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I-539 Applicants Are No Longer Eligible for “Courtesy” Premium Processing

Posted July 24, 2019Articles


With the addition of the new biometrics requirement for all dependents on H-4, L-2, E-2, O-3, TD status, USCIS has discontinued its prior practice of providing courtesy premium processing service to these applications filed concurrently with their primary beneficiaries (Form I-129).  Now, Form I-539 will be separated from the I-129 petition and follow a regular I-539 processing time frame. Form I-539 is submitted to change to or extend dependent cases (or spouses and children) from within the United States. Form I-129 is filed by employer to sponsor an employee on H-1B, L-1, E-1, O-1, TN, etc. status. Form I-539 applications are not eligible for premium processing. 

This change will also impact employment authorization applications. We recommended that applications for employment authorization be filed as early as possible. It takes at least three weeks for biometrics appointments to be completed, thus USCIS cannot meet the 15-day premium processing time frame. 

For current USCIS processing times for Form I-539, please visit:

Please contact your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney for additional information.