How to Get I-140 Premium Processing

Posted by in Immigrants | Updated on August 25, 2022

Business waits for no one. Time is ticking whenever money is involved. And also, who likes waiting for long processing periods when you want to immigrate with certain deadlines in mind. What can you do to hasten the processing periods of your type EB visa? Are there any costs involved in this process? Who can you contact to get more help regarding this matter?

Have you heard of I-140 premium processing? It will remove a considerable amount of time from your visa processing (if you are eligible and successful with your application). This is how it works.

What is I-140 Premium Processing?

Premium processing provides expedited service for the faster processing of eligible employment-based petitions. A petition is an application submitted for your employment-based visa. The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) guarantees a 15 calendar day processing to those who opt for premium processing.

There are various types of employment-based visas eligible for premium processing, but for now, we will only look at those who file a form I-140. You might also find the information regarding the I-140 EAD rule, which is effective since January 2017, useful.

Who is Eligible for I-140 Premium Processing?

I-140 premium processing is currently available for an immigrant petition for an alien worker. In other words, a foreign national who wants to stay and work in the U.S.

There are three different types of visas whose applications are eligible for I-140 premium processing:

  1. EB-1 visa – Aliens of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors, and researchers.
  2. EB-2 visa – Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability not seeking a National Interest Waiver.
  3. EB-3 visa – Skilled workers, professionals, and workers other than skilled workers and professionals.

Please note, you don’t file this application. Your U.S. petitioner (employer, host, manager, etc.) files an application for your visa on your behalf. So you don’t actually file the premium processing yourself. You can of course request this from your petitioner if you are eligible and you’d prefer the service. In some cases, the beneficiary (person who gets the visa) is either part of or the head of the organization who files the visa petition. Nothing stops you from filing for premium processing. Just take note of the premium processing fee of $1,225 that will apply.

I-140 Premium Processing Required Documents

Your application bundle includes a whole host of documents. But you and your petitioner need to make sure you have the correct paperwork necessary for the filing of I-140 premium processing. Here is a list of the documents you need:

  • Copies of all your forms I-94
  • Copies of your Arrival/Departure Record and I-797
  • Copies of H-1B or L approval notices issued to the petitioner or petitioners employees
  • Copy of the I-140 petition receipt notice if the form was previously filed
  • Copy of the labor certification approval letter from the Department of Labor (DOL). Issued to people filing for an EB-2 or EB-3 category visa.

You’ll need to communicate effectively with your U.S. petitioner to include all the necessary information and paperwork. Keep them accountable during the process to do their part and not omit any important information.

How to Apply for Premium Processing

Filing for premium processing is similar to filing an I-140 request. Your petitioner needs to compile and file your application (petition). Added to the application must be the completed form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing). It needs to be filed at a USCIS office with geographical jurisdiction. If not, it may run the risk of being rejected. The cost of the service must be included ($1,225).

In the case where premium processing is requested after the I-140 is filed the I-907 must be filed at the same office of geographical jurisdiction where the initial application was submitted. Include the Form I-797 (Notice of Receipt) confirming your application.

In the event where your case has been transferred to another office, the I-907 request must be filed at the corresponding office with geographical jurisdiction. Include copies of both the I-797 (Notice of Receipt) and the transfer notice to eliminate any confusion.

I-140 Premium Processing: Pros and Cons

It’s a bit like an E1 and E2 visa loan. You get something, but it requires something in return. Time is of the essence, and you sure like it when things happen quickly. I-140 premium processing has pros, but some cons too. Let’s have a look.

Pros of Premium Processing

Well, the obvious pro is the reduced waiting time. You have the promise of receiving a decision within 15 calendar days once the USCIS has received your application (they issue an I-797 Notice of Receipt). Without I-140 premium processing it may take the USCIS more than 4 months to reach a decision regarding your application for an employment-based visa.

Some categories like the EB-1 visa (individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors, or researchers) in which the USCIS uses considerable discretion in deciding the outcome of the case, a faster and definitive decision will help you to plan and organize your U.S. stay.

Premium processing will especially help people who apply from U.S. consulates in foreign countries. The process will take less time and reduce the likelihood of the challenges experienced at consulates or embassies.

Cons of Premium Processing

The cost of I-140 premium processing is quite expensive. It costs $1,225 and you might be liable for that fee in some way.

In some cases, you might be filing an application for your children and/or dependents as well. Under certain circumstances, your child’s age at the date of filing may receive a specified deduction. That deduction of age may be needed to make your child eligible for the type of visa they need to join you in the U.S. If you opt for premium processing this age deduction is less and may no longer count in your favor.

For example, certain visas require your dependents to be under the age of 21 to accompany you on your employment-based visa. When you file a normal application you can subtract 6 months from their age and the result becomes their application age. A dependent aged 21 years and 3 months at application will effectively be aged 20 years and 9 months (after the 6-month deduction). But when you opt for premium processing you may only subtract 15 days from their age. Your child (dependent) will still be older than 21 and will no longer qualify to accompany you on a dependent visa.

You’ll receive the best advice regarding these technical matters from an immigration attorney. They work with cases like yours on a daily basis and know which options for visas will serve your family and yourself the best.

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Nobody likes to wait. Some people may have enough patience to wait for an employment-based visa granted in the usual fashion. But time may not be on your side. Opt for an I-140 premium processing to reduce the stress and the challenges that come with immigration. It may cost you $1,225 but you’ll only have to wait for a guaranteed 15 calendar days for the USCIS to reach a decision regarding your application.

This will save you time and help to reduce the load on your shoulders as you plan your immigration to the U.S.

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