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When is premium processing helpful or necessary?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2022 | Firm News

We recently wrote about the Biden Administration infusing the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) to address the historically significant backlogs in visa applications and caseloads of staff. Amidst the changes was an increased emphasis on customer services and tools for monitoring the status of visa applications.

Amidst these improvements, it may still make sense to use an I-907 application for premium processing, which they must file electronically. The extra cost above the regular fee for this service is as high as $2,500, but it may be worth it. An immigration law attorney who helps with visa applications can provide guidance based on the specifics of the applicant or potential application’s circumstances.

When premium processing is the best idea

The biggest benefit of using I-907 is the quicker processing time of 15 to 45 day-wait (depending on the visa) rather than several months (or even a year) for regular processing. It is available for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. Generally speaking, premium processing is most helpful when the applicant needs a transfer an employer-sponsored visa when moving from one job to another. Moreover, premium processing is required if the visa holder stops working at the original employer before the transfer is approved by the USCIS. The employer should file the transfer.

When it may not be a good idea

Those who are filing for the first time will, if selected, get a visa that begins October 1, which is the beginning of the fiscal year 2023 for the federal government, so there may not be a rush. Moreover, premium processing for Form I-129 R-1 classification is only eligible after the petitioner passes a previous on-site inspection, which could take additional time to schedule.

Other things to note

Applicants using Form I-907 can no longer pay a single fee for the premium processing and the visa application. In other words: the USCIS will reject the forms if the applicant uses a combined payment. The USCIS may make additional changes as needed, so it is always best to consult with an immigration attorney who handles these matters. They will have accurate and up-to-date information.