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USCIS Announces Premium Processing and Online Filing Eligibility for F-1 OPT and STEM OPT Applicants

On March 6, 2023, USCIS announced that it would begin accepting Form I-907 premium processing requests for F-1 students who have a previously filed and pending Form I-765 employment authorization document (EAD) application in one of the following optional practical training (OPT) categories:

  • (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;
  • (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; or
  • (c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension of OPT for STEM students.

Starting on April 3, USCIS began accepting premium processing requests from these students when their Form I-907 is filed concurrently with a Form I-765 employment authorization application.

The premium processing filing fee for these newly eligible student categories is $1,500, which will result in a decision on the application or a request for evidence within 30 calendar days after USCIS receives all prerequisites for the adjudication.

USCIS will accept both online and paper filings of Form I-907 for these F-1 EAD applications. In order to file online, the student must first create an online account on the USCIS website.

This welcome news comes nearly a year after the initial March 29, 2022 USCIS Announcement of New Actions to Reduce Backlogs, Expand Premium Processing, and Provide Relief to Work Permit Holders, as discussed in our prior alert. Based on the stated timeline of goals and the fact that Form I-140 premium processing eligibility has now been fully implemented, we expect that certain I-539 applicants may next be eligible for premium processing.

If you have any questions regarding this USCIS announcement or your eligibility for premium processing, please contact your Mintz Immigration attorney.


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Lindsey Steinberg