Premium Process Updates

Premium Processing Updates

Mises à jour de traitement Premium

Earlier this year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would be expanding premium processing services to more categories of applicants to increase efficiency and speed-up decision-making processes. This process will be phased in starting this June, with the ability to upgrade to premium processing for two more form I-140 categories (E-1 multinational/manager immigrant and E-2 National Interest Waiver petitions) for some applications that have already been filed. By 2025, USCIS hopes to achieve the goal of also expanding premium processing to specific categories of forms I-539 and I-765.

USCIS implemented this change to allow employers and individual applicants to pay a higher fee for quicker processing times, considering the immense backlog currently faced by applicants. The goal is to provide more revenue for USCIS to overcome processing delays, in addition to providing some stability for individuals awaiting decisions and hoping to work and live in the United States.

What is Premium Processing?

To work in the United States, applicants must file one of four forms depending on their circumstances:

  • I-129 (petition for a nonimmigrant worker)
  • I-140 (petition for alien worker)
  • I-539 (application to change or extend status)
  • I-765 (application for employment authorization)

Currently, premium processing enables applicants falling within certain categories of form I-129 and I-140 to pay a fee of $2,500 to have their form processed within an expedited time frame. For many categories, processing time is 15 days. In the case of applicants filing for an E-1 as a multinational executive and manager or applicants filing for an E-2 National Interest Waiver processing time is 45 days. USCIS is required to adjudicate the case or issue a request for evidence within this time frame.

What Does this New Policy Mean for Canadians Relocating to the US?

Unfortunately, this rule does not yet apply to new applications falling under these categories. However, some applicants will be able to benefit from this rule and request premium processing to expedite their files for a decision within 45 days:

  • 1) If you are a Canadian who has applied for an EB-1 as a multinational executive or manager on or before January 1, 2021, who is still awaiting a decision, starting June 1, you can submit a request for premium processing.
  • 2) If you are a Canadian who has applied for an EB-1 as a multinational executive or manager on or before March 1, 2021, who is still awaiting a decision, starting July 1, you can submit a request for premium processing.
  • 3) If you are a Canadian who has applied for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver on or before June 1, 2021, who is still awaiting a decision, starting July 1, you can submit a request for premium processing.

Read more about premium processing updates ici.