USCIS Update: Future Premium Processing Expansion for F-1 Students Applying for OPT and Certain Student and Exchange Visitors

January 17, 2023

In January 2023, USCIS announced that there were some updates related to a March 2022 USCIS news release. USCIS has been working on implementing changes to reduce backlogs and expand premium processing; the details relevant to F-1 and J-1 nonimmigrant visa-holders can be found below:

In March 2023, USCIS will expand premium processing to certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking STEM OPT extensions who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. In April 2023, USCIS will expand premium processing to F-1 students seeking OPT and F-1 students seeking STEM OPT extensions who are filing an initial Form I-765.

USCIS will announce specific dates for each group in February 2023.

USCIS has also announced that they will continue working toward premium processing availability of Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. They anticipate expanding premium processing for certain student and exchange visitors with pending Form I-539 applications in May and certain student and exchange visitors who are filing initial Form I-539 applications in June 2023.