Per a news release from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on March 6, premium processing will now be available for some F1 students seeking to enroll in Optional Practical Training (OPT), and F1 students seeking STEM OPT extensions. In order to upgrade to premium processing initially, these students must have a pending I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.
In addition, F1 visa holders meeting those requirements will also be eligible to file a Form I-907 Request for Premium Processing online. They can still file the paper version of the form by mail if they prefer.
When Will Premium Processing and Online Filing Be Available for F1 Visa Holders?
USCIS states that they plan to roll out these service upgrades in phases. Qualifying F-1 students who currently have a pending I-765 are able to submit a Form I-907 starting March 6. Qualifying F-1 visa holders will be able to submit a Form I-907 either online or via mail together with their I-765 starting April 3.
Why is USCIS Offering This Service?
According to USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou, the move is designed to make the process more efficient, and increase access to the immigration system for all those served by USCIS. “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,” Jaddou said.
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