An Additional Fee

Can I just Pay an additional Fee and Get it Quick?
by Jose Enrique Perez

The short answer is Yes. But not all the immigration petitions will be eligible for it. Earlier this year, the Biden Administration announced that steps would be taken to increase visa processing efficiency. The government said that the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) would reduce wait times for petitioners and people waiting for their immigration benefits, and generally reduce the overburdened legal immigration system.

One of the most common critics and frustration with USCIS is the wait times and general delays. Petitioners sometimes most wait 3 or 4 times regular waiting periods due to backlog and delays. USCIS has the ability to designate certain petitions for expedited processing or premium processing. There are only a handful of petitions that are eligible at this time.

Therefore, as part of this new plan, USCIS has committed to expanding eligibility for premium processing over the course of 2022 to include the following petitions:

• Additional Form I-140 petitions
• Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
• Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.

Just last month, USCIS initiated Phase III of the Premium Processing expansion plan, effective immediately. This phase expanded premium processing eligibility to more Form I-140 petitioners whose petitions are currently pending:

• EB-1(c) Multinational Executive Manager Category – filed ON OR BEFORE January 1, 2022
• EB-2 National Interest Waiver – filed ON OR BEFORE February 2, 2022.

USCIS plans to continue expansion, eventually making all petitions under these two categories eligible for premium processing. That means if you qualify for one of these categories, you should apply. Historically, these type of premium processing does work and this USCIS plan will efficiency process the petitions and reduce the delays and backlogs.

Processing times for EB-2 categories can still be years shorter than EB-3 categories, regardless of premium processing eligibility. If you think you may qualify for EB-2 rather than EB-3, we recommend you to explore your options for eligibility in the EB-2 category. You should make sure you explore and meet this category’s educational requirements.

The most important change on this new expedited fee announcement may be the I-765 petitions category. Yes, that is right. This is the Employment Authorization category and many immigrants lose their jobs every year due to these delays in processing initial work permits or renewals. However, the Biden Administration has tried to ameliorate the delays impact on immigrants’ jobs by making USCIS to publicly announced extensions to work permits just by showing the I-797C receipts. However, not all the employers respect that.

You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance or information about immigration issues. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with this form. Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

I represent individuals involved in many areas. If you have any questions or concerns about a case or potential case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 659 West Onondaga Street, Upper Level, Syracuse, New York 13204. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester as well!!! Please look for my next article in the November edition and stay safe, get vaccinated or boosted and stay away from the Virus. In addition to our current practice of Personal Injuries, Work Accidents, Social Security and Immigration, we now also practice Criminal, Traffic, Family, DWI and Divorce.

Photo of a young-annoyed-female by Andrea Piacquadio and photo of happy-man-speaking-on-phone by Michael Burrows from

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