USCIS Announces Final Phase of Premium Processing Expansion for EB-1 and EB-2 Form I-140 Petitions and Future Expansion for F-1 Students Seeking OPT and Certain Student and Exchange Visitors
Saturday, January 14, 2023
USCIS Expands Premium Processing for EB1 and EB2 Form I 140 Petitions

On Jan. 12, 2023, USCIS announced its plan to expand premium processing service availability for certain immigrant and non-immigrant benefits in 2023. Beginning Jan. 30, 2023, USCIS will be implementing the final phase of the premium processing expansion for Form I-140 EB-1C multinational executive classification and EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) classification. This new expansion phase will apply to initial petitions filed after Jan. 30, 2023, as well as to all previously filed EB-1C and EB-2 NIW petitions currently pending at USCIS. Petitioners who wish to request premium processing service for new or pending EB-1C or EB-2 NIW petitions must file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service with the requisite filing fee of $2,500.

In addition, USCIS will expand the premium processing service for F-1 students seeking OPT or STEM OPT extensions. USCIS has announced that in March 2023, it will expand premium processing service to certain F-1 students applying for OPT and F-1 students applying for STEM OPT extensions who have a pending Form I-765 (Application for EAD) at USCIS. In April 2023, USCIS will expand premium processing to all F-1 students seeking OPT and F-1 students applying for STEM OPT extensions who are filing an initial Form I-765. USCIS will provide specific dates for each expansion in February 2023.

USCIS has further announced that it will expand premium processing for certain Form I-539 applications including F-1 and J-1. USCIS anticipates that it will expand premium processing for certain F-1 and J-1 applicants with pending Form I-539 at USCIS in May 2023. USCIS also anticipates that it will expand premium processing for certain F-1 and J-1 applicants filing their first Form I-539 applications in June 2023. USCIS has not provided specific dates for each development and will make additional announcements when it is ready to implement these premium processing expansion phases. 

USCIS’s expansion of premium processing service to additional form types is part of its effort to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall U.S. immigration system. USCIS will adhere to the legislative requirement that the expansion of premium processing service does not result in an increase in processing times for immigration benefit requests not eligible for premium processing or filed under regular processing.

Law clerk Peter Shin also contributed to this article.