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new premium processing procedures for certain F-1 students who need OPT or STEM OPT extensions | godoy law office immigration lawyers

New Premium Processing Procedures for Certain F-1 Students Who Need OPT or STEM OPT Extensions

More good news for F-1 OPT and STEM OPT international students! U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced expanding premium processing is available for certain F-1 international students who are enrolled in optional practical training (OPT) and F-1 students who want STEM OPT extensions. The premium processing will be released in phases. In announcing the new premium process, USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou said:

“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. 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.”  

F-1 Premium Processing Phases 1 and 2

To apply for premium processing, students must submit a separate I-907 application form by paper or online with an additional $1,500 fee. This guarantees the processing of an OPT application within 30 calendar days. At that time, applicants will be issued an approval notice, a denial notice, a notice of intent to deny or a request for evidence.

  • March 6
    USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, filed either via paper form or online, for certain F-1 students who already have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization if they are filing under one of the following 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.
  • April 3 
    USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, filed either via paper form or online, for F-1 students in the above categories when filed together with Form I-765.

USCIS said it would reject premium processing requests for a pending Form I-765 if it is received before March 6. And they will reject any premium processing request for an initial or concurrently filed Form I-765 that is received before April 3.

Online Filing Form I-907

USCIS has also launched online Form I-907 filing for F-1 students in OPT and OPT STEM categories. But they will continue to accept the latest paper version of this form by mail.

Prioritizing Immigration for F-1 Students

To address the immigration backlog and the shortage of specialty workers, U.S. employers and universities want to attract more nonimmigrant students and more F-1 visa students earning bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees to help the U.S. economic recovery.

  • STEM: science, technology, engineering or mathematics
  • OPT: Optional Practical Training that allows noncitizens who are in the United States on an F-1 student visa to work in the U.S.

Are You An Internation Student Who Wants to Study STEM and STEM OPT in The U.S.?

STEM OPT programs and eligibility requirements for F-1 students have changed considerably in the past 12 months. It can be confusing for international students to apply for and receive their student visas while attending courses. Mario Godoy and the other experienced immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can help. We can assess your situation and advise you on your best options. Such as, applying for a student visa, your eligibility for premium processing and how to apply for an expedited OPT visa when they become available in April.

Contact an Experienced Illinois Student Visa Attorney

The experienced immigration lawyers at Godoy Law Office can help international students obtain and extend visas, assess your situation and advise you on your best options to qualify for a student visa. Call today at 630-912-0322.   

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