USCIS is expanding premium processing as part of its effort to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall immigration system, and this is being implemented in a phased approach.
Now, for the first time ever, certain F-1 students can request premium processing for their Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization filed under one of these categories:
- (c)(3)(A): Pre-Completion OPT;
- (c)(3)(B): Post-Completion OPT; and
- (c)(3)(C): 24-Month Extension of OPT for STEM students
If you are part of an eligible category that is listed above and:
- Your Form I-765 is already pending with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Beginning March 6, 2023, you may now request premium processing for your case
- You have not submitted your Form I-765 yet to USCIS
- Starting on April 3, 2023, you can submit a premium processing request together with your Form I-765 requesting OPT
As USCIS implements the expansion of premium processing in a phased approach, they will be working toward premium processing availability of Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. It is anticipated that they will expand premium processing for certain students and exchange visitors with pending Form I-539 applications in May and certain students and exchange visitors who are filing initial Form I-539 applications in June.
USCIS will abide by the legislative requirement that the expansion of premium processing will not result in increases to processing times for immigration benefit requests that are not designated for premium processing or increases in regular processing of immigration benefit requests.
Contact Zulkie Partners with any questions; we are here to help you in all your business immigration matters!