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Immigration News - August 22, 2006

August 22, 2006

Immigration Practice Group

USCIS Announces Expansion of Premium Processing to Include Certain Employment-Based Immigrant Petitions
On Friday, August 18, 2006, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a notice on its website announcing an expansion of the Premium Processing program to certain categories of I-140 immigrant petitions.  The Premium Processing program, which has been in existence for several years for various kinds of nonimmigrant petitions, such as H-1Bs, L-1s, and TNs, allows petitioners to pay an additional $1,000 filing fee in order to have the immigration service process their petitions within 15 calendar days.  In exchange for the additional $1,000 filing fee, the immigration service will approve, deny, or issue a request for additional information on the case within 15 calendar days.

Beginning on August 28, USCIS will begin accepting Premium Processing requests for certain kinds of I-140 immigrant petitions in the EB-3 category.  Premium Processing requests will be accepted for EB-3 immigrant petitions filed for professional positions requiring a Bachelor's degree and less than 5 years of experience, as well as for EB-3 Skilled Worker petitions, which are immigrant petitions for workers capable of performing skilled labor requiring at least two years of education, training or experience.
Premium Processing is not yet available to the "other workers" classification in the EB-3 category (jobs that do not require two years of education, training or experience).  In addition, Premium Processing has not yet been expanded to the EB-1 category (multinational managers, outstanding researchers, and aliens of extraordinary ability), nor to the EB-2 category (positions requiring a Master's degree or higher, or a Bachelor's degree and at least 5 years of experience, as well as national interest waiver cases and aliens of exceptional ability).  It appears that USCIS intends to expand the Premium Processing program in the future to additional immigrant petition categories, but the timing of that expansion is unknown.

With the expansion of the Premium Processing program, USCIS is also releasing a new I-907 form, which is the form utilized to request Premium Processing.  All Premium Processing requests received by USCIS on or after August 28, 2006 will require this new form.

The USCIS notice announcing the expansion of the Premium Processing program is attached.
Register Now: Global Immigration and Employment Seminar Sept. 27 & 28 The Global Personnel Alliance (GPA) and Paul Hastings will sponsor a seminar on Global Immigration and Employment Issues, to be held in Washington, D.C. on September 27 & 28.  The seminar will focus on the major developments over the past year and will feature speakers from Capitol Hill, the Department of Labor, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security.  For details and to register, please visit the events page.


Immigration News is published solely for the interests of friends and clients of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP and should in no way be relied upon or construed as legal advice. For specific information on recent developments or particular factual situations, the opinion of legal counsel should be sought. Paul Hastings is a limited liability partnership. Copyright © 2006 Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP.


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