Starting from September 25, 2006, the USCIS will add three new categories to the Premium Processing Service, which allows US businesses to pay a $1,000.00 Premium Processing Fee in exchange for 15-calendar-day processing of the applications.
The new categories open for premium processing are:
- EB-1, outstanding professor and researcher
- EB-2, Non-NIW EB-2, and
- EB-3, Unskilled labor (those requiring less than two years of training or experience)
Under the Premium Processing Service, USCIS will issue an approval notice, or where appropriate, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within 15 calendar days of receipt. If the petition is not processed within 15 calendar days, USCIS will refund the $1,000.00 fee. In addition to faster processing, petitioners who participate in the program may use a dedicated phone number and e-mail address to check on the status of their petition or ask any other questions they may have concerning their petition.
It is noteworthy that the premium processing service is still not open to self-petitioners. As such, if you are interested in applying for EB-1 in extraordinary ability, or EB-2 for NIW, you can only apply through the “regular” processing.