Form I-140. Illustration.
Shelle Ann-Simon

Shelle Ann-Simon

Filed Form I-140? USCIS will give priority to EB-1 and EB-2 classifications

USCIS has decided to implement priority processing for certain petitioners who have filed Form I-140, also called ‘Petition for alien worker’, pending under classifications EB-1 and EB-2.

USCIS has announced that it will give Form I-140 petitioners premium processing for EB-1 and EB-2 classifications. This is the latest effort in a series of actions that aim to reduce processing times and a large backlog of unresolved petitions.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and due to the lack of resources resulting from the anti-immigration agenda of the previous administration, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accumulated a significant number of pending cases and also experienced an increase in processing times.

Beginning with the Biden administration, USCIS announced many new actions intended to reduce caseloads and processing times, while ensuring that fair and efficient services are available to all immigrants in the system. These measures were designed to increase efficiencies and reduce burdens on the overall legal immigration system by setting new agency-wide backlog reduction goals, expanding premium processing to additional form types, and working to improve the timely access to employment authorization documents.

“USCIS remains committed to delivering timely and fair decisions to everyone we serve (…) Every application we adjudicate represents the hopes and dreams of immigrants and their families, as well as their critical immediate needs, such as financial stability and humanitarian
protection.”

Fragment of a statement from the director of USCIS.
Form I-140. Illustration.

Expansion of Premium Processing for Form I-140

Premium processing or priority processing is an expedited adjudication service currently available only to petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and for certain employment-based immigrant visa petitions (I-140).

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided to align premium processing regulations with the USCIS Emergency Interim Stabilization Act, based on the codification of premium processing fees and adjudication timeframes provided by Congress.

As of this regulation, the forms ultimately eligible for premium processing services include: Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status; Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and additional classifications under I-140 Form, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

Availability of premium processing of Forms I-539, I-765, and I-140 will begin to roll out in the fiscal year 2022, through a phased approach. However, this should not preclude meeting Congress’s requirement not to cause increased processing times for regular applications for immigration benefits.

How Do I Know If The Petition I Filed May Have Priority Treatment?

USCIS plans to begin the phased implementation process by expanding premium processing eligibility to I-140 applicants seeking EB-1 immigrant classification as a multinational executive or manager, or EB-2 immigrant classification as a member from professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver.

Form I-140. Illustration.

In order to get the new benefit, applicants who have already filed Form I-140 and who wish to apply for premium processing, must file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, available on the USCIS website. However, new I-140 applications with a request for premium processing will not be accepted at this time.

We will reject premium processing requests for these I-140 classifications that are filed before their start date of June 1, 2022, or July 1, 2022. USCIS has 45 days to complete premium processing for these newly included I-140 classifications. We will not accept new (initial) Forms I-140 with a premium processing request at this time.

Excerpt from USCIS latest alert pertaining to premium processing for I-140 applicants.

If you are in need of immigration legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us! At the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon we have wide experience in immigration proceedings, family law, and personal injury and have successfully defended our clients for over 10 years. Contact us through our website or give us a call at 281-606-5362!

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