I-907 Emergency Memo

I-907 Emergency Memo.pdf

Request for Premium Processing Service

I-907 Emergency Memo

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Office of Information Technology
Washington, DC 20529

Memorandum
TO:

Dominic Mancini
Deputy Administrator,
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs,
Office of Management and Budget

THROUGH:

Eric Hysen
DHS Chief Information Officer

FROM:

Samantha Deshommes
USCIS Office of Policy and Strategy,
Regulatory Coordination Division, Chief

SUBJECT:

Request for Emergency OMB Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) Clearance – Form I-907,
Request for Premium Processing Service

ERIC N
HYSEN

Digitally signed by ERIC
N HYSEN
Date: 2022.04.15
10:36:23 -04'00'

Purpose: USCIS is requesting emergency approval of the revision of USCIS Form I-907, Request for
Premium Processing Service, which is an approved collection of information under 5 CFR 1320.13.
Background: Form I-907 is used to request Premium Processing Service for the petitions or applications
that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has designated as eligible for Premium
Processing Service. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending DHS premium processing
regulations to codify statutory changes made by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other
Extensions Act (Continuing Appropriations Act). The Continuing Appropriations Act included the
Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (USCIS Stabilization Act), which amended the Immigration
and Nationality Act (INA) by modifying USCIS’ authority to provide premium processing services and to
establish and collect premium processing fees for those services. USCIS is updating the Form I-907
instructions and respondent burden to account for the revised fees and processing time for eligible filers
of Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers; Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change
Nonimmigrant Status; and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization as provided in the
USCIS Stabilization Act. USCIS plans to announce implementation of these newly eligible populations
via the USCIS website.

Discussion: At the onset of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. economy was in recession from
February to April 2020.1 Although brief, the recession was unprecedented in its magnitude of
employment decline and reach across the entire economy. Following April 2020, U.S. labor market
indicators rebounded strongly in the first few months and then continued to gradually rise; however, the
U.S. labor market has not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Comparing civilian labor force
totals between February 2020 and February 2022, Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS) reported that the U.S. labor force has 592,000 fewer persons than it did pre-pandemic.
(See Table 1.) The labor force participation rate was 62.3 percent in February 2022, 1.1 percentage points
below the February 2020 level. In February 2022, the number of unemployed persons in the U.S. stood at
6.3 million, an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent. Additionally, there were nearly 1.5 million marginally
attached persons 2 not counted in the labor force, of which 491,000 were classified as discouraged
workers. On the last business day of January 2022, the U.S. had 11.3 million job openings, 4.3 million
more job openings than in February 2020.
Table 1. Household and Job Openings data, seasonally adjusted3
February 2020
February 2022
Civilian Labor Force
164,583,000
163,991,000
Participation Rate
63.4
62.3
Unemployed
5,717,000
6,270,000
Unemployment Rate (U-3)
3.5
3.8
Marginally Attached to Labor Force
1,450,000
1,471,000
Discouraged workers
411,000
391,000
Job Openings
P: preliminary

February 2020
7,006,000

January 2022P
11,263,000

Change
-592,000
-1.1
553,000
0.3
21,000
-20,000
Change
4,257,000

This data demonstrates that not only is the labor market tighter than pre-pandemic levels, the current labor
supply, even if assuming marginally attached persons would reenter the labor force, cannot meet current
labor demand. Implementing immigration policy changes and initiatives to incentivize lawful
immigration and increase the supply of labor will help address the economic difficulties brought on by a
tight labor market.
Foreign born individuals have historically comprised a notable share of the U.S. labor force, but by the
end of 2020, the share of the U.S. civilian labor force that is foreign born declined by 0.4 percentage point
to 17 percent, the largest decline since comparable data became available in 1996.4 According to BLS,
“the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected the foreignborn labor force.” In 2020, the overall labor force declined by 2.8 million, of which 1.1 million or 38.4
percent was accounted for by foreign born. Similarly, DHS data and reporting shows a decrease in
request totals (69.3 percent), adjustment of status (57.0 percent), and new arrivals (82.4 percent) from FY
1

National Bureau of Economic Research, Business Cycle Dating Committee Announcement July 19, 2021, available
at https://www.nber.org/news/business-cycle-dating-committee-announcement-july-19-2021 (visited March 9,
2022).
2
These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months
but had not looked for one in the preceding 4 weeks.
3
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Data Tool: Series Report https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/srgate.
Series IDs LNS11000000, LNS11300000, LNS13000000, LNS14000000, LNS15026642, LNS15026645,
JTS000000000000000JOL, and JTS000000000000000HIL. (Data pulled March 9, 2022).
4
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Foreign-born Workers: Labor Force Characteristics –
2020, available at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/forbrn_05182021.pdf (visited March 9, 2022).

