By Chris Musillo

USCIS has announced new guidance on when an application may be granted expedited processing. Requests for expedited processing are considered by USCIS, on a case-by-case basis, when premium processing service is not available. Generally, expedited requests are considered based on the following criterion:
  • Severe financial loss to a company or person;
  • Urgent humanitarian reasons;
  • Cultural and social interests of the United States; or
  • Clear USCIS error.
USCIS has clarified the criteria for requesting expedited processing. A company may request expedited processing when it has suffered severe financial loss due to a delay in processing. Companies can successfully demonstrate severe financial loss if they are at risk of failing, losing a critical contract, or required to lay off other employees. They can also demonstrate severe financial loss if a failure to expedite would result in a loss of critical public benefits.

Nonprofit organizations may now request expedited processing, even if premium processing is available. USCIS will grant nonprofit petitioners expedited processing, without a fee, provided they are designated as a nonprofit organization by the IRS and their requests are made in furtherance of cultural and social interests of the United States.

USCIS further reinforced that expedited requests for noncitizens with a final order of deportation or noncitizens in deportation proceedings, are still coordinated between USCIS and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This updated policy is effective immediately.