In an effort to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall legal immigration system, USCIS has announced three new actions intended to reduce backlogs, expand Premium Processing Services and provide timely access to Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
Reducing Backlogs: To reduce backlogs, USCIS has established new internal cycle time goals. These goals are internal metrics and affect how long it takes the agency to process cases. As cycle times improve, processing times will follow, and applicants and petitioners will receive decisions on their cases more quickly. USCIS plans to achieve these new goals by the end of FY 2023. The new cycle time goals can be accessed here- https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-guidance.
Expansion of Premium Processing Service: USCIS intends to begin gradually implementing premium processing availability to include Form I-539, Form I-765 and additional classifications under Form I-140 in fiscal year 2022. First, USCIS plans to begin this phased implementation process by expanding premium processing eligibility to Form I-140 filers requesting EB-1 immigrant classification as a multinational executive or manager, EB-2 classification as a member of the professions with advanced degrees, and those with exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver. A specific timeline has not yet been announced. We will provide updates on timing as they become available.
Access to EADs: USCIS had recently extended validity periods of certain EADs by providing an automatic 180-day extension. Now it aims to build on this progress to ensure certain individuals will not lose their work authorization status while their applications are pending. More updates on the EAD adjudication process will be released by USCIS in the coming days. We will monitor progress and provide updates.
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