What is Premium Processing?
As the name implies, your visa petition for Form I-129 is expedited when you invest in premium processing. This form is the Petition for Nonimmigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
The additional fee guarantees that the USCIS takes adjudicative action on your case within 15 calendar days for the typical classification. If you’re filing for a multinational executive and manager (form I-140 E13 and Form I-140 E21 NIW), the guarantee is extended to 45 days. Should the NCSIS not move forward with your petition in that time, they refund your premium processing fee and expedite your petition anyway.
Time Frame for Premium Processing
The 15 or 45-day period starts when Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service) is received at the address on the form. The petition must have the proper signatures and fees attached to be accepted.
Once the form is received, the USCIS will send you an announcement of how they intend to proceed. This will be either an approval, denial, intent to deny (with reason), or request for further evidence. In rare cases where fraud or misrepresentation is suspected, the USCIS will open an investigation in the 15 or 45-day period, continuing to move the petition forward.
When additional evidence or response is required, the 15 or 45-day processing period stops until you receive the requested information.
Should all be attached to the original petition correctly, along with the application fee, you will receive a decision on your application within 15 calendar days (or 45 for the I-140 forms).
Who Benefits From Premium Processing?
While expedited care sounds ideal for this complex application, it’s not for everyone. Premium processing is beneficial if you’re applying for an H-1B visa transfer or planning on moving jobs on your current visa. In those situations, time is of the essence. The sooner your visa is approved, the faster you can get to work or continue working.
Once your premium processing decision is granted, within 15 days, you can transfer or move jobs. However, if you don’t file with this expedited processing, your application can take anywhere from two to six months.
Some petitioners are ineligible for filing for premium processing services, such as, but not limited to
● Petitioners who are requesting an initial visa or a change to hire foreign workers within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
● Some H-1B, H-2B, and H-3 classifications where cap restrictions have already been met. Before filing for premium processing, you should verify whether there’s a cap in your category and if that number was met.
Premium processing doesn’t guarantee approval. It does, however, guarantee that your petition will be expedited, and you’ll know how to move forward with your petition much sooner than with regular processing.
How Much Does Premium Processing Cost?
The full H-1B fee is $2,500. This fee shortens the processing time that the USCIS will handle your I-129 petition from an unknown period to 15 calendar days. The fee is not mandatory, and it isn’t always recommended. Keep in mind that choosing to use premium processing in a lottery selection or capped category doesn’t increase your chances of approval. You will not be able to start before October 1, either.
Premium processing is highly recommended for petitioners who are filing for renewal, extension, or transfer. In those cases, there is no cap or start date limitation. Your immigration attorney can advise you as to whether this extra fee is worth pursuing for your H-1B visa.
How Can You File a Request for Premium Processing?
With these pros and cons in mind, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not premium processing is right for you. If you want to take these steps, you, as the petitioner, or your attorney or representative, must complete Form I-907 and sign it. This is the Request for Premium Processing Service. Include Form I-129 or Form I-140 as appropriate.
You may have already filed your Form I-129 or Form I-140, then decided to expedite your petition. If so, you can file Form I-907 at the same service center where your other form is pending. This may not be the same place where you initially filed if the USCIS transferred your petition to another center. Include a copy of the previously filed form, the Receipt Notice, and any other relevant documentation, such as transfer notices.
Filing at the correct service center is vital. The USCIS will reject Form I-907s filed at offices without geographic jurisdiction if the form is filed with an I140 or I-129 or as a standalone request for a Form I-129 that wasn’t transferred to another center.
Should you file your form I-907 at an office that doesn’t have geographic jurisdiction, but it’s a standalone request for an I-140 or I-129 that was transferred, your petition may be accepted and forwarded to the correct service center. When that occurs, the premium processing time period does not begin until the date the correct service center receives the file.
You’ve filed your forms at the correct service center, received notification of receipt, and are now waiting. In the meantime, you should have received additional contact information to check on the status of your petition. You can do this online or at the numbers provided, as long as you have your receipt number. If you provide a postage-paid, self-addressed courier delivery slip with your form, you’ll receive your adjudication results faster.
One way to ensure that all your hard work is done correctly and heading to the right place is to have Visa2US help you. The experts here will take you through every step of the process, keep track of your petition for you, and reduce timely delays due to mistakes or missing evidence. The immigration system is complicated, but with the help of Visa2US, you don’t have to worry about figuring it out by yourself.