How Do I Use the Premium Processing Service?

Alert:  Premium processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions will be offered in a two-phased approach during the FY 2020 cap season so USCIS can best manage the premium processing requests without fully suspending it as in previous years. The first phase, which started on May 20, included FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status and the second phase, which starts on June 10, includes all other FY 2020 cap-subject petitions. Starting on June 10 and continuing through the end of June 24, we will not use pre-paid mailers to send out final notices for premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions not requesting a change of status. Read more here: Premium Processing Begins for Remaining H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions on June 10
For information on premium processing for all other H-1B petitions not related to the FY 2020 cap season, including guidance for H-1B petitions that have been transferred, please read more here: USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions.

What is it?

Premium Processing Service provides expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions and applications. Specifically, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing to those petitioners or applicants who choose to use this service or USCIS will refund the Premium Processing Service fee. If the fee is refunded, the relating case will continue to receive expedited processing.

The 15 calendar day period will begin when USCIS properly receives the current version of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, at the correct filing address noted on the form. USCIS will issue an approval notice, a denial notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within the 15 calendar day period. If the petition or application requires the submission of additional evidence or a response to a notice of intent to deny, a new 15 calendar day period will begin upon receipt by USCIS of a complete response to the request for evidence or notice of intent to deny.

Who is eligible?

The chart below lists the forms, designated classifications within each form type, and current availability and termination dates for premium processing service.

Note: Premium Processing Service is currently suspended for all Form I-129 filings that request a change or an initial grant of status for beneficiaries within the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Note: The H-1B, H-2B, and certain H-3 classifications may have annual numerical limit (“cap”) restrictions. We recommend that petitioners verify whether a cap is applicable to their particular filing, and whether that cap has been met. Filing Form I-907 does not give special cap benefits to the petitioner. (See “How will USCIS manage those categories that have an annual limit in relation to this faster processing?” below.)

Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker

 

Designated Classification Within Form I-129

Corresponding Nonimmigrant Classification

Availability Date1

Termination Date2

Treaty Trader

E-1

June 1, 2001

 

Treaty Investor

E-2

June 1, 2001

 

Alien in Specialty Occupation

H-1B

July 30, 2001

 

Temporary Worker performing nonagricultural services

H-2B

June 1, 2001

 

Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor

H-3

June 1, 2001

 

Intracompany Transferee, Executive or Manager Capacity

L-1A

June 1, 2001

 

Intracompany Transferee, Specialized Knowledge Professional

L-1B

June 1, 2001

 

A petitioner meeting certain requirements which seeks continuous approval of itself and some or all of its parents, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates

LZ

(Blanket L-1)

June 1, 2001

 

Alien of extraordinary ability or achievements in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics

O-1

June 1, 2001

 

Alien providing essential support services for a principal O-1 alien

O-2

June 1, 2001

 

Internationally recognized athlete or member of an internationally recognized entertainment group

P-1

June 1, 2001

 

Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-1 alien

P-1S

June 1, 2001

 

Artist or Entertainer under a Reciprocal Exchange Program

P-2

June 1, 2001

 

Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-2 alien

P-2S

June 1, 2001

 

Artist or Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Program

P-3

June 1, 2001

 

Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-3 alien

P-3S

June 1, 2001

 

International cultural exchange alien

Q-1

June 1, 2001

 

Alien in a Religious occupation

R-1

July 30, 2001 and reinstated July 20, 20093

 

NAFTA professional, Canada

TN-1

July 30, 2001

 

NAFTA professional, Mexico

TN-2

July 30, 2001

 

 

[1] The availability date is the date that the classification was initially deemed eligible for Premium Processing Service.

[2] The termination date reflects the last day that USCIS accepted filings requesting that specific classification. If a date is entered in this column, that classification is currently ineligible for filing.

[3] Premium Processing for nonimmigrant religious worker visa petitions was initially suspended on Nov. 28, 2006. On July 20, 2009, USCIS resumed acceptance of Form I-907 for I-129 petitions seeking R-1 classification but only from those petitioners who have previously completed a successful on-site inspection at the location where the beneficiary will be employed.

Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

 

Designated Classification Within Form I-140

Corresponding Employment-Based (EB) Immigrant Visa Classification

Availability Date1

Termination Date2

Aliens of extraordinary ability

EB-1

Nov. 13, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 20093

 

Outstanding professors and researchers

EB-1

Sept. 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 20093

 

Multinational executives and managers

EB-1

Not Yet Available

 

Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability not seeking a National Interest Waiver

EB-2

Sept. 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 20093

 

Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a National Interest Waiver

EB-2

Not Yet Available

 

Skilled workers4

EB-3

Aug. 28, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 20093

 

Professionals4

EB-3

Aug. 28, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 20093

 

Workers other than skilled workers and professionals

EB-3

Sept. 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 20093

 

 

[1] The availability date is the date that the classification was initially deemed eligible for Premium Processing Service.

