In a significant move to address processing delays and improve overall efficiency, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced strategic initiatives focused on expanding premium processing and enhancing the processing of Employment Authorization Documents (EAD).
USCIS Premium Processing Expansion
Eligible Forms for Premium Processing
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has introduced a final rule that aligns premium processing regulations with the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act. Under this rule, USCIS will expand premium processing eligibility to the following key Forms through USCIS Form I-907:
- Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Additional classifications under Form I-140
USCIS plans to implement this expansion through a phased approach in the fiscal year 2022. The phased roll-out will initially focus on expanding premium processing eligibility to Form I-140 applicants seeking EB-1 or EB-2 immigrant classifications.
Improved Processing of Employment Authorization Documents (EAD)
USCIS has taken significant steps to streamline EAD processes, ensuring more efficient processing and reduced wait times. The temporary final rule introduces several measures to enhance the EAD processing system:
- Extension of Validity Periods: USCIS will extend the validity periods for certain EADs, contributing to a more seamless renewal process.
- Expedited Work Authorization Renewals: Healthcare and childcare workers will benefit from expedited work authorization renewals, minimizing disruptions to their essential roles.
The temporary final rule builds on USCIS’s ongoing efforts to prioritize timely EAD processing, ensuring that individuals do not lose their work authorization status while awaiting the resolution of their applications.
Stay informed as USCIS embarks on these strategic initiatives, ushering in a new era of enhanced premium processing and improved access to employment authorization.
Additional Outside Resources
- USCIS: Expand Premium Processing, and Provide Relief to Work Permit Holders
- USCIS: Form I-907 Premium Processing
- USCIS: USCIS Form I-140 Petition for foreign worker
- USCIS: Form I-765 Application for Work Authorization
- USCIS: Form I-539 Application to Change or Extend Status
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