How to Make an Expedite Request

In General

You may ask USCIS to expedite the adjudication of an application or petition for an immigration benefit.

USCIS:

  • Considers all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis.
  • Requires documentation to support a request.
  • Has the sole discretion to decide whether to grant or deny a request.
  • Does not consider expedite requests for applications or petitions that have Premium Processing Service available.

USCIS may consider an expedite request if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Severe financial loss to a company or person, provided that the need for urgent action is not the result of the petitioner’s or applicant’s failure to:
    1. File the benefit request or the expedite request in a reasonable time frame, or
    2. Respond to any requests for additional evidence in a reasonably timely manner;
  • Urgent humanitarian reasons;
  • Compelling U.S. government interests (such as urgent cases for the Department of Defense or DHS, or other public safety or national security interests); or
  • Clear USCIS error.

When considering severe financial loss to a person: If the expedite request relates to an application for employment authorization or student status, the need to obtain employment authorization or student status, standing alone without any evidence of other compelling factors does not warrant expedited treatment.

All expedite requests claiming severe financial loss, regardless of the immigration benefit sought and regardless of whether the claimed loss is to a company or a person, must be documented to establish the loss and that the requestor is not able to withstand the temporary financial loss that is the natural result of normal processing times

For more information, see USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 1, Part A, Public Services, Chapter 5, Requests to Expedite Applications or Petitions [1 USCIS-PM A.5].

You can generally request expedited processing by contacting the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY for the deaf, hard of hearing, or those having a speech disability: 1-800-767-1833) after you have obtained a receipt notice. The USCIS Contact Center will not be able to refer the expedite request to the appropriate office without a receipt number. When you call to request expedited processing, the USCIS Contact Center creates and forwards a service request to the office with jurisdiction over your application or petition.

After receiving the service request, the reviewing office may request additional documentation to support expedited processing. A decision on an expedite request is not an approval or a denial of the underlying benefit request. The expedite decision simply informs the requestor  whether USCIS will take the benefit request out of date order and issue a decision (approval or denial) faster than the normal processing time.

In accordance with the criteria above, note specific handling procedures in the following circumstances:

Appeals

Requests for expedited processing of appeals may be included with the appeal. Expedite requests included with the appeal will be reviewed by the office that issued the decision.

For appeals filed with the AAO, any expedite request made after the appeal submission should be mailed or faxed directly to AAO. See AAO’s Processing Requests and Contact Us pages for more information.

Regardless of whether the expedite request is submitted with the appeal or afterward, the expedite request should include:

  • A cover letter clearly marked “EXPEDITE REQUEST”; and
  • Documentary evidence supporting the request for expedited processing of the appeal.

Requests for expedited processing of appeals filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) should follow the BIA expeditious handling procedures.

Applications for Asylum

Requests for expedited processing on asylum applications should be directed to the office with jurisdiction over the asylum application. See the Affirmative Asylum Interview Scheduling page for more information.

Benefit Requests Pending Outside the United States

Requests for expedited processing of applications for refugee status should be directed to the Resettlement Support Center handling the case abroad. For more information, see the USCIS Questions and Answers: Refugees page.

Requests for expedited processing of humanitarian parole for beneficiaries located outside of the United States should be directed to the Humanitarian Affairs Branch. For more information, see the Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole for Individuals Outside the United States page.

For all other immigration benefit requests pending with USCIS offices located outside the United States, benefit requestors may request expedited processing by submitting a written request, along with any supporting documentation, directly to the USCIS office with jurisdiction over the benefit request.

For contact information for USCIS offices located outside the United States, see the USCIS International Immigration Offices page.  

Requests for expedited processing on matters pending with Department of State (DOS) should follow DOS expeditious handling procedures.

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