[2] The termination date reflects the last day that USCIS accepted filings requesting that specific classification. If a date is entered in this column, that classification is currently ineligible for premium processing.

[3] On July 2, 2007, USCIS announced the temporary suspension of Premium Processing Service for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2(f)(2). However, after an evaluation of its Form I-140 backlog reduction efforts and increased Form I-140 adjudicative efficiencies, USCIS concluded that as of June 29, 2009, it would reinstate Premium Processing Service for this benefit.

[4] If designated as available. Please see the section on additional conditions placed on Premium Processing Service availability.

Can the beneficiary of a visa petition seek Premium Processing Service?

No, except in cases where the petition is eligible to be filed as a self-petition (i.e., the petitioner and the beneficiary are the same). Otherwise, only the petitioner, or the attorney or representative who has filed a notice of appearance (Form G-28) on behalf of the petitioner, may request Premium Processing Service for a designated petition. The petitioner, attorney or representative, or beneficiary may pay the Premium Processing Service fee, but the beneficiary cannot sign or file the Form I-907.

How do I verify that I am using the current version of the form?

To verify that your version of Form I-907 is currently accepted by USCIS, compare the “edition date” located on the lower right corner of your Form I-907, to the “edition date” listed on USCIS’s “Request for Premium Processing Service” Form page. Your version of Form I-907 will be accepted by USCIS if:

Your version of Form I-907 will not be accepted by USCIS if a later edition date is listed followed by an “N” designation.

How do I file a request for Premium Processing Service?

As the petitioner or its attorney or representative, you must complete and sign Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, in accordance with the instructions on the current version of the form. If you are filing Form I-907 concurrently with Form I-129 or Form I-140, you must file both forms at the service center designated as the appropriate filing location on the form instructions. If you have already filed Form I-129 or Form I-140 and you now wish to request Premium Processing Service, file Form I-907 with the service center where the Form I-129 or Form I-140 is currently pending, along with a copy of the Form I-797, Receipt Notice, for your Form I-129 or Form I-140. If USCIS transferred your petition to another service center and you received a transfer notice, it is very important that you submit your Form I-907 to the service center that is now handling your petition. You should also include a copy of the transfer notice with your premium processing request to avoid delays associated with the receipt of your premium processing request.

USCIS will reject any Form I-907 premium processing service requests that are filed at an office without geographic jurisdiction over the underlying petition if the Form I-907 is filed:

  • concurrently with a Form I-140 petition;
  • concurrently with a Form I-129 petition; or
  • as a standalone request relating to a Form I-129 petition that was not transferred to a different service center.

USCIS will not reject Form I-907 premium processing service requests that are filed at an office without geographic jurisdiction over the underlying petition if the Form I-907 is erroneously filed at the wrong service center:

  • as a standalone request relating to a Form I-140 petition; or
  • as a standalone request relating to a Form I-129 petition that was transferred to a different service center. 

In these cases, USCIS will forward the Form I-907 to the service center having jurisdiction over the underlying petition. For incorrectly filed Forms I-907, the 15 calendar day period begins on the date the file is received at the correct service center, as indicated in the Form I-907 filing instructions.

Are there any additional conditions of availability being placed on Premium Processing Service for Form I-140 petitions at this time?

Yes. Form I-907 premium processing service requests may be rejected if the filing fails to clearly establish the conditions of availability and/or is incorrectly submitted concurrently with a Form I-140 petition at a USCIS office without geographic jurisdiction over the Form I-140 petition.

Premium Processing Service is available for the Form I-140 classifications indicated on the chart above provided that the case does not involve:

  • A second filing of a Form I-140 petition while an initial Form I-140 remains pending;
  • Labor certification substitution requests;
  • Duplicate Labor Certification requests (i.e., cases filed without an original labor certification from the Department of Labor), and;
  • A Form I-140 petition in which a final decision has been made.

USCIS is prescribing these additional conditions of availability on Premium Processing Service for Form I-140 because of their special processing requirements, including locating and transferring other files or documents internally and requesting initial evidence from an outside agency, that make it difficult for USCIS to guarantee that it will process the case within a 15 calendar day period.

What is the fee for this service?

