Accelerated Processing

We understand the circumstances that bring about applications to USCIS. Many are urgent, which is reflected in our processing times.

We also have a premium processing program that lets you judge your own circumstances and decide if you want to pay for faster processing. We know that circumstances can change, so this program is available even after you file.

  • At this time, this program is only available for the Form I-129.
    • You may find additional information on our website under premium processing.

For all other kinds of cases, customers who file the same kind of application are usually in similar circumstances and often have similar needs to have their case processed quickly. We understand the effects our processing times can have on customers, and we are working hard to shorten processing time. It would not be appropriate for us to give preferential treatment to one customer over another, and disadvantage you or others by delaying one case to first process another that was filed later. Therefore, no matter how short or long the normal processing time, we normally process cases in order based on when they were received.

However, we recognize that truly extraordinary things can happen. Even when "Premium Processing" is not available, we will consider taking a case out of order if there is a life or death emergency, or some other exceptional emergent need, if our processing the case out of order will have a direct effect on the situation. To be fair to everyone, we are very restrictive in granting this kind of preferential treatment, in part because it means other customers have to wait longer. By definition, most kinds of applications and petitions rarely, if ever, merit this kind of preferential treatment. But if you believe such a situation exists when you file a case, or develops while your case is pending, call customer service for information about how to request accelerated processing, and about what documents and evidence you will have to submit to show that an exceptional   emergency exists.

Examples of the criteria for making a request for expedited processing can be seen on the USCIS Expedite Criteria page, which you can link to under “Relevant Links.”