The Nebraska Service Center (“NSC”) Premium Processing Program continues to be one of the fastest methods of acquiring an I-140 approval for either EB1A or EB1B cases. Based on the recent case approvals from our office, on average, a premium processed case from the NSC will take approximately 6 days for adjudication if it does not receive a Request For Evidence. For such cases, these rapid approval times greatly increases the value of the $1,225 premium processing filing fee a petitioner must pay for the service since the USCIS is allowed 15 calendar days to process the case. Taking one of our recent case approvals as an example:
The petitioner was a biochemist who performed many reviews for numerous peer-reviewed journals, and was the subject of several prominent media reports featuring his work in well-known professional media. One of the shortfalls of his case however, was his relatively low number of citations to his publications for an EB1A candidate: less than 80.
To bolster our argument for the publication criteria, we conducted research into each of his eight published peer-reviewed articles to see if any of them received further acknowledgments from the field in addition to the citations. We discovered that two of his papers were ranked within the top 25 downloaded articles on the respective journal’s website. We submitted this evidence along with our citation evidence to further enhance our argument that the petitioner’s publications have garnered significant interest in the field. This case was approved via premium processing, 4 days after receipt with no RFE.
As our recent case approvals from the NSC demonstrate, the NSC’s premium processing service remains one of the fastest methods of acquiring an approval for an EB1A or EB1B based I-140. Additionally, we have not observed any increased rates of RFE’s from the NSC if the case goes through premium processing. Over the past year, RFE issuance rates between premium processed and non-premium processed I-140’s in the EB1 category are roughly the same when averaged out over time. There still does not seem to be an “RFE” penalty for petitioning through premium processing at this time. Whether the NSC can maintain these rapid processing times as we approach the new year remain to be seen, but at least for now, it seems the NSC premium processing service is an excellent choice for petitioners seeking expedient approvals of their EB1 cases.
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