Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the expansion of premium processing for certain F-1 students. For the first time, Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is also available to file online for students seeking optional practical training (OPT) or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT.

The premium processing expansion for certain F-1 students will occur in phases.

Beginning March 6, we will accept Form I-907 requests, filed via paper form or online, for certain F-1 students who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, if they are filing under one of these categories:

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

Beginning April 3, we will accept Form I-907 requests, filed via paper form or online, for F-1 students in the above categories when filed together with Form I-765.

We will reject premium processing requests for a pending Form I-765 under these eligible categories if we receive the request before March 6. We will reject premium processing requests for a concurrently filed Form I-765 if we receive the request before April 3.

To file Form I-907 online, you 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. If you have previously filed a USCIS form online, you may use your existing USCIS online account.

Applicants who previously filed a paper Form I-765 and wish to file Form I-907 online to request premium processing should reference the USCIS Account Access Notice they received for the Online Access Code and details on how to link their paper-filed cases to their online account, or they will not be able to file Form I-907 online and will need file a paper Form I-907 with the Chicago lockbox.

Only certain F-1 students seeking OPT or STEM OPT extensions may file Form I-907 online at this time. Applicants who file a paper Form I-907, or any other USCIS form, can still create an online account to track the status of their form throughout the adjudication process, even if they did not file the form online. To find more information about which forms are available for online filing, visit our Forms Available to File Online page.

USCIS is committed to making technology and operational improvements to reduce processing times. As previously announced, we are expanding premium processing to additional form types as part of our efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall immigration system.

As we implement the expansion of premium processing in a phased approach, we will continue working toward premium processing availability of Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. We anticipate expanding premium processing for certain students and exchange visitors with pending Form I-539 applications in May and certain students and exchange visitors who are filing initial Form I-539 applications in June.

The agency will adhere to the legislative requirement that the expansion of premium processing not result in an increase in processing times for immigration benefit requests not designated for premium processing or an increase in regular processing of immigration benefit requests so designated.

Posted in: Immigration