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A Quick Look at the USCIS RFE Premium Processing
May 21, 2022
4 mins
Form I-907 - (Request for Premium Processing Service) pinned in a blue notepad surrounded by paper clips, pins, and a growth arrow symbol

In this blog, we have explained the following in detail:

  • What are Premium Processing and RFE?
  • RFE Premium Processing timeline and fees
  • Steps to follow in RFE Premium Processing

Before getting into the details of RFE premium processing, it is necessary to understand what is H1B RFE.

Everyone who applies for a US visa knows it is long and tedious. From gathering the latest information, applying the petitions, collecting and submitting the required documents, and finally obtaining the visa, the wait can be long for several months. Adding to the pressure is the RFE or Request for Evidence. If you (the employer) receive one of these, your visa processing will take longer than expected.

Fortunately, the USCIS, the agency that handles the US non-immigrant visa processes, allows Premium Processing with RFE. Read on to know the details.

What is RFE& Premium Processing?

Premium Processing

If you have applied for a US non-immigrant visa and would like to quicken the process without waiting for months, you can opt for Premium Processing. This is a special service expedites employment-based visa processes. Premium Processing is available for various types of employment-based classifications. When you apply and pay for these exclusive services, the USCIS guarantees fifteen calendar days to process your petition.

The 15-day duration commences when the USCIS receives your Form I-907 (sent by the employer to USCIS), the petition used to request Premium Processing. There are two aspects to keep in mind if you opt for this service:

  • Premium Processing DOES NOT in any way improve your chances of obtaining your visa approval.
  • The USCIS will refund your Premium Processing fee if it does not process your petition within the said duration.

What is RFE or Request for Evidence?

An RFE is what the title implies. When your employer receives such notice from the USCIS, the consular officer analyzing your visa petition requires additional information to decide the outcome of your case. The additional proof is also known as " supporting evidence." An RFE notice lists the missing documents in your visa petition and allows the employer to collect the said evidence and submit it to the USCIS. If your employer receives an RFE, he/she must do the needful to ensure smooth processing of visa to progress without any delay.

RFE Premium Processing Timeline & Fees

The USCIS has established new time frames for specific RFEs by removing the previous 12-week duration and assigning flexible timings for petitioners and applicants to respond to the RFE notice. Although the maximum time to respond to an RFE continues to be 12 weeks, the new USCIS rule does not include the time taken to extend the submission of evidence beyond the 12-week limit.

RFE Response Time Premium Processing

As with all other Premium Processing facilities, the USCIS also guarantees the same 15-day period to hasten the visa process. It will also refund the fee if the processing is not complete within the said time. The 15-day duration commences from the day the USCIS receives your Request for Premium Processing Service at the filing address mentioned on the form.

The USCIS will take any one of the following actions within the 15 days:

  • Approve the petition
  • Deny the petition
  • Send Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
  • Request for additional evidence
  • Open an investigation for misrepresentation or fraud

Sometimes, the visa petition may require additional documentation in answer to NOID. In that case, a new 15-day period commences as soon as the USCIS receives a proper response to either request.

How much is the RFE Premium Processing fee?

The RFE Premium Processing fee is $1500 for Form I-129 for H2B or R non-immigrant visa categories. Premium Processing services for other visas, including H1B cost $2500. You must pay the Premium Processing fee and all the other filing fees required for the visa processing.

Steps for Premium Processing

The Premium Processing application process comprises the following steps:

Step 1: Complete and submit Form I-907.

Step 2: If the USCIS issues an RFE, your application processing will be paused.

Step 3: Gather the requested evidence and submit them in proper order before the timeframe expires.

Step 4: The USCIS resumes your application process upon receiving your response. An additional 15 calendar days will be counted as the processing period.

Step 5: The USCIS will send you its notice for your petition.

What is Premium Processing Suspension?

Although Premium Processing is a quick way to expedite your visa process, it is not always available because the USCIS may sometimes suspend the service for some employment-based visas. Hence, we recommend you ensure the service is available for your visa before filing your request.

Also read: Answering Frequently Asked Questions About H1B RFE

The Conclusion

While applying for Premium Processing, you must remember that the service will only speed up your visa process and not guarantee your visa approval. However, if you receive a Request for Evidence from the USCIS, Premium Processing will take longer. Also, if you have already received an RFE, you will have only one chance to collect the evidence and give the USCIS a satisfactory response. If not, the USCIS will most likely issue a denial for your petition. Hence, you must be extra careful about submitting the additional evidence within the given timeframe. You can also consult your immigration attorney regarding USCIS RFE response time Premium Processing.

Get the TechFetch H1B expertise for information on H1B and US non-immigrant visa processes.

**Disclaimer: All H1B processes are subject to change. Please refer to the USCIS official website for the latest updates.

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