2020 Q2 to a low in FY 2020 Q3. (See Table 2.) Although requests remained low for the quarters
following the FY 2020 Q3 low, the number of requests returned or exceeded their FY 2020 Q2 levels by
FY 2021 Q4.
Table 2. Persons Obtaining Lawful Permanent Resident Status by Type of Admission, Level and
Percent Change 5
Levels
FY 2020 Q2
Total 6
Adjustment of Status
New Arrivals

Total
Adjustment of Status
New Arrivals

258,117
140,833
106,344

FY 2020 Q3
79,193
60,489
18,704

FY 2021 Q2
143,098
104,327
38,771

FY 2021 Q4
281,411
177,103
104,308

Percent Change
FY 2020 Q2 - FY 2020 Q2 - FY 2020 Q2 - FY 2020 Q3 FY 2020 Q3
FY 2021 Q2
FY 2021 Q4
FY 2021 Q4
-69.3
-44.6
9.0
255.3
-57.0
-25.9
25.8
192.8
-82.4
-63.5
-1.9
457.7

DHS reported that “these significant increases show a return to more typical levels after COVID-19related public health challenges in 2020 resulted in a reduction in the volume of in-person services
provided at USCIS field offices in order to increase safety and accommodate social distancing protocols,
as well as travel restrictions and closures in the United States and worldwide.” 7 However, before the
restrictions were lifted, the temporary shutdown of USCIS facilities among other factors presented and
perpetuated operational challenges for the agency, including but not limited to increases in processing
times for Form I-140, Form I-539, and I-765. (See Table 3.) Applicants of all three forms experienced a
processing time increase in FY 2021; processing times continue to remain higher than pre-pandemic
medians in FY 2022 Q1.
Table 3. Historical National Median Processing Time (in Months) for All USCIS Offices for Select
Forms By Fiscal Year 2019 - 2022 8
Fiscal Year
Form
2019
2020
2021
20229
I-140 (non-Premium filed)
5.8
4.9
8.2
11.4
I-539
4.4
4.8
9.6
7.5
I-765 (All classifications)
1.1-5.1
1.1-4.8
1.9-7.1
0.9-7.2
Strict statutory requirements dictate the number of employment and family-based Immigrant Visas (IVs)
available every year. While Congress has enacted provisions to help ensure that all allocated visas are
used in a given fiscal year, there are a variety of circumstances under which some IVs go unused and are
5

Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, Legal Immigration and Adjustment of Status
Report Fiscal Year 2021, Quarter 4, available at https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/special-reports/legalimmigration and Legal Immigration and Adjustment of Status Report Quarterly Data, available at
https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/readingroom/special/LIASR. (visited March 9, 2022).
6
Note: Total is not equivalent to the sum of adjustment of status and new arrivals.
7
See Legal Immigration and Adjustment of Status Report Fiscal Year 2021, Quarter 4, available at
https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/special-reports/legal-immigration (visited March 9, 2022).
8
See https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/historic-pt (visited March 9, 2022).
9
FY2022 captures data from October 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022; as of this memo only FY 22 Q1 data is available.

permanently lost. For FY 2022, USCIS has alerted the public to an exceptionally high number of
employment-based visas available relative to pending adjustment of status applications pending currently
with USCIS, particularly in first- (priority workers) and second- (workers with advanced degrees or of
exceptional ability) preference employment-based visa categories. 10 Facilitating an opportunity for
speedier immigration processing for these populations and supporting highly-talented individuals to
permanently stay and contribute to the U.S. economy would provide long-term benefits in overall
economic metrics of entrepreneurship, innovation, higher wages, and productivity. 11
This emergency action request in connection with the Implementation of the Emergency Stopgap USCIS
Stabilization Act (RIN 1615-AC73) Final Rule 12 will enable USCIS to implement additional premium
processing requests for the additional categories of I-140 filers upon the effective date of the regulation
change. To obtain long-term approval of the edits to the approved information collection’s instruction
and burden as made in the Final Rule, USICS is requesting comment under 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1) within
the rule in addition to the emergency approval being requested under 5 CFR 1320.13. Following the
effective date of the Final Rule, USCIS will take the following steps: 1) review and respond to any public
input received from the 60-day comment period on the Form I-907 Information Collection Request
revisions; and then, 2) publish a 30-day Federal Register Notice as required by 5 CFR 1320.12(c) and
submit the collection of information for Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs review.
The changes to the Form I-907 are essential to the mission of USCIS to effectively support premium
processing. USCIS cannot reasonably comply with the normal clearance procedures as it would delay the
agency’s ability to provide immediate support to the economic recovery of the United States following
the pandemic.
Accordingly, USCIS revised the Form I-907 to reflect premium processing procedures as instructed by
regulatory authority. Changes to the form have been thoroughly reviewed and vetted by USCIS.
USCIS seeks emergency processing of the Form I-907 in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.13. USCIS
certifies that the requirements of 5 CFR 1320.13(a) are met and that:
•
•

The collection of information is needed immediately and is essential to the mission of the agency.
The use of normal clearance procedures is reasonably likely to prevent or disrupt the collection of
information.

USCIS greatly appreciates the timely consideration of this request.
Recommendation: Please sign decision memo requesting emergency approval of this collection of
information under 5 CFR 1320.13.

10
See https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-eligibility/green-card-for-employment-based-immigrants
(visited March 9, 2022).
11
National Academies of Science, The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration (2017), available at
https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23550/the-economic-and-fiscal-consequences-of-immigration (visited March 9, 2022).
12
Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Implementation of the Emergency
Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (RIN 1615-AC73) Final Rule. 87 FR 18227. March 30, 2022.


File Typeapplication/pdf
File TitleI-907 EMG Memo 20220330 (003).pdf
Authortyrone.huff
File Modified2022-04-15
File Created2022-04-14

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