When Can I Expedite My Case with USCIS?
As you wait for your immigration application to be processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they might ask themselves, “Can I expedite the green card application process?” The answer is yes, but USCIS decides to expedite requests on a case-by-case basis.
There are specific requirements and situations that USCIS considers when determining whether an expedited request is appropriate for the applicant’s case. USCIS contemplates an expedited request if the applicant meets one or more of the following criteria or circumstances:
- Severe financial loss to a company or person provided that the need for urgent action is not the result of the petitioner’s or applicant’s failure to:
- Timely file the benefit request, or
- Timely response to any requests for additional evidence;
A company can demonstrate severe financial loss through evidence of its risk of failing, losing a binding contract, or laying off several employees. For example, a manufacturing company may suffer severe financial loss if a gap in one of their executive’s employment authorizations requires the company to lapse on a pivotal contract.
Job loss may be sufficient to establish severe financial loss for a person depending on the individual circumstances. However, the need to obtain employment authorization without evidence of severe financial loss does not guarantee expedited treatment.
· Emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons;
Humanitarian reasons are those circumstances related to human welfare; including but not limited to (1) illness; (2) disability; (3) extreme living conditions; (4) death in the family; or (5) a critical need to obtain medical treatment in a limited amount of time. For example, an emergency may include the nation’s urgent need to expedite employment authorization for healthcare emergencies during a national emergency (such as COVID-19). A requestor’s desire to travel for vacation does not meet the definition of an emergency.
· Nonprofit organization (as designated by the Internal Revenue Service) whose request is in furtherance of the cultural or social interests of the United States;
A nonprofit organization must demonstrate an urgent need to expedite the case because of the beneficiary’s distinct role in furthering special interests.
· U.S. government interests (such cases identified as urgent by federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board, Equal Opportunity Commission, or other public safety or national security interests; or
A senior-level agency official must make expedited requests from government agencies (federal, state, and local). This expedited circumstance occurs when specific cases are identified as urgent by other government agencies, including those working on labor, employment, public safety, or national security. For expedited requests by a federal agency, the national interest need must be immediate and substantive.
· Clear USCIS error
If a USCIS mistake causes you to lose time in status, this reason may apply. This case involves if USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) in error or included incorrect dates that cut short the validity period of your status, for example.
In sum, it is essential to remember that only some situations that fit in one of the categories above will result in expedited processing. I think supporting documentation is the best way to prove your eligibility for an expedited situation. For a step-by-step guide to expediting your case with USCIS, please use the following link to see Bridgehouse Law’s guidance.
This refers to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, How to Make an Expedite Request available at https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-guidance/how-to-make-an-expedite-request (last modified Oct. 10, 2023).
This is also a reference to Immigrants Like Us, How to Expedite Your Immigration Application, available at https://www.immigrationhelp.org/learning-center/how-to-expedite-your-immigration-application (updated December 7, 2022).