The Employment Authorization Document allows recipients to work in the U.S. while they seek asylum or other legal status.
About 2 million people apply for new or renewed work permits each year, according to USCIS data. The process typically takes five to seven months.
Under the new rule, individuals seeking work permits can pay $1,500 to have their applications considered within 30 days. The premium fee ranges up to $2,500 for applications for other kinds of employment-related adjustments in legal status.
The USCIS oversees requests for work permits, asylum, green cards, U.S. citizenship and other immigration benefits, including the temporary H-1B program for highly skilled foreign workers.
The immigration agency has been struggling with backlogs, which was exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. As of February, USCIS was reviewing more than 9.5 million pending applications, a 66% increase from the end of fiscal year 2019, according to agency data.