On Tuesday, March 29th, the Biden Administration announced new efforts USCIS is taking aimed at addressing processing times and backlogs. As of February 2022, USCIS has a backlog of 9.5 million cases.
EAD premium processing Premium processing, a paid service that speeds up the review and decision made on certain aspects of the application, notably the I-140, will be expanded to include the EAD (I-765), among other forms. The fee will be $1500 and it will be rolled out over a number of months.
Processing backlogs Internally, USCIS is implementing cycle time goals in order to systematically speed up processing times. In order to achieve these goals and reduce processing times, USCIS plans to hire more staff and improve their technology.
EAD validity period USCIS is continuing to improve the process of renewing the validity of work permits. The goal of this effort is to give individuals, who are waiting for their case to be adjudicated, a greater ability to work throughout the duration of their immigrant visa petition.
FAQ about this new information: When will EAD premium processing for the EB-3 Unskilled Visa start? It has yet to be announced or confirmed by USCIS when it will become available for EB3 Unskilled visa applicants.
What does “cycle time goals” mean? There is no specific time frame stated at this time. The timing of this process consistently fluctuates, and it will likely continue to fluctuate.
When will this start? Within 60 days, further information will be announced by USCIS.
If you are currently in the process, can I add on this premium processing for the EAD once it’s available? That is probable, but no official decision has been made.
How do these USCIS announcements affect Consular Processing applicants? This does not impact the timing or processing for Consular Processing applicants.
At BDV Solutions, we are excited to see improved processing times and new efforts by USCIS to tackle the immigrant visa case backlog.