USCIS Expands Premium Processing for Form I-539 Applicants: What You Need to Know

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USCIS has recently announced a significant update regarding premium processing for applicants filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. This update brings welcome news for individuals seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status. USCIS will now accept requests for premium processing via Form I-907 for these applicants, either through online filing or paper submission. It’s important to note that this expansion of premium processing will be implemented in phases, with specific dates associated with each phase.

Phase One Commenced on June 13

Beginning on June 13, USCIS will accept both online and paper Form I-907 requests for applicants who have a pending Form I-539 and are seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 status. This phase exclusively covers change of status requests.

Phase Two Commenced on June 26

Starting from June 26, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, either online or via paper filing, for applicants seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 status, provided it is filed together with Form I-539. It’s important to note that premium processing during this phase is not available for individuals seeking an extension of stay in M-1 or M-2 status.

A Crucial Reminder: Submission Guidelines

To ensure a successful application, it is essential to adhere to the submission guidelines specified by USCIS. If you choose to submit a paper Form I-539, you must also submit a paper Form I-907. Similarly, online submission of Form I-539 necessitates the online submission of Form I-907. This streamlined approach ensures consistency and efficient processing of your application.

Biometrics Requirement and Premium Processing Timeline

It’s important to remember that before premium processing can commence for these specific categories, all applicants and co-applicants included on Form I-539 must submit their biometrics. USCIS will not initiate the premium processing time limit until biometrics have been successfully submitted. Additionally, please note that USCIS may reject your Form I-907 and/or Form I-539 if submitted together with another benefit request, including multiple Forms I-907 filed simultaneously.

Online Account Creation for Form I-907 Submission

To facilitate the online filing of Form I-907, applicants must first create a USCIS online account. This account provides a secure and convenient platform to submit forms, pay fees, and track the status of pending USCIS immigration requests throughout the adjudication process. Setting up a USCIS online account is free of charge and offers various features, including secure communication with USCIS through an inbox and the ability to respond to Requests for Evidence online.

USCIS’ Commitment to Efficiency and Compliance

The expansion of premium processing for Form I-539 applicants is part of USCIS’ ongoing efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens within the immigration system. This phased approach ensures compliance with the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which prohibits the expansion of premium processing if it would lead to longer processing times for immigration benefit requests.

The recent USCIS update regarding premium processing for Form I-539 applicants brings new opportunities and a streamlined approach for individuals seeking a change of nonimmigrant status. By adhering to the submission guidelines and taking advantage of online filing options, applicants can experience enhanced efficiency and convenience throughout the process. USCIS remains committed to improving the overall immigration system while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Stay informed and make the most of these developments when navigating your immigration journey. If you have any questions about your immigration-related matter, contact us today.