907. If you filed Form I-129 or the 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-129 or Form I-140 filing receipt. If you received a transfer notice, it is very important that you include a copy of it and that you submit your filing to the transfer location. If a petitioner or applicant erroneously filed a concurrent or standalone Form I-907 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 an incorrectly filed Form 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.

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

Yes. This will accord USCIS the flexibility to adapt to contingencies affecting its ability to provide Premium Processing Service. Premium Processing Service is available for the Form I-140 classifications indicated on the chart above provided that the case does not involve:

 

1. A second filing of a Form I-140 petition while an initial Form I-140 remains pending;

2. Labor Certification substitution requests; and

3. Duplicate Labor Certification requests (i.e., cases filed without an original labor certification from the Department of labor).

 

USCIS is prescribing these additional conditions of availability on Premium Processing 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 $1,000. The Premium Processing Service fee may not be waived. In addition to the Premium Processing Service fee, all other filing fees relating to the specific form(s) for which you are requesting Premium Processing Service must also be submitted. 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 $1,000 Premium Processing Service fee, but the beneficiary cannot sign or file the Form I-907. If e-filed, USCIS accepts credit card, debit card, or electronic transfer of funds from a checking or savings account from a U.S. bank.

Are there any additional benefits to the program?

Yes. USCIS has provided not only a unique mailing address for its Premium Processing Service customers, but it 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.

USCIS is also collecting, on the Form I-907, your phone number, fax number and e-mail address so that we can send you (the petitioner or attorney) an automatic e-mail notifying you of the receipt of your Form I-907, Request For Premium Processing Service. 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 or on behalf of 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’ previous expedite practices?

Yes. The 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 may continue requesting discretionary expedited service as they 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 are not met, the not-for-profit petitioner still has the option of requesting of Premium Processing upgrade by filing Form I-907 with fee.

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

USCIS does not believe that individuals who pay for Premium Processing Service on petitions filed for nonimmigrant classifications that are subject to annual limitations will have an unfair access to these limited immigration programs.

For cap-subject H-1B and H-2B petitions, USCIS will apply a random selection process to all petitions (whether or not Premium Processing Service is requested) received on the date when a sufficient number of petitions have been received to reach the applicable numerical limit (“final receipt date”). Petitions that are accepted through this random selection process are adjudicated to completion. For H-1B cases, USCIS will return the fees to the petitioner and hold the cases that were filed ON the cut-off day but were not selected in the random process. This way, if USCIS does not use all of the projected H-1B1 Singapore/Chile cap cases (which count towards the H-1B cap), additional H-1B cap cases will be taken in order from the list of cases that were held. Those petitioners will then be notified to re-submit the fees. All H-1B cap cases filed AFTER the cut-off day are rejected along with the fees.

Cases subject to the H-2B cap that were not selected in the random process, and H-2B cases that were filed AFTER the cut-off day are rejected along with the fees. Unlike the H-1B cap cases, there is no need to hold the H-2B cap cases that were not selected because there are no special provisions that apply to the H-2B cap cases like there are with the H-1B cap cases, i.e. H-1B1 Singapore/Chile cap cases.

In order to ensure equitable access to other cap-subject nonimmigrant classifications to which USCIS does not currently apply a random selection process, USCIS will temporarily terminate the availability of Premium Processing when it becomes clear that the demand will exceed the annual numerical limitation (e.g., when the USCIS has a pending volume of petitions sufficient to reach the limitation). This termination of procedure will ensure that all petitioners have equitable access to these limited immigration programs.

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 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 (800) 375-5283 for general information about the program.

How do I contact the Service Center concerning the Premium Processing 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 Toll Free phone number at 1-866-315-5718. You will need to have your receipt number when you call, because this phone number is only for inquiries relating to Premium Processing Service.

How can I get the results of the adjudication faster?

You can include a postage paid and self-addressed courier delivery slip with the Premium Processing Service request and it will be used to return the results of the adjudication.

 

This page can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/premiumprocessing

 

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