On January 12, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced two significant updates to its premium processing expansion plan: (1) implementation of premium processing for all EB-1 Multinational Executive and Manager and EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) categories and (2) a future expansion of premium processing for F-1 Students Seeking OPT and STEM OPT applications and for certain Students and Exchange Visitors.
Key Dates for the Premium Processing Expansion Phases
- In March, USCIS will expand premium processing to certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT extensions with a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
- In April, USCIS will expand premium processing to F-1 students seeking OPT and STEM OPT extensions who are filing an initial Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
- USCIS stated that it would announce the specific dates that the expansion will take place for each of these F-1 categories in February.
- In May, USCIS anticipates expanding premium processing for certain student and exchange visitors with a pending Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status application.
- In June, USCIS anticipates expanding premium processing for certain student and exchange visitors who are filing an initial Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status application.
This new expansion of premium processing should not result in increased processing times for cases filed under regular processing. The present expansions are part of a broader comprehensive USCIS plan to make premium processing services available to additional form types, increase efficiency, reduce backlogs, and provide relief to foreign nationals affected by processing delays.
For more information, please contact Squire Patton Boggs.