The Biden Administration has made plans to increase the premium processing of some significant categories of green card applicants as well as some categories of visas, particularly those related to the training of international students.
Expansion to start with EB-1 and EB-2 applications of Green cards
The premium processing of EB-1 and EB-2 Green Card applications would serve as the first phase of the expansion of these categories.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, this will be in addition to all previously submitted Form I-140 petitions under the E13 multinational executive and manager classification or the E21 classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a National Interest Waiver (NIW).
According to USCIS, this is a part of their efforts to improve productivity and lighten the load on the entire legal immigration system.
USCIS said, “In March, we will expand premium processing to certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking STEM OPT extensions who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization,”
“In April, we will expand premium processing to F-1 students seeking OPT and F-1 students seeking STEM OPT extensions who are filing an initial Form I-765,” it said.
It appears that USCIS made these decisions in accordance with the suggestions made by Ajay Jain Bhutoria, an Indian American member of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), last year.
What does Presidential Commission recommend?
According to the Presidential Commission, historically, petitioners who file Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker, or certain employment-based immigrant visa petitioners who file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, have been the only ones eligible for premium processing.
“We recommend expanding premium processing services, giving applicants the option to pay between USD 2,500 to expedite their applications,” it said.
By August 2022, this measure should be in effect, and USCIS should implement premium processing in the following circumstances using a phased approach: a. Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, it read. An EB-1 Multinational Executive or Manager, an EB-2 Member of a Profession Holding an Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability seeking a National Interest Waiver (NIW), an I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and an I-765 Application for Employment Authorization were among those that were suggested.
“It is recommended USCIS Expand premium processing to additional employment-based green card applications, all work permit petitions and temporary immigration status extension requests, allowing applicants to pay $2,500 to have their cases adjudicated within 45 days in a phased approach,” recommended the presidential advisory commission.