Expedited Citizenship Processing and Premium Processing Options
Citizenship is an important status in the United States, providing important rights and privileges to those who have obtained it. For many, obtaining citizenship can be a lengthy and costly process. However, there are ways to expedite the process and reduce the time spent in waiting for a decision. Expedited citizenship processing and premium processing options are two of the ways individuals may be able to reduce the length of the process and potentially receive a decision in a shorter timeframe.
Expedited citizenship processing allows individuals to submit their applications for naturalization or citizenship to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in a way that speeds up the processing time. In order to use this option, an individual must meet certain criteria and provide supporting documentation that shows they are eligible for expedited processing. These criteria include being a member of the U.S. military or having suffered persecution or torture in their home country. If someone meets one of these criteria, they can submit their application with a request for “expedited handling” or “expedited decision”; USCIS will then make a decision on their application in a shorter timeframe than usual.
Premium processing is another way to expedite citizenship applications. In this case, an individual pays an additional fee of $1,225 when submitting their application to USCIS, which allows for faster processing of their application. This fee is non-refundable and does not guarantee that the application will be approved; however, an individual who has paid this fee will generally receive a decision from USCIS within 15 calendar days after submitting their application. Additionally, if the applicant has paid with a credit card, they may receive notice of the decision within 5 days after submitting their application.
The key difference between expedited citizenship processing and premium processing is that while expedited processing is free, premium processing carries a fee which must be paid before the application is submitted. Additionally, while expedited processing is available only to those who meet certain criteria, premium processing is available to all applicants who are willing to pay the required fee. As such, those who are not eligible for expedited processing may wish to consider paying the additional fee for premium processing if they need a decision on their application quickly.
Overall, expedited citizenship processing and premium processing options offer individuals different ways to reduce the length of time it takes to receive a decision from USCIS on their applications for naturalization or citizenship. Expedited citizenship processing is free, but only available to those who meet certain criteria; whereas premium processing carries an additional fee but is available to all applicants who are willing to pay it. In either case, these options can help individuals receive a decision on their application in less time than usual, potentially allowing them to become citizens or receive their green cards faster than if they had applied through normal channels.