Posts Tagged ‘Premium Processing’

Premium Processing – Is Paying Extra Worth It?

October 24th, 2014
posted by at 7:37 pm

Premium Processing Immigration

The Need for Speed in Immigration Cases

Our clients often ask us if paying $1225 for premium processing is worth it.  We often give the lawyerly response and say, it depends. Immigration law is so complex that no two cases are the same. Sometimes paying extra for expediting a case is worth it and at other times it’s not. Here are some of our thoughts on the subject:
  • If you file an EB-1 Extraordinary Ability case under premium processing, you are going to increase your chances of receiving an Request for Evidence (RFE).  Why?  All the USCIS officer has to do within 15 days is approve the case or issue an RFE.  Once they do that, they do not have to return the $1225 USCIS filing fee.  Since EB-1 cases are quite complex, sometimes officers simply cannot review the case within 15 days given their case load.  Thus, they automatically issue an RFE to ‘buy time.’  Of course, that is not always the case, but it’s something to consider when deciding whether or not to use the premium processing program.
  • Are you on L1 status and filing an extension shortly before your expiration date?  You might want to file the case under premium processing.  The USCIS is increasingly scrutinizing L1 cases, so you want to know quickly what is going to happen to your status.  That way, you can plan your future without being rushed to do it.
  • If you are outside the US and want your prospective employer to file a TN application with the USCIS instead of applying directly at the port-of-entry, file the case under the premium processing program. You’ll probably want a quick decision on the case.
  • Are you an Information Technology professional and your employer is filing an H-1B extension, amendment or transfer?  Don’t fear the premium processing program.  Just document the case well!

As you can tell, there’s isn’t an easy answer to this question.   There are hundreds of differnet scenarios to consider when using premium processing, the least of which is simply timing. However, we think it’s worth it in many cases based on one word:

ACCESS!

Filing a case under premium processing provides you, your employer and/or attorney the opportunity to call or email the USCIS officer handling the case.  This is not available in regularly-processed cases.

We can’t tell you how valuable this access can be in getting complex cases approved.  It’s certainly something to think about when deciding whether or not to pay an extra $1225 for your case.

Tip of the Day: I-140 Premium Processing

November 15th, 2011
posted by at 12:19 pm

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.