F-1 Students Seeking OPT Can Now Request Premium Processing

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Recently, USCIS has announced that certain F-1 international students can now request premium processing for their Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization if filed under eligible categories, including pre-completion optional practical training (OPT), post-completion OPT, and 24-month extension of OPT for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students. To learn more about how you can do so or what this change means for you, continue reading and contact a knowledgeable New York immigration lawyer from the Lightman Law Firm today. Here are some of the questions you may have:

When can F-1 international students request premium processing?

Those who already have a pending Form I-765 may request premium processing as of March 6, while those who have yet to submit the Form I-765 may do so with a premium processing request starting April 3.

How do I request premium processing?

As an F-1 international student, you may request premium processing with the most recently-dated edition of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service (November 3, 2022). You may submit this Form either online with your USCIS account or a paper form. Importantly, the Form I-907 fee must be paid separately from the Form I-765 filing fees. If you combine both fees and make a single payment, USCIS will reject the entire filing. Don’t let this happen. Our firm can help ensure you submit all relevant documentation properly and timely.

Will premium processing be further expanded this year?

Yes, it will, which is very exciting news. In fact, USCIS has indicated that it intends to further expand premium processing this year for two groups. In May, USCIS will expand premium processing for certain student and exchange visitors with a pending Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and in June, for certain student and exchange visitors filing their initial Form I-539 applications.

If you would like to learn more or believe you may qualify for premium processing, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Lightman Law Firm for help. We are here to assist you, every step of the way.