USCIS Expands Premium Processing for F-1 Students

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the expansion of premium processing for certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT extensions who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. The online filing of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is now available to F-1 students in these categories. USCIS will continue to accept the latest paper version of this form by mail.

USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou said, “The availability of premium processing for certain F-1 students, in addition to the ease of online filing, will streamline the immigration experience for a great many international students. The ongoing expansion of online filing is a priority for USCIS as we continue to create operational efficiencies and increase access to the immigration system for stakeholders, applicants, petitioners, requestors, and those we serve.”

Premium processing expansion for certain F-1 students will occur in phases, and students requesting premium processing should not file before the specified dates. USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, filed either via paper form or online, for certain F-1 students who already have a pending Form I-765 for Pre-Completion OPT, Post-Completion OPT, and 24-Month Extension of OPT for STEM students, beginning March 6. From April 3, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for F-1 students in the above categories when filed together with Form I-765.

To file Form I-907 online, applicants 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.

USCIS’ expansion of premium processing is part of its efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall immigration system, and is being implemented in a phased approach. The addition of online filing for Form I-907 brings the total number of forms available for online filing to 16. USCIS continues to accept the latest paper versions of all forms by mail.