USCIS seeks to include work permits in premium processing

Inclusion of I-765 in premium processing may decrease EAD delays, but many see it as extortion.

Kentucky based Devi Sree has been awaiting her dependent work permit (H-4EAD) for close to 10 months now. She has already lost a job at a small consultancy firm where she was working due to delay in the processing of her work permit renewal.

One would have thought that the news of USCIS sending its rule to expand premium processing for more benefits including I-765 work permits to the White House budget office would bring a sigh a relief among those facing delayed processing for over two years now.

However, it was met with a lukewarm reaction among those living and working on work based visas.

Read: USCIS appeals decision reducing cash for green card (August 30, 2021)

Devi Sree says, “Honestly, the rule even if it gets passed looks ironical to me. I have already lost my job and now USCIS expects me to pay more money to get my work done.

“Also every time we need the EAD renewal it will become a norm to get premium processing which means we will end up coughing up more money each time.”

Mita N. who arrived in the US on an H-4 visa and got a work permit only a few years ago says, “Why are we expected to pay more fees for something that should have been done under normal processing times.”

“We are not even asking for an extraordinary swift action,” she says. “All we need is that our work permits should be processed within reasonable time frames so that we do not suffer from unnecessary job losses.”

For many on H-4 visas, the idea of coughing up more money seems like a way to exploit the immigrants.

New Jersey based Suhas Shah who was on an H-4 visa for a long time before she got her green card says, “Looks like the USCIS created a problem and now is asking unsuspecting immigrants to pay up so that they can correct their problem. Not fair.”

Some others are even wary of when and how the rules would be implemented.

“Each year, there are so many new suggestions, proposals and plans that for someone on a work visa already buried under the paperwork required for visa renewals it gets taxing to think of more forms, more processes and more money to pay up,” says another harassed visa holder. “I guess it is better that our applications are processed reasonably in a fair period of time.”

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