Tip of the Day: I-140 Premium Processing

Q: Are there any reasons why my I-140 immigrant worker petition should not be premium processed?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with USCIS Premium Processing, this program provides a much faster processing time for certain types of employment-based petitions in exchange for an additional filing fee of $1,225. Under Premium Processing, USCIS guarantees that the petition is reviewed for adjudication within 15 calendar days. At some point within the 15 days, the petitioner will receive an approval, a denial, or a request for additional evidence. If not, the $1,225 is refunded.

Wouldn’t everyone want to premium process their case?

The answer is no.

There are a couple of reasons why premium processing might not be the best strategy for everyone.

First, if USCIS finds any issues with the petitioner’s case, there is a risk of receiving a more extensive Request for Evidence from the Premium Processing unit than the standard I-140 processing unit. It could be that the officers in the premium processing unit are under so much pressure to speed the adjudication process, that perhaps they do not always have time to review and consider all the evidence carefully within the 14 days allotted. In this case, wouldn’t it be faster and easier to send out an RFE that covers too many issues rather than spend the time to narrow it down to key issues?

Second, if the foreign national has children who might turn 21 before their green card cases are approved, premium processing may not be a good idea. The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) protects many children from aging out of the green card process. However, part of the CSPA calculation depends upon the length of time the I-140 is pending. The longer it is pending, the more likely the child is protected. Ask your immigration attorney to analyze this issue BEFORE you file your I-140 under the Premium Processing program.