Premium Processing for Certain OPT and STEM OPT Applicants

Premium Processing for OPT and STEM OPT Applicants,

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is making premium processing available for certain F1 optional practical training (“OPT”) and STEM OPT extension applicants. Qualified OPT and STEM OPT applicants who want to expedite their applications for a fee may do so by filing the Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.

Related: See our overview of OPT [see article] and our guide to 24-Month STEM OPT extensions [see article].

The USCIS began accepting Form I-907 requests for F-1 students with pending Form I-765 employment authorization applications on March 6, 2023:

(c)(3)(A): Pre-Completion OPT;
(c)(3)(B): Post-Completion OPT; and
(c)(3)(C): 24-Month Extension of OPT for STEM Students

The March 6, 2023 implementation of premium processing for certain OPT cases applied only to those with pending applications. On April 3, 2023, the USCIS will expand the program to allow F-1 students who are seeking employment authorization in the above categories to file their Form I-907 with fee together with a new Form I-765.

Interested F-1 students may file the Form I-907 online with a USCIS online account.

Premium processing allows applicants in specified categories to expedite the processing of their application for a fee. Thus, F-1 OPT and STEM OPT extension applicants do not need to apply for premium processing for their applications. The new policy exists to make the option available, but it does not otherwise change the eligibility criteria for either OPT or STEM OPT.

See the USCIS news release [link].