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Premium Processing with USCIS

Premium processing is a service offered by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) that provides expedited processing for certain immigration petitions and applications. Petitioners/applicants can significantly shorten the adjudication timeline for their cases by using premium processing.

When a petitioner or applicant chooses premium processing, USCIS guarantees a response within 15 or 30 calendar days, depending on the petition/application category. Not all immigration petitions and applications and benefits are eligible for premium processing. Currently, USCIS offers premium processing for various petitions/applications, including Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, and Application for Employment Authorization and Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status for certain nonimmigrant visa classifications.

The principal advantage of premium processing is to expedite the adjudication timeline, proving particularly advantageous for petitioners/applicants seeking prompt decisions on their immigration petitions/applications. Additionally, premium processing provides predictability in the adjudication process. However, if USCIS cannot reach a decision within the designated timeframe for premium processing, several scenarios may occur.

While USCIS needs to provide a decision within the designated calendar days, sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances or a high volume of cases, they may not meet this deadline. In such cases, USCIS continues to process the case on an expedited basis until a decision is reached. If the designated timeframe passes without a decision, the petitioners/applicants or their attorneys may choose to contact USCIS for an update on the case status. USCIS may provide information about the delay and the expected timeline for resolution. Sometimes, they refund the premium processing fee. This refund ensures that petitioners/applicants do not pay for expedited processing that was not delivered as promised. Depending on the circumstances and the urgency of the case, the petitioners/applicants may explore options for addressing the delay.

You may want to consult an immigration attorney to determine whether additional steps, such as filing a premium processing, an inquiry for delay, or seeking escalation of the case, are necessary. The attorneys at Tanner Law Offices can assist you with your case process or need more information. Please contact our office at (717) 731-8114 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.