Dept. of State: July 2023 Visa Bulletin Shows EB-3 Final Action Data Retrogression for Multiple Countries
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for July notes that due to high demand, retrogressions have been necessary for the employment-based third preference (EB-3) category for India, Mexico, the Philippines, and the Rest of the World. The Rest of the World, Mexico, and the Philippines EB-3 final action dates have been retrogressed to 01FEB22. EB-3 applicants from India are subject to a final action date of 01JAN09.
USCIS Expands Premium Processing for All Applicants Seeking to Change into F, M, or J Nonimmigrant Status
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on June 12 the expansion of premium processing for applicants filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status. Online filing of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, will also be available for these applicants.
The expansion of premium processing is part of USCIS’ efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall immigration system. USCIS is expanding premium processing in a phased approach to ensure compliance with the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which prohibits the expansion of premium processing if it will increase processing times for immigration benefit requests.
The premium processing expansion for certain Form I-539 applicants will occur in phases, and nonimmigrants requesting premium processing should not file before these dates:
· Beginning June 13, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, filed via paper form or online, for applicants seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 status, who have a pending Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
· Beginning June 26, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, filed either via paper form or online, for applicants seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 status, when filed together with Form I-539.
This phase of premium processing service is only available for change of status requests. Premium processing is not available for individuals seeking an extension of stay in M-1 or M-2 status.
USCIS will reject premium processing requests for a pending Form I-539 if received before June 13. USCIS will reject premium processing requests when filed together with a Form I-539 if USCIS receives the request before June 26.
Applicants must submit Form I-907 the same way Form I-539 is submitted.
· If you mail a paper Form I-539 to us, you must mail a paper Form I-907.
· If you submit Form I-539 online, you must submit Form I-907 online.
Applicants must submit their biometrics before premium processing can begin for these specific categories. Even if USCIS accepts an applicant’s Form I-907 and accompanying fees, the time limit for premium processing will not start running until the applicant and all co-applicants included on the Form I-539 submit their biometrics. Please note, USCIS may reject an applicant’s Form I-907 and/or Form I-539 if submitted with another benefit request, including multiple Forms I-907 requests filed together.
To file Form I-907 online, an applicant must first create a USCIS online account, which provides a convenient and secure method to submit forms, pay fees, and track the status of any pending USCIS immigration request throughout the adjudication process. There is no cost to set up a USCIS online account, which offers a variety of features, including the ability to communicate with USCIS through a secure inbox and respond to Requests for Evidence online.
SOURCE: USCIS Newsroom, June 12, 2023: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom