USCIS Expands Premium Processing for Certain I-140 Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will expand Premium Processing Service for designated Forms I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) to include alien beneficiaries who have reached, or are reaching, their limitation of stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status. Currently, only certain alien beneficiaries who are in H-1B nonimmigrant status at the time of filing may request premium processing for Form I-140.

Beginning March 2, 2009, USCIS will accept Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service) for alien worker petitions filed on behalf of alien beneficiaries who, as of the date of filing the Form I-907:

  • Are the beneficiary of a Form I-140 petition filed in a preference category that has been designated for premium processing service;
  • Have reached the sixth-year statutory limitation of their H-1B stay, or will reach the end of their sixth year of H-1B stay within 60 days of filing;
  • Are only eligible for a further H-1B extension under section 104(c) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21); and
  • Are ineligible to extend their H-1B status under section 106(a) of AC21.

Aliens who are abroad or who currently hold another non-immigrant status other than H-1B are also eligible for I-140 Premium Processing if the above-mentioned conditions are met. 

Section 104(c) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to three years, provided they are the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 and an immigrant visa is not immediately available. Section 106(a) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to one year, provided the Form I-140 petition or underlying labor certification has been pending for at least 365 days.