The fee for this service is listed under the "I-907,Request for Premium Processing Service" page. The Premium Processing Service fee may not be waived. In addition to the Premium Processing Service fee, you must submit all other filing fees relating to the specific form(s) for which you are requesting Premium Processing Service. The Premium Processing Service fee must be submitted in a separate check or money order. The petitioner, attorney or representative, or beneficiary may pay the Premium Processing Service fee, but the beneficiary cannot sign or file the Form I-907. USCIS accepts credit card, debit card, or electronic transfer of funds from a checking or savings account from a U.S. bank when a request for Premium Processing Service for an eligible Form I-129 petition is e-filed.

Are there any additional benefits to the program?

Yes. USCIS has also established a special phone number and e-mail address for each of the Service Centers. These special communication channels will be available only to Premium Processing Service users.

Additionally, USCIS collects your phone number, fax number and e-mail address on the Form I-907 so that we can send you (the petitioner or attorney or representative) an automatic e-mail notifying you of the receipt of your Form I-907. If the underlying form for which you requested Premium Processing Service is approved, we will send an automatic e-mail notifying you of the approval. It is important that you provide this information so that USCIS may correspond with you in the most appropriate manner.

Premium processing is not available for Form I-539 applications. As a courtesy, USCIS may strive to process a Form I-539 that is co-filed with premium processing eligible forms, such as Form I-129, more quickly. However, they will not be processed concurrently as the revised Form I-539 requires biometrics collection and response for adjudications.

Does this program have any effect on USCIS’s previous expedite practices?

Yes. In general, discretionary expedite requests will no longer be available for those classifications designated as eligible for Premium Processing Service. However, petitioners designated as not-for-profit entities by the Internal Revenue Service have the choice to request discretionary expedited service as they have in the past or they may choose to pay the Premium Processing Service fee and utilize that service. If the criteria for a discretionary expedite are not met, the not-for-profit petitioner still has the option of requesting a Premium Processing Service upgrade by filing Form I-907 with fee.

How will USCIS manage those categories that have an annual limit in relation to this faster processing?

Individuals who pay for Premium Processing Service on petitions filed for nonimmigrant classifications that are subject to annual numerical (“cap”) limitations will not have an unfair access to these limited immigration programs.

If necessary, USCIS will apply a random selection process to all petitions received on the date when a sufficient number of petitions have been received to reach the applicable numerical limit (“final receipt date”) for cap-subject H-1B, H-2B and H-3 petitions regardless of whether Premium Processing Service is requested. Petitions that are accepted through this random selection process are adjudicated to completion. Cases subject to the cap which were not selected in the random process and cases that were filed after the final receipt date are rejected and fees are returned.

Can I contact a USCIS Service Center if I have not filed a request for Premium Processing Service yet but have questions about the program?

No. You cannot contact the Service Centers directly unless you have already filed Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for the underlying Form I-129 or Form I-140. The Premium Processing Service toll-free phone number and e-mail addresses listed on Form I-907 are dedicated only to users who have already submitted a request for Premium Processing Service. If you have not requested Premium Processing Service, you can call toll free at 1- 800-375-5283 for general information about the program.

How do I contact the Service Center concerning a Premium Processing Service request that I filed?

The unique mailing address for each of the Service Centers is listed on the instructions to the Form I-907. Additional contact information for each Service Center will be provided to you on your receipt notice and will also be provided on this Website.

If you have already filed a Request for Premium Processing Service and you need to contact the Service Center, call the Premium Processing Service Toll Free phone number at 1-866-315-5718. You will need to have your receipt number when you call as this phone number is only for inquiries relating to a petition already receiving Premium Processing Service.

How can I get the results of the adjudication faster?

You may include a postage paid and self-addressed courier delivery slip when filing Form I-907 and it will be used to return the results of the adjudication.

NOTE: Starting on May 20, 2019, and continuing through the end of June 3, 2019, we will not use pre-paid mailers to send out final notices for premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status. Instead, we will use regular mail. We will be doing this due to resource limitations as we work to process all premium processing petitions in a timely manner. The process for printing approval notices and sending them by regular mail is fully automated, whereas use of the pre-paid mailers requires a separate and more time-consuming manual process. As such, and given the initial surge of premium processing requests for H-1B cap petitions and its impact on USCIS resources, using pre-paid mailers may actually delay the issuance of an approval notice, compared to the standard process, or otherwise negatively affect our ability to timely process premium processing petitions. After the two-week period, we intend to resume sending out final notices in pre-paid mailers provided by petitioners, when operationally feasible. We will be following a similar process when premium processing resumes for the second phase of FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions.

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