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Encouraging Developments in Immigration Application Processing

    News, Client Alerts
  • April 08, 2022

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a plan to address lengthy processing timelines, reduce the backlog of pending cases, and expand premium processing to certain types of petitions and applications. USCIS’ efforts include adding staff and upgrading technology to significantly reduce processing times.

The new processing timelines goals, as reported by USCIS, are as follows:

• Employment Authorization Document (I-765 or EAD): 3 months

• Advance Parole (travel document or I-131): 3 months

• Application to change or extend non-immigrant status (I-539): 3 months

• Petition for nonimmigrant worker (I-129): 2 months

Other relevant categories will be adjudicated as follows:

• Application for Naturalization (citizenship or N-400): 6 months

• Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Residence (I-485): 6 months

• Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (I-140): 6 months

Additionally, USCIS will make premium processing available for immigrant visa petitions for multinational executives and managers (EB1-C) and National Interest Waiver petitions (EB2-NIW). Premium processing will also be available for extension of nonimmigrant status (I-539), and interim work permits (EAD or I-765). The premium processing fees for EB-1C and EB-2 NIWs are expected to be $2,500, with an expedited processing timeline of 45 days. For I-539s, the premium processing fee will be $1,750, with an expedited processing timeline of 30 days. I-765 will require a premium processing fee of $1,500, in exchange for a 30-day adjudication timeline.

USCIS indicated that improvements will be phased in over the next fiscal year and anticipates hitting the new adjudication goals by September 2023. Premium processing will also be phased in, and will be made available to EB-1Cs and EB-2 NIWs first, followed by I-539s and I-765s. 

Parker Poe will closely monitor the government’s implementation plan and provide updates as they become available.