Expensive Sophie: Any USCIS updates on computerized work extensions and premium processing?

​Right here’s one other version of “Expensive Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at know-how corporations.

“Your questions are important to the unfold of data that permits folks all around the world to rise above borders and pursue their goals,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration legal professional. “Whether or not you’re in folks ops, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I might like to answer your questions in my subsequent column.”

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Expensive Sophie,

My H-1B expires in late Might and my employer just lately filed an extension. I’m anxious in regards to the outcomes.

Can I add in premium processing and personally pay for it? I’m interested by self-petitioning an EB-2 NIW inexperienced card — what’s the most recent on premium processing?

— Hungry in Excessive Tech

Expensive Hungry,

Your needs for safety and freedom resonate with so many! Some thrilling updates from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers on the subjects of computerized work extensions and premium processing are simply in; it’s fantastic information that USCIS is dedicated to bettering its high quality of service.

They’ve been backlogged because of the pandemic, funding points and paper-based processing, which I just lately defined in my podcast on the state of immigration.

The newest on Automated Extensions of Employment Authorization

USCIS simply introduced the Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for Certain Renewal Applicants, a brand new closing momentary rule that can quickly take impact to cut back backlogs and strains on the workforce.

Beforehand, there was a 180-day computerized EAD extension for sure classes; it will likely be prolonged as much as 360 days for a complete of as much as 540 days, from Might 4, 2022 to October 26, 2023. This announcement will profit many classes, corresponding to H-4, L-2 and E-1/E-2/E-3 spouses, in addition to asylees and asylum-seekers, TPS holders and candidates for adjustment of standing.


On this 12 months’s H-1B lottery, which closed in March, USCIS obtained a report 483,927 registrations, which was a whopping 56.8% enhance from 2021. Of the 85,000 H-1Bs allotted every year, 20,000 are earmarked for people with a grasp’s diploma or increased from a U.S. college. USCIS reported that about 31% of all registered people had superior levels.

In contrast to the annual H-1B lottery registration course of, which is digital, precise H-1B petitions are nonetheless paper-based. Submitting an preliminary H-1B petition or an extension requires submitting the appliance type and supporting paperwork in exhausting copy to USCIS.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Picture Credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

For extensions, beneficiaries of H-1B petitions are automatically work authorized by the I-797 Receipt Discover for the timely-filed Type I-129 petition by the employer, as much as 240 days. For this reason some employers select to not put money into premium processing for H-1B extensions.

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