Update: “Courtesy” Premium Processing No Longer Available for Form I-539

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By: Angelita Chavez-Halaka, Armando Escobedo, Gladys Gervacio

SUMMARY

USCIS will no longer extend courtesy premium processing service for I-539 applications that are filed concurrently with a qualifying I-129 petition due to the new biometric requirement for all I-539 applicants.

Background

On March 22, 2019, USCIS began accepting only the Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) and new Form I-539A (Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) with the edition date of 02/04/2019.

  • As of March 22, 2019, all I-539 applicants, regardless of age, are required to appear for a scheduled biometrics appointment at the Application Support Center (ASC).

Why is “Courtesy” Premium Processing No Longer Available for I-539 Applications?

Premium processing for Form I-539 applications concurrently filed with a qualifying I-129 petition were previously processed as a courtesy. USCIS states that the new I-539 biometric requirement takes at least three weeks to complete and therefore cannot meet the 15-day premium processing timeframe.

Implementation Procedure:

Form I-539 applications are now separated from the Form I-129 petition. Form I-539 applicants are advised to monitor the regular I-539 processing times.

Recommendations:

We encourage I-539 applicants to be aware of the I-539 processing backlog and consult with your immigration practitioner to address any questions or concerns you should have and for more information regarding the options available to you.

Stay Updated

Contact us for more information at info@chugh.com for help on filing the new Form I-539 (Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status). We also encourage you to share our newsletter to those who might find this content beneficial.