Understanding I-765 Premium Processing: What You Need to Know

Understanding I-765 Premium Processing: What You Need to Know

Feb 21, 2024

Stopwatch on a completed I-765 form background, representing the fast-tracked review time offered by premium processing for employment authorization in the U.S., emphasizing speed and efficiency.


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Understanding I-765 Premium Processing: What You Need to Know


Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be a complex and daunting task, especially when it comes to work authorization. The I-765 form, Application for Employment Authorization, is a crucial step for many immigrants seeking the legal right to work in the United States. Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced premium processing for this form, aiming to expedite the processing times. This blog post delves into the essentials of I-765 premium processing, including its benefits, application process, and what applicants can expect.

What is the I-765 Form?

The I-765 form is used by non-U.S. citizens to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), commonly referred to as a work permit. This document is necessary for individuals who are not permanent residents or citizens of the U.S. but are authorized to work temporarily in the country.

Introduction to Premium Processing

Premium processing is a service provided by USCIS that offers faster processing times for certain immigration forms. For a fee, applicants can receive a response from USCIS within 15 calendar days, a significant improvement over the standard processing times.

Eligibility for I-765 Premium Processing

Not all I-765 applications are eligible for premium processing. This service is typically available to specific categories of applicants, such as those applying for optional practical training (OPT) related to their studies or those with pending employment-based visa petitions.

Benefits of Premium Processing

  • Faster Processing Times: The most significant benefit is the expedited processing, with USCIS responding within 15 days.

  • Planning and Certainty: Applicants can better plan their employment start dates and reduce the uncertainty associated with long waiting periods.

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing the application's status sooner provides peace of mind to applicants anxious about their work authorization in the U.S.

How to Apply for Premium Processing

Applicants must complete the I-765 form and submit the additional premium processing fee along with their application. It's crucial to ensure that the category under which you're applying is eligible for premium processing before submission.

Cost of Premium Processing

The premium processing fee is in addition to the standard I-765 application fee. This fee is subject to change, so applicants should verify the current amount on the USCIS website before applying.

Processing Times and Expectations

While premium processing guarantees a response within 15 calendar days, it does not guarantee approval. Applicants may receive a decision, a request for additional evidence, or a notice of intent to deny within this timeframe.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Cost: The additional fee for premium processing can be a significant expense for some applicants.

  • No Guarantee of Approval: Expedited processing does not influence the decision, only how quickly it is made.


The introduction of premium processing for the I-765 form is a welcome development for many immigrants seeking work authorization in the U.S. It offers a faster alternative to the standard processing times, providing applicants with quicker responses and greater certainty about their ability to work legally in the country. However, applicants must weigh the benefits against the cost and understand that premium processing does not guarantee approval.

Remember, the specific details and eligibility criteria for premium processing can change, so it's essential to consult the USCIS website or a legal professional for the most current information.


For more information on I-765 premium processing and other immigration-related topics, visit USCIS and Fibi Law.

By understanding the nuances of I-765 premium processing, applicants can make informed decisions and navigate the U.S. immigration system more effectively.

Call (800) 842-0316 for Your Free Consultation

© Fibi Law Firm 2023

Call (800) 842-0316 for Your Free Consultation

© Fibi Law Firm 2023