Premium Processing 

CIS  had implemented Premium Processing Service to combat chronic petition-processing backlogs related to those who wish to work temporarily in the U.S. but only some visa categories are eligible.  CIS guarantees that petitioners who pay $1,000 for Premium Processing Service will receive an approval, denial, or request for evidence on their petitions within 15 days of filing. If INS fails to meet this guarantee, it will refund the fee to the business/person filing. 

Please note that the Premium Process Service affects only Service Center adjudications of nonimmigrant visa petitions in the following categories: 

At this time, INS has designated only the Form I-129, (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker), for Premium Processing. Classifications within the Form I-129 eligible for Premium Processing are:

  • E-1 Treaty Trader;
  • E-2 Treaty Investor;
  • H-2A Agricultural Worker
  • H-2B Temporary Worker
  • H-3 Trainee
  • L-1 Intra-company Transferees
  • O-1 and O-2 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
  • P-1, P-2 and P-3 Athletes and Entertainers
  • Q-1 International Cultural Exchange Aliens
  • H-1B Temporary Workers in Specialty Occupations
  • R-1 Temporary Workers in Religious Occupations
  • TN NAFTA Professionals

CIS will continue to review the program and assess its ability to incorporate other employment -based petitions and applications into the program.

This process does not mean the visa petition WILL be approved, it will merely be processed.  Also, there is an important distinction between the petition portion of the process that is affected by this CIS expedite procedure and the actual visa issuance part of the process that falls under the State Department's  jurisdiction. Only the petition processing phase is expedited, not the consular processing and issuance of the visa.  There are special forms and procedures to enact this request quite different from previous application procedures.

CIS will continue its existing policy and procedures for requesting expeditious processing of petitions and applications that are not designated for Premium Processing. The existing procedures allow for expedited processing based upon the following five criteria:

  • Severe financial loss to a company or individual,
  • Extreme emergent situation,
  • Humanitarian situation,
  • Department of Defense or national interest situation, or
  • INS error.

In addition, INS will accept requests for expedited processing under existing rules from non-profit organizations on all applications and petitions.

For an evaluation of your particular situation to determine if this processing applies to you, call us. Back to Top