By: Victoria Ma
Seyfarth Synopsis: In its continued efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall immigration system, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the expansion of premium processing for certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT extensions.
As of March 6, 2023, F-1 applicants who have an already-filed and pending Form I-765 Application (Employment Authorization Document or EAD) under the following categories and wish to request a premium processing upgrade can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, with USCIS:
- (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;
- (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and
- (c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension of OPT for STEM students.
Additionally, beginning April 3, 2023, USCIS will accept Form I-907 Premium Processing requests, filed either via paper form or online thorough a USCIS online account, for all pending and new OPT and STEM OPT I-765 applications.
The government fee to premium process F-1 EAD applications is $1,500. Upon receiving the I-907 and government fee, USCIS will process the EAD application in 30 calendar days.
Online filing of Form I-907 is now available to F-1 students in the above categories. Eligible applicants can file their premium processing requests either via paper form or online. To file online, an applicant must create a USCIS online account. There is no additional cost to create a USCIS online account. Applicants can submit forms, pay fees, and track case status through their USCIS accounts.
For the applicants who previously filed their I-765 application in paper form and wish to file Form I-907 electronically, they should reference the USCIS Account Access Notice received for the Online Access Code and link their paper-filed applications to their online account; otherwise, they will need to file a paper Form I-907 with the USCIS Chicago lockbox.
Seyfarth will continue to monitor any further developments and phases of USCIS’s premium processing expansion. Should you have any questions, please e-mail the author directly or alert your Seyfarth Shaw contact.