The United States has announced the expansion of premium processing of work authorisation for certain categories of international students, which is likely to benefit a lot of Indian students who came to study in the US STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services' statement.
"US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today the expansion of premium processing for certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT extensions who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and wish to request a premium processing upgrade," the statement read.
As per the official statement, the premium processing begins on March 6 and for some other categories, it would start on April 3.
The online filing of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is now also available to F-1 students in these categories. USCIS continues to accept the latest paper version of this form by mail.
"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," said USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou.
"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," he added.
Premium processing expansion for certain F-1 students will occur in phases, and students requesting premium processing should not file before these dates.
"USCIS immigration requests 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," the statement read.
"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 there will not be able to file Form I-907 online and will need file a paper Form I-907 with the Chicago lockbox," the statement read.
"As previously announced, the expansion of premium processing is part of USCIS' efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall immigration system, and is being implemented in a phased approach," the statement added.
The addition of online filing for Form I-907 brings the total number of forms available for online filing to 16. The Forms Available to File Online page has links to file all of these forms. USCIS continues to accept the latest paper versions of all forms by mail. More than 1.8 million applications, petitions and requests were filed online in FY 2022, a 53 per cent increase from the 1.2 million filed in FY 2021.