Budget Review Completed on Rule to Expand Premium Processing

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has completed its review of a final rule that would make premium processing available to additional categories of immigration benefits. The text of the rule has not yet been released, but, if implemented, the rule may make premium processing available for numerous additional case types, including applications to extend / change nonimmigrant status (form I-539) and applications for employment authorization cards (EADs) using form I-765. For the rule to be implemented, the next step would be for it to be published in the Federal Register, but a timeline for this is yet to be provided. When implemented, it will be of tremendous importance to those who need EADs to work or continue employment.

Background on Final Rule

In September 2020, Congress passed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), which authorized funding for the federal government. This statute also included numerous unrelated provisions, including one that directed the Department of Homeland Security to make premium processing available for the following categories:

  • All employment-based nonimmigrant petitions
  • All I-140 petitions, including for the EB1(c) category and for EB2 national interest waivers (NIWs), both of which historically have not had access to premium processing
  • Form I-539 applications, which are used to apply for changes or extensions of status for most dependents (e.g., H-4, L-2), along with F-1 students, B-1/B-2 visitors, etc.
  • Form I-765, which is used to apply for EADs

The final rule presumably would make premium processing available for some, and possibly all of these categories.


As previously noted, there is no set timeline for the release of this final rule. Subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin to have weekly updates sent to your inbox.


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