It's easy to get into the routine of doing something and not be aware of when a change has been made.
After years of filing EB (Employment Based) petitions one way, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) has announced its newest modern rollout - transitioning its filing location for premium processing of EB petitions from USCIS service centers to a USCIS lockbox. The change was announced as part of USCIS's efforts to increase efficiency by reducing its footprint at the service centers, the continued endeavor to digitize its processes, and reducing costs.
Starting December 13, USCIS will reject any Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing) filed with Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers) that is received at the previous service center address instead of the specified lockbox address.
The agency is not making it easy though.
The importance of filing these petitions with an experienced practitioner cannot be over-emphasized, as the directive from USCIS has many exceptions to the announcement. For example, if you are requesting premium processing for a currently pending Form I-140, or if you are filing Form I-140 with an associated application (such as Form I-765, Form I-131, or Form I-485), your application should still be filed at a specified service center. However, USCIS announced that a filing location change is forthcoming for that type of application as well.
Should I Apply for Premium Processing?
Premium processing does not work with all petitions, but for Employment Based petitions it can greatly reduce the processing time. Depending on what type of employment based category you are applying for, premium processing ensures that the processing time is finalized between 15 - 45 days. This is very different from the regular processing time for EB petitions, which varies from four months to 10.5 months, depending on what category you have applied under.
Another important factor in the consideration of premium processing is the cost. To request premium processing for an I-140 form for an employment based visa, the cost is $2,500.
If you do qualify for filing your petition under the new lockbox process, click here to see what USCIS lockbox you should file your petition at, depending on what state you live in.
If you have questions about premium processing, the EB process, or another immigration petition please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.