The processing times for EB-1 Immigrant Petitions for a US Green Card can vary significantly depending on several factors, such as:
- USCIS Workload: USCIS processing times can fluctuate based on the volume of applications received and the available resources to process them. Thus, processing times may be slower during peak periods of application filings. Depending on where the foreign national will work in the US, the EB-1 Petition will be filed either with the Nebraska Service Center or the Texas Service Center.
- Complexity of the Case: Some EB-1 cases may be more complicated than others, which can extend the processing time. Cases that require additional evidence or further review by USCIS can also take longer.
- Applicant’s Country of Origin: The country of origin of the applicant can also affect the processing time. If the applicant’s country has a high demand for green cards, then there may be a longer waiting period to adjust status or consular process due to annual visa limits.
On average, the processing time for USCIS to adjudicate an I-140 Petition, requesting classification as an individual of extraordinary ability can range from a few months to a year. It is important to regularly check the USCIS website for updates on current processing times. Please see, https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/
When reviewing processing times, it is important to review the Form I-797, Notice of Action, also known as a receipt notice, to input the correct Form, Form Category, and Field Office or Service Center. Depending on where the alien will work in the US, an EB-1 petition will be filed with either the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) or Texas Service Center (TSC).
Premium Processing Eligibility
EB-1 Petitions are eligible for Premium Processing Services, significantly reducing the processing time for the Form I-140 process. Premium processing allows EB-1 petitioners to receive a decision on their petition within 15 calendar days, provided they pay an additional fee to USCIS. This service guarantees that USCIS will take action on the petition within the 15-day timeframe, such as issuing an approval notice, a request for further evidence, or a notice of intent to deny. If USCIS fails to act within the 15-day period, it will refund the premium processing fee and continue to process the petition in an expedited manner.
To request premium processing for an EB-1 petition, the petitioner must file Form I-907, along with the required fee, concurrently with the EB-1 petition. You may also elect to upgrade a pending EB-1 petition to premium should a new job opportunity arise in the US that requires the applicant to immigrate to the US more quickly.
While premium processing can expedite the decision on an EB-1 petition, it is important to note that it does not guarantee approval or increase/decrease chances of an approval. Additionally, if USCIS issues a request for further evidence in response to the petition, the 15-day clock stops until the petitioner responds with the requested evidence. Therefore, it is crucial to provide complete and accurate documentation with the initial filing to avoid delays in processing.
Advantages of Premium Processing
Premium processing can benefit individuals seeking adjustment of status or immigrant consular processing for their EB-1 Green Card application in several ways. For adjustment of status, filing Form I-907 and requesting premium processing service can expedite the adjudication of the I-485 application, which can only be approved when the EB-1 petition is approved. With premium processing, applicants can receive a decision on their I-140 EB-1 petition within 15 calendar days, which is significantly faster than the regular processing time, which can take several months. Therefore, paying the additional government filing fee can be particularly advantageous and high value for applicants who have time-sensitive needs, such as work or travel.
For immigrant consular processing, premium processing can help to expedite the processing of the immigrant visa application. After the EB-1 petition is approved, applicants must apply for an immigrant visa at a US consulate or embassy abroad. With premium processing, the EB-1 Petition can be adjudicated and approved within 15-calendar days, after which the approval is transferred to the National Visa Center, which schedules the visa interview more quickly. This can be especially beneficial for applicants who have urgent travel or work needs.
It is important to note that premium processing does not guarantee approval of an application, and USCIS may still issue a request for further evidence or take other actions that could delay the processing of the application. However, premium processing can be an effective tool for expediting the adjudication of an EB-1 green card application and may provide peace of mind to applicants who have time-sensitive needs.
Adjudication Process that Impacts Overall Processing Times
The resources for adjudicating EB-1 petitions for a green card include a combination of USCIS policies, regulations, and guidelines, as well as training and experience of the adjudicating officers. USCIS has established specific criteria for each of the three categories within the EB-1 classification: extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational executives and managers. Adjudicating officers use these criteria, as well as supporting documentation and evidence submitted by the petitioner, to determine whether the applicant meets the eligibility requirements for the specific category.
USCIS also provides guidance on the types of evidence that may be submitted to support an EB-1 petition, such as awards and recognition, publications, media coverage, membership in professional associations, and other forms of evidence of extraordinary ability or achievement. Additionally, USCIS may request additional evidence from the petitioner to support their case, which may impact overall processing times for the EB-1 Petition.
Adjudicating officers are trained on USCIS policies and guidelines for adjudicating EB-1 petitions and are required to follow these guidelines in their decision-making process. Additionally, adjudicators may receive ongoing training and support to ensure consistency in decision-making across different cases and adjudicators. Finally, USCIS may consult with other government agencies, such as the Department of Labor or the Department of State, to ensure that the applicant meets all eligibility requirements for the EB-1 category.
Overall, the adjudication of EB-1 petitions for a green card involves a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of USCIS policies and guidelines, as well as careful consideration of the specific evidence and documentation submitted by the petitioner. Therefore, processing times for adjudicating EB-1 petitions vary widely.