USCIS announced on January 12, 2023 that they are making Premium Processing fully available for green card applicants filing under the EB2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) category, as well as those under the EB-1C category for Multinational Executives and Managers. Premium Processing for EB2 NIW will cost $2,500 and will guarantee a decision in 45 calendar days.
Premium Processing for EB2 NIW: What it is and how much it costs?
Starting January 30, 2023, EB-1C and EB-2 NIW applicants will be able to submit form I-907 to request Premium Processing. This applies to new I-140 submissions as well as pending cases, and it is the final phase of an implementation plan USCIS has been following for the last year. The last update had been in September 2022, when they had announced that EB2 NIW applicants with pending cases older than February 2022 could apply for expedited processing.
Cost of Premium Processing for EB2 NIW applicants
The applicants who want to use this Premium Processing for EB2 NIW will have to pay an additional fee of $2,500. This fee must be send separately from the fee for I-140 and can be paid using a US credit card, personal check, or money order. Premium Processing fees are not expected to raise in the upcoming fee revision spearheaded by USCIS.
How long it takes for an EB2 NIW with Premium Processing?
Those who file I-907 for Premium Processing for an EB2 NIW application will get a decision on their I-140 within 45 calendar days. Before those 45 days pass, USCIS must approve or deny the I-140 petition or issue an RFE or NOID. Note that these timelines are valid as of early 2023, as USCIS already announced their intention of substituting their 45 days calendar days for 45 business days in their proposal for new USCIS fees.
Where to file the Premium Processing request for EB2 NIW
If you decide to apply for Premium Processing you need to submit form I-907 along with your I-140 petition package or after your have filed your I-140. The current addresses for filing a premium processing request can be found in this official USCIS website. You will notice that the exact filing address will depend on the US state where you intend to work in.
Should you apply for Premium Processing?
It is an entirely personal decision. Premium Processing is not mandatory and each person should evaluate their situation and act depending on:
- Your timeline needs. Premium Processing guarantees a response to your I-140 from USCIS in 45 calendar days (note this is subject to change during 2023 to 45 business days). Do you need to have a response in that time frame or are you more flexible? Before deciding, it is also a good idea to check what the current I-140 processing times estimates are, in case USCIS is processing regular cases fast enough and we do not even need the Premium Processing “boost”.
On top of this, remember that Premium Processing applies to I-140 only and not to the Adjustment of Status portion of the process, or Consular process if you are applying from abroad. So even if you get the I-140 approval very fast, you may still be months away from getting your green card anyway.
- Your financial situation. Premium Processing is not cheap, it currently costs $2,500 to apply. If you do not really need this expedited decision, your I-140 application will only cost you approximately $700. Remember that after obtaining approval for I-140 you still need to pay for Adjustment of Status (if you are in the US) or Consular Processing (if you are abroad), which will cause additional financial stress to your pockets.
Conclusions: Excellent news for EB2 NIW applicants
The recent USCIS decision to fully implement Premium Processing to EB-2 NIW applications is excellent news. The agency has reiterated that this implementation will not slow down regular processes. Premium processing is not mandatory and each applicant should carefully evaluate their need for it based on their timeline and ability to pay the extra fee. All in all, it is great that EB2 NIW applicants have the option to apply for Premium Processing if they want to.