One of the drawbacks of filing an EB-2 NIW application until now was that there was no premium processing for this category of green cards. However, this has changed slightly recently. Indeed, there is EB2 NIW Premium processing in 2022, but it is only available for certain cases for now.
Update September 2022
USCIS has expanded the Premium Processing program for EB2 NIW further. Please note that this article
is not the most updated one. Click on the button to read the September 2022 information.
What is premium processing of green cards and visas?
Premium processing is a faster way of getting an answer from USCIS on a petition. It is available for certain visa categories when filing forms I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) and I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker).
Premium processing reduces the time to wait for a USCIS decision to 15 calendar days for most categories. However, for the EB-2 National Interest Waiver category Premium Processing reduces the time to 45 days. Premium processing is formally known as form I-907.
The cost of EB2 NIW Premium Processing
Premium process is nice, but it comes at a cost for the petitioner. The EB-2 NIW Premium Processing fee will be $2,500. Like other USCIS fees, this is a non-refundable and final cost. This means that it does not matter what action the USCIS takes on the application, or if the applicant withdraws the petition. In other words, once you pay for it you cannot take this money back.
In our separate blog post discussing costs of filing for EB-2 NIW we did not include these $2,500 because the Premium Processing has not been fully implemented yet. Once it is you will need to account for this extra portion of the total price. That is if you are interested in expediting your case, of course!
That is on top of the approximately $2,500 we estimated the EB-2 NIW will set you back if you choose a do-it-yourself approach. Or on top of the approximately $10,000 if you disregard the DIY option and hire an attorney or firm of lawyers.
How to request EB2 NIW Premium Processing for a green card petition
First of all, you need to make sure that Premium Processing is available for your category. The best way to make sure is to consult this website by USCIS.
Once you confirm that your greencard category allows for this expedited method, you will need to submit form I-907 to USCIS. However, there are a couple of different ways to do it.
• If you have already filed your I-140 petition. You will request an upgrade to the USCIS Service Center where your I-140 case is pending. For example, if your case is pending in the Texas Service Center, you will submit your I-907 to the Texas Service Center. The instructions and addresses are listed on this official website.
• If you have not filed your I-140 yet. Then the Service Center to submit both I-140 and I-907 will depend on what State or Territory the beneficiary will work in. Consult this official website to check where to mail the forms
What happens to the timeline if I get an RFE?
Many people wonder what happens to their timeline if they receive an RFE, or Request for Evidence. A Request for Evidence is a letter that USCIS sends to ask for more information before deciding on the case. In other words, the officer in charge of the case asks the petitioner for clarification or more supportive evidence. In that case, the clock stops. A new period of 15 or 45 calendar days (depending on the category) starts once the USCIS receives the response to the RFE.