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I-140 Premium Process for Faster EB-3 Green Card Processing
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On August 28, 2006, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting Premium Processing requests for EB-3 Green Card Professionals category, (i.e. immigrant workers with bachelor degrees who are members of the professions), and EB-3 Green Card Skilled Workers category, (i.e. immigrant workers capable of performing skilled labor requiring at least two years of education, training or experience). The I-140 Premium Processing was subsequently made available to “other workers” in the EB-3 Green Card category for jobs that do not require two years of education, training or experience on September 25, 2006.

Though on July 2, 2007, USCIS announced the temporary suspension of Premium Processing for Form I-140, 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 the Premium Processing Service for Form I-140. Hence, Employers may now request faster processing of Form I-140, using Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. Premium Processing is now available to all I-140s except those involving EB-1 Multinational Executives and Managers and EB-2 Members of Professions with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability seeking a National Interest Waiver

What is USCIS Premium Processing?

Premium Processing will allow U.S. businesses to pay a $1,225 in exchange for 15-calendar-day processing of their case.

Under the Premium Processing Service, USCIS has guaranteed petitioners that, for a $1,225 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 is required to refund the $1,225 fee and continue to process the request as part of the Premium Processing Service. In addition to faster processing, petitioners 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 for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker:

Since 2001, Premium Processing Service has been available for several classifications within Form I-129, including E-1 Treaty Traders; E-2 Treaty Investors; H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers; H-2B Temporary Workers performing nonagricultural services; H-3 Trainees; L-1 Intracompany Transferees; O-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability and those performing essential support services; P-1, P-2 and P-3 Performers and Athletes and those performing essential support services; Q international Cultural Exchange Visitors, R-1 Religious Workers, and NAFTA Professionals from Canada and Mexico. Premium Processing Service continues to be available for the designated classifications within Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.

I-140 Premium Process

Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is used to petition USCIS for an immigrant visa based on employment. It is filed to petition for an alien worker to become a permanent resident in US.

Employers seeking to request faster processing of Form I-140, may use Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. If Form I-907 is filed concurrently with Form I-140, you must file both forms at the Service Centre designated as the appropriate filing location on the form instructions. If you have already filed Form I-140 and you now wish to request Premium Processing Service, Form I-907 must be filed with the Service Centre where the Form I-140 is currently pending. You must submit a copy of the Form I-797, Receipt Notice, for your Form I-140. If you have received a transfer notice, you must submit Form I-907 to the transfer location, along with a copy of the transfer notice.

I-140 Premium Processing is available 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 form the Department of Labor), and;
  • A Form I-140 petition in which a final decision has been made.

I-140 Premium Processing request may also be rejected if Form I-907 is incorrectly submitted concurrently with a Form I-140 petition at a USCIS office without geographic jurisdiction over the Form I-140 petition.

Who can File requesting I-140 Premium Process?

Form I-907 may be filed only by the petitioner or the attorney or representative who has filed a notice of appearance (Form G-28) on behalf of the petitioner. The beneficiary of an I-140 petition cannot seek Premium Processing 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).

CASE SCENARIO
Ernie, an Australian national, and a highly ranked golfer who wants to immigrate to the US. He believes that he would qualify for Extraordinary Ability based on his ranking, the fact that he has won a number of tournaments (although he has never won any of the majors), and that he has been written about in a number of Australian golf magazines and was featured in a Sports Illustrated article on up and coming young golfers. Ernie is currently participating on tour participating in several PGA tournaments. Since he is traveling quite a bit right now he thinks that using the consular processing route would be best for him. He wants to get the process over with as quickly as possible so that it does not unnecessarily interfere with his being able to enter the US to play golf. With premium processing Ernie can have an answer on the I-140 within 15 days and can then proceed with confidence through the rest of the process.

Version of Form I-907

To verify that your version of Form I-907 is currently accepted by USCIS, you have to compare the ‘edition date’ located on the lower right corner of your Form I-907 to the ‘edition date’ listed on USCIS’ “Request for Premium Processing Service” Form page. Your version of Form I-907 will be accepted if both dates match or if USCIS’ Form page lists a later date, but there is a designation ‘Y’. Your version of Form I-907 will not be accepted by USCIS if a later edition date is listed followed by an ‘N’ designation.

With I-140 Premium Processing, employers will now be able to seek faster processing of Form I-140 for Employment-Based Green Card petitions. Contact VisaPro if you have any questions regarding I-140 Premium Processing Service, Employment-Based Green Cards or need help in filing with the USCIS or Consulates. Our experienced attorneys will be happy to assist you.

We cover the latest happenings on work visas in Immigration Monitor, our monthly newsletter. Click here to subscribe to Immigration Monitor.


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