The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would now let certain F-1 students opt for premium processing services.
F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT extensions who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, can request a premium processing upgrade.
The premium processing begins March 6, a media release said, adding that for some other categories, it would begin from April 3.
“As previously announced, the expansion of premium processing is part of USCIS’ efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall immigration system, and is being implemented in a phased approach,” USCIS said in a statement.
“The availability of premium processing for certain F-1 students, in addition to the ease of online filing, will streamline the immigration experience for a great many international students,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou.
“The ongoing expansion of online filing is a priority for USCIS as we continue to create operational efficiencies and increase access to the immigration system for stakeholders, applicants, petitioners, requestors, and those we serve,” he added. The new online-filing procedures for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is now available to F-1 students who are seeking employment authorisation in the above categories.
Premium processing expansion for certain F-1 students will occur in phases, and students requesting premium processing should not file before these dates:
Beginning March 6, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, filed either via paper form or online, for certain F-1 students who already have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, if they are filing under one of the following categories:
- (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;
- (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and
- (c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension of OPT for STEM students.
Beginning April 3, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, filed either via paper form or online, for F-1 students in the above categories when filed together with Form I-765.
USCIS has said it will reject premium processing requests for a pending Form I-765 if received before March 6, and will reject any premium processing request for an initial or concurrently filed Form I-765 that is received before April 3.
Premium Processing of Green Cards
In January, the Biden Administration expanded the premium processing of some of the important categories of green card applicants and some categories of visas, particularly those related to training of foreign students.
The expansion of these categories is being carried out in phases beginning with the premium processing of EB-1 and EB-2 applications of Green cards.
This was in addition to all previously filed Form I-140 petitions under an E13 multinational executive and manager classification, or E21 classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a National Interest Waiver (NIW), US Citizenship and Immigration Services said.