Tag: USCIS premium processing Service

The U.S. CIS time and cost savings would be achieved by not physically opening the application in the mail room and distributing the application to the proper department, manually processing the fee payments, scanning the paper case back into its own databases/systems, and searching for the hard file of the case. Instead this time can be spent on reviewing the cases which are already electronically filed, paid for, and already in PDF format.

Furthermore, U.S. CIS would save on mailing cost, paper cost, and ink and toner cost, and would be more environmentally friendly.

It is also important to note that transition to the above-described e-process should not be difficult. We are aware that the U.S. CIS is trying to transition to e-filings; however, we believe the process is too slow and perhaps its design is unnecessarily complicated.

Simple is better. There is no need, for example, for the U.S. CIS Web site to (at this stage) have e-filed forms which have to be completed on the U.S. CIS Web site. The U.S. CIS can simply allow petitioners and attorneys to register with their Web site (simple online form registration) and submit the U.S. CIS forms, credit card payment form, and supporting documents as PDF files. This process can be implemented immediately.


By utilizing readily-available and inexpensive technological solutions, the entire immigrant and non-immigrant process can be made cost and time efficient and provide a better “user experience” both for the petitioner and the U.S. CIS processing officers.

For example, let us take a look at the above-described process of filing an I-129 L-1A application. Instead of relying on paper filings and the old methods of duplicate hard copies and regular mail correspondence, the process can easily be converted to an online secure experience. The above-described filing/processing steps would be amended in the following manner:

  1. Petitioner and/or attorney register for an online account with the U.S. CIS (one-time registration);
  2. Petitioner files online Form I-129, pays processing fee online by credit card, and attaches supporting documents via PDF files which can either be directly uploaded to the U.S. CIS Web site or via third-party file upload service that would provide such service to the U.S. CIS (such as www.yousendit.com or www.dropbox.com which are used throughout the private sector);
  3. The U.S. CIS approves the file and emails the petitioner or the attorney Form I-797 in PDF format with included “bar code” which can be scanned by the U.S. CIS/ICE Officers at the port of entry or U.S. Embassy;
  4. If the U.S. CIS needs to request additional evidence before the case is approved, it would email the petitioner/attorney and the petitioner or his or her attorney could respond again via the online account and upload the PDF files. The attorney or petitioner can confirm receipt of the email; if there is no confirmation of the U.S. CIS email, the application can revert back to a mailing notice;
  5. If there is a breakdown in communication by either party, the case can always revert back to present mailing process. Therefore, the new procedure can be implemented immediately since the old mailing process will stay in effect as a default procedure.

Present Process

Business petitions and applications such as I-129 NIV Petitions (various classifications), I-140 Petitions, I-526 and I-829 Petitions are still processed by using paper copies. This system fails to utilize readily available and widely used technological solutions. The U.S. CIS system which receives, processes, and requests additional information is inefficient, technologically primitive, and burdensome for both the immigrant and the United States Government

Most business-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa petitions must be paper filed. In some instances the U.S. CIS allows electronic filing of the U.S. CIS forms but it does not provide for the option of submitting the supporting evidence electronically as well.

Once the petitioner or his or her attorney paper-files a business-based petition, the U.S. CIS will respond to the petitioner or his or her attorney via hard-copy mail (unless the case is filed via the U.S. CIS Premium Processing Service which requires additional $1,225 payment to the U.S. CIS). If additional evidence is requested by the U.S. CIS, the petitioner and/or the attorney is required to, in most if not all circumstances, file a response in hard-copy format to the U.S. CIS.

To better illustrate this process, let us take an example of a petitioner who decides to file Form I-129, Petition to Obtain L-1A Nonimmigrant Visa Status. Typically, the petitioner must take the following steps:

  1. Hard-copy file Form I-129 with supplements and supporting evidence;
  2. The U.S. CIS receives the hard-copy filing and mails a receipt;
  3. The U.S. CIS approves the case and/or mails a request for evidence;
  4. The petitioner then submits his or her response to the request for evidence (typically via hard-copy filing unless the case was filed via the U.S. CIS Premium Processing Service and is less than 20 pages long);
  5. The U.S. CIS denies or approves the case. If the case is approved, the petitioner still must wait for mailed approval notice (Form I-797) in order for the beneficiary to use it at the U.S. Consulate or a port of entry.

As shown above, the current system requires numerous hard-copy mailings/filings and back-and-forth paper correspondence between the U.S. CIS and the petitioner and/or his or her attorney.


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