In cases of need for urgent action on a pending application or petition submitted to the USICS, you can request an expedition by paying extra through Premium Processing. But in cases where Premium Processing is not possible, you may be eligible for an Expedite Request.
The following criteria are needed to make an Expedite Request: 1. Severe financial loss to a company or person, 2. Emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons, 3. Nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the U.S., or 4. Clear USCIS error.
Examples that fall within these four categories are diverse. For example, if you filed for an OPT or an employment authorization card and without it, a company’s finances or project could be severely affected, you would be eligible for an Expedite Request. Other examples are if you are in danger of not being able to continue schooling if you miss a scholarship without an adjustment to your student status, or if you are a doctor at a hospital that stands to suffer severe financial damage due to your termination because of a delayed approval on a work authorization, or if you requested an adjustment of status but ran into a problem due to incorrectly marked dates on documentation.
Those who are only at risk of losing their jobs due to a delayed OPT and able to file Premium Processing are not eligible to make an Expedite Request.
Expedite Request is granted on a case-by-case basis through Ask Emma on the USCIS website, or via phone call. Though it is not possible to make an Expedite Request for cases that could go through Premium Processing, non-profits are an exception. R-1 visa workers may be rejected for Premium Processing if their parent organization has never sponsored R-1 workers before.
After applying for an Expedite Request, the USCIS may ask for documentation that shows evidence of need, so it is advised to prepare those beforehand so that in case of rejection, you can re-apply. If you are still rejected, you may be able to receive an expedition via the USCIS Ombudsman or through your U.S. representative.
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