USCIS declares Premium Processing for certain F-1 students seeking to extend OPT or STEM OPT

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services recently declared the expansion of premium processing for certain F-1 students wishing to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT extensions. Candidates with a pending Form I-765, an Application for Employment Authorization, can now submit a premium processing upgrade request.

Certain F-1 students can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, online. USCIS is still open to receiving this form’s latest paper version through the mail (as on 03/06/2023).

USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou stated that “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,” He further emphasized that online filing expansion was a priority for USCIS to maximize operational efficiencies and ensure broader access to the immigration system for stakeholders, applicants, petitioners, requestors, and those they serve.

Premium processing for certain F-1 students will occur in multiple stages, so students seeking to apply for premium processing should adhere to the following dates.

Starting March 6, USCIS began accepting Form I-907 requests, filed either through paper forms orthe online portal for certain F-1 students who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, in any 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.

Starting April 3rd, the USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests filed either via paper or online, for F-1 students in the above categories when filed together with Form I-765.

USCIS will reject any requests for premium processing for pending Form I-765 if received prior to March 6th, and reject any premium processing request for an initial or concurrently filed Form I-765 that is received before April 3.

Source: USCIS website