USCIS TO EXPAND PREMIUM PROCESSING SERVICE

USCIS PRESS RELEASE
11/08/2006

Additional Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Category Available Starting November 13, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the addition of a new visa category – the EB-1 Aliens with Extraordinary Ability, now available for requesting Premium Processing Service. Premium Processing Service allows U.S. businesses to pay a $1,000 Premium Processing fee in exchange for 15-calendar-day processing of their case.

Beginning November 13, 2006, USCIS will begin accepting Premium Processing requests for Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, involving EB-1 Aliens with Extraordinary Ability.
Petitioning employers who wish to use the Premium Processing Service must submit Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, along with Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, and a $1000 processing fee.

Under the Premium Processing Service, USCIS guarantees petitioners that, for a $1,000 processing fee, it will issue either an approval notice, or where appropriate, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation, within 15 calendar days of receipt. If the petition is not processed within 15 calendar days, USCIS will refund the $1,000 fee and continue to process the request as part of the Premium Processing Service. In addition to faster processing, petitioners who participate in the program may use a dedicated phone number and e-mail address to check on the status of their petition or ask any other questions they may have concerning their petition. Premium Processing Service continues to be available for previously designated classifications within Form I-140 and Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.

Since 2001, Premium Processing Service has been available for several nonimmigrant classifications within Form I-129, including E Treaty Traders and Investors, H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers, H-2B Temporary Workers performing non-agricultural services, H-3 Trainees, L Intracompany Transferees, O Aliens of Extraordinary Ability and those performing essential support services, P Performers and Athletes and those performing essential support services, Q international Cultural Exchange Visitors, R Religious Workers, and NAFTA Professionals from Canada and Mexico. Form I-129 petitions for those nonimmigrant worker classifications will continue to be eligible for Premium Processing Service unless the filing period has closed (for example, when the annual cap for a specific visa classification has been reached.)

Also, earlier this year, USCIS began accepting Premium Processing Service requests for petitions involving five other immigrant visa categories, EB-1 Outstanding professors and Researchers, EB-2 Members of Professions with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability not seeking a National Interest Waiver, EB-3 Professionals, EB-3 Skilled Workers, and EB-3 Workers other than Skilled Workers and Professionals. Employers file for these immigrant visa categories using the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) as well.

Information about the expanded Premium Processing Service is available on the USCIS website at How Do I Use the Premium Processing Service or by calling the USCIS National Customer Service Center toll free at 1-800-375-5283.

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