USCIS Announces Further Expansion of Premium Processing Service
On January 30, 2023, US Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) will permit employers petitioning for multinational managers and individuals seeking a national interest waiver to select premium processing for their petition. Premium Processing is a faster adjudication path the employer may select for certain employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant petitions. If selected, USCIS will render a decision in fifteen calendar days. Regular/non-premium processing times are measured in months.
US immigration law allows an individual to immigrate to the United States to fill a job only if there are no US workers ready, willing, and able to fill the position. Employers are normally required to test the labor market or seek US workers to fill the position before petitioning for a foreign national. National Interest Waiver candidates seek a waiver of the labor market test because the nature of the individual’s work is so beneficial to the US that it is in the national interest to have the candidate fill the position.
A multinational manager or executive is a foreign national who worked abroad for a US company or subsidiary as an executive or manager who is being transferred to the US to work in an executive or managerial role. Although not required by law, a multinational manager typically has traveled to the US using an L-1A visa and is now seeking to remain in the US permanently.
Premium processing was implemented in 2001 as a means to encourage faster processing of employment-based immigrant petitions. Due to the amount of work involved, these two petition types were excluded from the original implementation of premium processing. Premium processing comes at a cost. Employers wishing to utilize premium process must pay an additional $2,500 to utilize this service.
Premium processing is an important tool available to employers and foreign nationals navigating the US immigration system. Like all tools, the value of it is knowing when to use it and knowing when not to use it. If you have any questions about this expansion of the premium processing program or employment-based immigration, please contact CDF’s immigration chair Richard M. Green.