The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handles a significant number of requests daily. If you find yourself in a situation where time is of the essence, expedited processing can be a game-changer.
Expedited processing is a way to accelerate the review of your request by USCIS. It allows you to bypass the regular processing times and can be a crucial tool when facing time constraints or urgent situations. However, it is important to note that not all requests are eligible for an expedited request. USCIS carefully considers each request on a case-by-case basis, and eligibility is determined by specific criteria.
Eligibility Criteria for an Expedited Request
Not everyone can apply for the expedite request. You need to meet the eligibility criteria so you can file one. Here are the common factors that USCIS considers.
Severe financial loss to the individual or company
If you can demonstrate that the delay in processing your request would result in significant financial loss, you may be eligible for expedited processing. This could include situations where a job offer is at risk, or a business is facing imminent closure.
Urgent humanitarian reasons
If you can provide evidence of urgent humanitarian reasons, USCIS may expedite your request. This includes medical emergencies or the need to travel for a family member’s critical illness,
Compelling US government interests
If your request is for the safety or national security interests of the US government, you may be eligible for expedited processing. An example is a request from a US government agency or for national security reasons.
Clear USCIS error
If USCIS made a clear error that resulted in the delay of your request, you may be able to request expedited processing.
Important Note: Meeting one or more of these criteria does not guarantee expedited processing. USCIS carefully evaluates each case and makes a determination based on the evidence provided.
Reasons for Requesting Expedited Processing
Here are some of the reasons why you can request expedited processing with the USCIS.
Family reunification is a common reason for requesting expedited processing. Whether it’s a spouse, child, or parent, being separated from loved ones can be challenging.
Expedited processing can help reduce the time spent apart and expedite the visa approval process.
When medical emergencies arise, time is of the essence. Expedited processing can help individuals access necessary medical treatments or travel to be with a family member in need.
Job offers and employment-based visas
In some cases, a job offer may be contingent on the approval of an employment-based visa.
Expedited processing can help ensure that the visa is approved in a timely manner. It allows individuals to start their new jobs as soon as possible.
There are instances where travel needs to happen within a specific timeframe.
Expedited processing can help ensure that individuals can travel as planned without unnecessary delays.
These are just a few examples of the reasons why you might choose to request expedited processing. Each situation is unique, and USCIS evaluates requests on a case-by-case basis.
How to Request an Expedited Request with USCIS
The exact steps for filing an expedited request with USCIS may vary depending on your type of request. But here’s the general process:
1. Determine eligibility
Before submitting a request for expedited processing, determine if you meet the eligibility criteria. Review the USCIS guidelines and gather the necessary evidence to support your request.
2. Complete the required forms
Depending on the type of request, you may need to complete specific forms. Accurately fill out all the required information and provide any supporting documents as requested.
3. Gather supporting documentation
In addition to the forms, you will need to gather supporting documentation to substantiate your request for expedited processing. This may include:
- Financial records. If you are requesting expedited processing based on severe financial loss, you may need to provide financial records to support your claim. This could include bank statements, tax returns, or business financial statements.
- Medical documentation. If you are requesting expedited processing based on urgent humanitarian reasons like a medical emergency or to obtain medical treatment, you must provide medical documentation. This could include medical records, doctor’s letters, or hospital statements.
- Job offers. If you are requesting to expedite employment authorization document or an employment-based visa, providing a job offer letter from the labor and employment agencies, for instance, can help support your request. The letter should clearly state the start date of the job and any other relevant details.
- Travel itineraries. If you are requesting expedited processing due to time-sensitive travel, providing travel itineraries or other supporting documentation can help strengthen your case. This could include flight reservations, hotel bookings, or event invitations.
4. Submit your request
Once you’ve completed the necessary forms and gathered all the supporting documentation, submit your request to USCIS.
Follow the specific instructions provided by USCIS and ensure that you include all the required information.
5. Track your request
After submitting your request, keep track of its progress. USCIS provides online tools that allow you to check the status of your request and any updates that may be available. You may also reach the USCIS contact center.
Note: You can file a USCIS expedite request at any point of the case processing as long as you are given your receipt notice.
By following these steps and providing all the necessary information, you can increase your chances of having your expedited request approved.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Requesting Expedited Processing
Ensure that you accurately complete all the required forms and provide all the necessary information. Incomplete forms can result in delays or a denial of your request.
Insufficient supporting documentation
Providing the appropriate supporting documentation is crucial for a successful expedited request. Carefully review the USCIS guidelines for the type of request you are making and ensure that you gather all the necessary documentation.
Inaccurate or inconsistent information
Double-check all the information you provide to ensure its accuracy. Inconsistent or inaccurate information can raise red flags and lead to delays or a denial of your request.
USCIS sets specific deadlines for submitting expedited requests. Make sure to submit your request within the designated timeframe to avoid having it rejected.
Failure to track your request
After submitting your expedited request, regularly track its progress using the USCIS online tools. This helps you to stay informed of any updates or additional information requested by USCIS.
USCIS Expedite Processing Timeline
The timeline for expedited processing with USCIS can vary depending on several factors. While USCIS aims to process expedited requests as quickly as possible, there are no guarantees regarding the exact processing time. However, USCIS does provide some general guidelines for expedited processing.
- For employment-based visas, USCIS typically processes expedited requests within 45 days.
- Family-based visa requests may take slightly longer, with a processing time ranging between 60 to 90 days.
Additionally, understand that USCIS prioritizes expedited requests based on the specific eligibility criteria. Requests that meet the severe financial loss, urgent humanitarian reasons, or compelling US government interests criteria may receive priority over other requests.
While expedited processing can significantly reduce the processing time compared to regular processing, it’s important to be prepared for potential delays. USCIS processes a large number of requests, and unforeseen circumstances can impact processing times.
Expedited processing with USCIS can be a valuable tool when time is of the essence. While there are no guarantees regarding the exact processing time, expedited processing can significantly reduce the time it takes for USCIS to review and approve your request.
Don’t let the bureaucracy of the immigration system hold you back. Contact an immigration firm like Hacking Immigration Law, LLC today to expedite your USCIS request and move a step closer to attaining your goals. Time is of the essence, so don’t delay.
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