USCIS Expedite Request

USCIS Expedite Request

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Last updated: April 4, 2024.

How to make an expedite request USCIS

If you want to make an expedite request with USCIS, you you need to take the following steps:

Step 1. Identify Eligibility:

  • Ensure that your case qualifies for expedited processing
  • USCIS usually considers expedite requests for humanitarian reasons, severe financial loss, emergencies, or other compelling reasons (see explanation below)

Step 2. Contact USCIS:

  • You will need to have a receipt number to file an expedite request
  • Call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833)
  • Explain the basis of your expedite request to the USCIS representative by phone
  • Provide your contact information (email and phone number)
  • Be prepared to write down the reference number

Step 3. Provide Supporting Documents (if requested):

  • The officer reviewing your request may request additional documents to support expedited processing
  • Follow USCIS instructions and provide supporting documentation to substantiate your claim. This could include medical records, letters from employers, evidence of financial loss, or any other relevant documents
  • If you have an online USCIS account, you might be instructed to submit the supporting documents online
  • If you do not have an online USCIS account, you might be instructed to submit the supporting documents by fax
  • Follow the instructions provided by USCIS

Step 4. Follow-Up:

  • If you do not receive a response within a reasonable time, follow up with USCIS
  • You can call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) 
  • Provide the reference number

USCIS criteria for expedite

USCIS considers expedited processing on a case-by-case basis, and has the sole discretion to approve or deny it

USCIS has the following criteria for expediting requests:

  • Severe Financial Loss:
  • Demonstrated by providing evidence of significant financial harm to the applicant or petitioner
    • For example, a company can demonstrate that it would suffer a severe financial loss if it is at risk of failing, losing a critical contract, or having to lay off employees
    • For example, an applicant may show job loss to establish financial loss
    • In addition, severe financial loss may be established in cases where failure to expedite would result in a loss of critical public benefits or services
  • Emergencies:
      • Situations that require immediate travel or action, such as the serious illness of the applicant or petitioner
  • Humanitarian Reasons:
      • Compelling reasons of a humanitarian nature, such as urgent medical treatment, family emergencies, disability, extreme living conditions, death in the family
  • USCIS Error:
    • Expedite requests may be considered if there is evidence of a USCIS error that necessitates quick resolution

USCIS expedite request requirements

Individuals seeking expedited processing can follow the following guidelines:

  • Provide Supporting Documentation:
      • Include clear and compelling evidence that supports the reason for expedited processing. The documentation will vary depending on the nature of the request.
      • For financial loss, include documents such as tax returns, financial statements, or evidence of business closure
      • For medical emergencies, provide medical records or a letter from a healthcare professional
      • For urgent travel, provide evidence of immediate travel plans
  • Clearly State the Requested Action:
      • Clearly state the specific action you are requesting USCIS to expedite, such as the approval of a petition, issuance of an employment authorization document, etc.
      • Explain how you meet one or more of the USCIS criteria:
        • Severe financial loss
        • Emergencies
        • Humanitarian reasons
        • USCIS error
  • Include Contact Information:
    • Provide accurate and up-to-date contact information, including a phone number and email address, so USCIS can reach you for any additional information

USCIS expedite request processing time

  • You will be given an approximate processing time of your expedite request by the USCIS representative when you place a request by phone
  • It can take anywhere from 7 days to 1-2 months to process your expedite request
  • If the expedite request is approved, the case will be prioritized for processing
  • If you have submitted an expedite request and have not received a response within a reasonable time, you may consider following up with USCIS at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). Be prepared to provide your reference number

How can I speed up my I-130 processing time?

  • You can place an expedite request with USCIS for your Form I-130 if you meet one or more of the criteria listed above:
    • Severe financial loss
    • Emergencies
    • Humanitarian reasons, or 
    • USCIS error
  • You need to have documentation to support your claim
  • If your Form I-130 processing time is taking longer than the average processing time posted on the USCIS website, you can contact your local congressman’s office to help expedite the process

What happens after USCIS expedite request is approved?

  • If your expedite request is approved, USCIS will prioritize the processing of your application or petition. The case will be moved ahead of others in the queue for review and adjudication
  • USCIS does not always inform you of the expedite request approval, so you can monitor the status of your case online or through your online USCIS account
  • USCIS will make a decision on the approval, denial, or other action (RFE, for example) related to your application or petition
  • If approved, USCIS will send you the appropriate documentation, such as an approval notice or a green card
  • Follow-Up Actions:
    • Depending on the type of application or petition, there may be follow-up actions required, such as attending an interview or providing additional information
    • Respond promptly to any USCIS requests to avoid delays

How do you write a strong expedited request?

Writing a strong expedited request to USCIS is crucial for conveying the urgency and necessity of expediting your application or petition. 

Here are some tips to help you write a compelling expedited request:

  • Use a Formal Format:
      • Format your request in a formal and professional manner
      • Include a header with your contact information, the date, and USCIS contact information.
  • Clearly State the Request:
      • Begin your letter with a clear and concise statement of your request for expedited processing
      • Clearly mention the type of application or petition, the receipt number (if available), and the reason for the expedite request
  • Provide Detailed Explanation:
      • Clearly and thoroughly explain the circumstances that justify expedited processing
      • Be specific and provide as much detail as possible
      • If applicable, include dates, names, and other relevant information
  • Attach Supporting Documentation:
      • Include supporting documentation that substantiates your claim for expedited processing
      • This could include medical records, financial statements, letters from employers, or any other relevant evidence
      • Ensure that the documentation is clear and easy to understand
      • Documents in foreign language must be translated into English
      • Provide copies of the foreign original documents and the English translation
  • Highlight Urgency:
      • Emphasize the urgency of your situation
      • Clearly state why waiting for the regular processing time would cause significant hardship or harm to you or others involved
  • Address USCIS Criteria:
      • Align your request with USCIS criteria for expedited processing
      • If your request falls into one of the specific categories (such as severe financial loss, emergencies, humanitarian reasons, etc.), make that connection clear in your letter
  • Express Gratitude:
      • Express gratitude for considering your request and emphasize the importance of timely processing for your specific circumstances
  • Provide Contact Information:
      • Include your contact information, including a phone number and email address, so USCIS can reach you for any additional information
  • Submit by the Appropriate Method:
    • Follow the USCIS guidelines for submitting expedite requests
    • The method may vary based on the type of application or petition
    • You might be instructed by USCIS to upload documents to your online USCIS account or send via fax
    • Follow the USCIS instructions

Where to send expedite requests to USCIS?

  • All requests to expedite are submitted to USCIS by calling the contact center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833)
  • USCIS representative will provide you instructions on how to submit supporting documents (for example, via your online USCIS account)
  • In some cases, you might receive an email from the USCIS Service Center with instructions on submitting your supporting documents by fax

USCIS expedite request fee

  • There is no fee to place a request to expedite with USCIS

Learn More:

How to Place a Congressman Request with USCIS