Immigration Update: USCIS Announces Expansion of Premium Processing to Applicants Seeking F, M, or J Nonimmigrant Status
By Jan Pederson
USCIS announced on June 12, 2023, just in time for J-1 Physicians, that it will adjudicate I-539 applications for change of status for students (F-1) and (M-1), as well as J-1 nonimmigrants, beginning June 13, 2023, with a price tag of $1,750 for the service. Premium processing means that USCIS will make an initial decision on the I-539 application within 15 calendar days or give your money back.
This phase of premium processing is only available for change of status requests, not extensions of status. Where an I-539 is pending, Form I-907 and the premium processing fee can be filed as of June 13, 2023. However, initial I-539 applications, filed concurrently with I-907 premium processing requests cannot be filed until June 26, 2023.
The benefit also applies to dependents of F-1, M-1 and J-1 applicants.
Biometrics are still required and must be completed before the 15-day clock begins. In many cases, USCIS will be able to recapture biometrics previously submitted and will not encounter the biometrics delay.
USCIS has not yet advised whether I-539 applications filed with expedite requests will be diverted to the premium processing line, requiring those awaiting a reply on their expedite requests to guess as to whether they will be removed from the expedite line and required to pay premium processing. Out of an abundance of caution, those who must begin J-1 training programs and students who must start school may want to pay the fee for certainty.
Please contact Jan Pederson at Jan@wcslaw.com if you would like to discuss your specific situation.