Projected Relief in the Spring for Backlogged EADs and H-4s and Others – Premium Processing Expansion

On December 9, 2021, USCIS forwarded a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), bringing Premium Processing of several key types of immigration applications closer to reality. It generally takes about 90 days for a rule to go through the OMB process, so the anticipated date of the rule becoming effective is approximately March of 2022.

The new rule would notably allow for Premium Processing of EAD cards, as well as change and extension of status applications for many non-immigrant dependent family members. This could finally provide needed relief (for a considerable filing fee) for thousands of people who are still stuck in the H-4/EAD log jam, in spite of the recent court settlement with USCIS to address the processing backlog.

The rule is not yet final but is expected to include the following, authorized by Congress in October 2020 for implementation:

Form Type

Timeline with Premium

Premium Processing Fee

Most Form I-140 EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 petitions

15 calendar days
(allowed currently)

$2500

— Form I-140 for EB-1 Multinational Manager

— Form I-140 for EB-2 National Interest Waiver

— Form I-140 for EB-2 Physician

45 days

Not greater than $2500

Form I-129 – Non-immigrant Worker Petitions

15 calendar days
(allowed currently)

$2500

Form I-539 Change/Extension of Status to F, J, or M

30 days

Not greater than $1750

Form I-539 Change/Extension of Status for E, H, L, O, P and R Dependents

30 days

Not greater than $1750

Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization

30 days

Not greater than $1500

Ostrom Law Office is carefully monitoring the progress of this Rule, and we are here to help, to switch applications to Premium, once it is published.

If you have further questions about the processing of Employment Authorization Documents, the associated fees ,or other forms, please contact Ostrom Law Office to schedule a consultation.

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