Starting June 13, USCIS will accept Form I-907 premium processing requests for those who have a pending Form I-539 application to change into F, M, or J status. Starting June 26, the agency will accept premium processing requests from those seeking to change into F, M, or J status when their Form I-907 is filed concurrently with the Form I-539 application. The Form I-907 fee for these newly eligible categories is $1,750, and the premium processing timeframe is 30 calendar days after USCIS receives all prerequisites for the adjudication, including biometrics. USCIS will accept both online and paper filings of Form I-907 for these applications as long as the Form I-907 submission method matches the Form I-539 submission method.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin implementing premium processing service for applicants seeking to change their status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1 or J-2 on Form I-539. The premium processing fee for these newly eligible categories is $1,750, with a 30-day processing timeframe after application prerequisites are met. According to USCIS, the agency will accept Form I-907 premium processing requests for these newly eligible applicants in two phases:
- Starting June 13, 2023, USCIS will accept Form I-907 for applicants with a pending Form I-539 to change into F, M, or J status.
- Starting June 26, 2023, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for applicants seeking to change into F, M, or J status when their Form I-907 is filed concurrently with their Form I-539 application.
For these newly eligible categories, USCIS will accept Form I-907 in either online or paper form, but the method of submission must match the Form I-539 method. If a paper Form I-539 is submitted, the Form I-907 must be submitted in paper form. If Form I-539 is submitted electronically, the Form I-907 must also be submitted online.
This initiative is part of USCIS’s incremental expansion of premium processing to certain additional form types over a period of at least three years. In March 2022, USCIS issued a regulation as part of its actions to reduce backlogs and to provide certain relief to work permit holders. The rule was intended to implement legislation that was signed into law in October 2020 as part of the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act.
In February 2021, USCIS expanded premium service to E-3 petitions. In May 2022, the agency announced expansion of premium processing to certain pending EB-1 Multinational Executive and Manager and EB-2 National Interest Waiver petitions; then, over the next eight months, the agency incrementally expanded eligibility to all such petitions. In March 2023, USCIS opened premium processing to Form I-765 work authorization applications for F-1 initial and STEM OPT nonimmigrants. Today’s announcement continues the expansion to include those seeking a change of status to F, M or J nonimmigrant status on Form I-539.
Further detail on Form I-539 premium processing for those seeking to change into F, M, or J status
Under the premium processing policy for these new categories of applicants, USCIS has 30 days to take action on the Form I-539 applications requesting a change of status. However, the controlling USCIS regulation provides that the processing clock will only begin to run upon the date USCIS receives “all prerequisites for adjudication” – meaning that the agency may not begin to count the 30-day processing timeframe until it determines that it has received all necessary information appropriate for the case type.
In today’s announcement, USCIS reminds the public that applicants must submit their biometrics before premium processing can begin to run for Form I-539 change of status requests to F, M, or J. This means that applicants could wait longer than the specified 30-day timeframe to see action on their cases. If a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is issued, a new 30-day period would begin once USCIS receives the applicant’s response to the RFE or NOID.
Also under the new policy, as noted above, eligible applicants will be able to file Form I-907 requesting premium processing service in either electronic or paper form, as long as they match the method of submission for the related Form I-539. In order to file a Form I-907 online, applicants must have a USCIS online account, which can be created on my.uscis.gov.
In the future, USCIS is expected to announce further premium processing expansion for applicants seeking to change to other nonimmigrant categories on Form I-539, as well as those seeking to extend certain types of nonimmigrant status. The agency has not provided a specific timeline for further expansions.