I heard that you can expedite the processing time of I-140 employment-based petitions. Is that true?
Yes. You can expedite the I-140 processing time for employment-based petitions by filing Form I-907 and paying a $1,440 filing fee. This service is called Premium Processing.
How does it work? Can I request Premium Processing even after my Form I-140 has already been filed?
The request for Premium Processing for I-140 employment-based petitions can be filed either concurrently with Form I-140 or after the I-140 Form has already been filed. Except for self petitions, only the petitioning employer or the attorney of record of the I-140 petition may file the Form I-907 to request premium processing. I-140 beneficiaries may not file the request. Once the request for premium processing is filed, USCIS guarantees that the petition will be processed in 15 calendar days, or it will refund the $1,440 premium processing fee.
What documents should I send while filing for the premium processing service for my Form I-140?
If for some reason you are found to be ineligible for the premium processing, your fee will be refunded by USCIS. To determine your eligibility for this service, it is better that you provide a file with the following documents:
- Provide copies of all Forms I-94
- Provide copies of Arrival/Departure Record and I-797
- Provide copies of H1B or L approval notices that have been issued to the petitioner or the petitioner’s employees.
- Provide a copy of the I-140 petition receipt notice if the form was previously filed.
- Provide a copy of the labor certification approval letter. This letter is issued by the Department of Labor when you file under the EB-2 or EB-3 categories.
Is Premium Processing Service available for all employment-based I-140 petitions?
No, I-140 premium processing is only available for certain employment-based petitions. Certain employment-based categories such as EB-1C Multinational Executives and Managers, EB-2 National Interest Waiver, EB-4 Special Immigrants and EB-5 Investors are not eligible for I-140 Premium Processing Service at this time.
Is it true that by using the Premium Processing service one can get my green card sooner?
Premium processing only expedites the I-140 petition, the underlying eligibility of permanent residence. It does not accelerate the process of I-485 Adjustment of Status application or immigrant visa application at the US Consulate. The question of how soon one can be approved a green card depends on a number of factors such as visa availability, visa categories, priority date, administrative delays, or any grounds of inadmissibility.
What are the advantages of using Premium Processing Service?
First, one can obtain a decision in 15 calendar days as opposed to 4 months or more, which, in some instances, is extremely critical. For someone who is nearing their limit of H or L stay but has no labor certificate or I-140 filed more than 365 days prior, having an approved I-140 will allow him or her to request for a 3 year extension under the provision of AC21.
Second, in some employment-based categories such as EB-1 Individuals with Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Professor or Researcher, in which USCIS exercises considerable discretion in adjudicating these types of petitions, a definitive decision will certainly be beneficial.
Lastly, for anyone applying for immigrant visa at a US Consulate, premium processing will shave a few months off the normal processing time.
Are petitions that are filed using Premium Processing Service subject to greater scrutiny?
Based on some users experiences this may seem true, but there are no statistics or facts supporting such claim. However, it seems that in some employment-based categories in which USCIS exercises considerable discretion in adjudication, more Requests for Evidence (RFE) have been issued. One should consult an immigration attorney to weigh the pros and cons of using Premium Processing specific to his or her own circumstances.