On May 18, 2007, USCIS terminated Premium Processing Service (PPS) for I-140 immigrant petitions that request labor certification substitution (i.e., where the foreign national identified on the approved labor certification is now being substituted by a different beneficiary on whose behalf the I-140 is being filed). USCIS eliminated PPS in order to ensure that anticipated petition volume will not exceed processing capacity, in connection with the new DOL rule eliminating substitution-based I-140 petitions as of July 16, 2007. The PPS will remain available for other types of I-140 petitions that are currently being accepted for expedited, 15-day processing (e.g., second or third preference petitions, EB-2 and EB-3, and certain first preference petitions, EB-1), provided that the petition filing does not involve substitution of the beneficiary named in the labor certification.
On May 24, 2007, USCIS announced that it will continue to accept substitution-based I-140 petitions filed prior to July 16, 2007, but those cases will not be eligible for expedited processing under the PPS. USCIS also announced new procedures for processing future I-140 filings, in light of the DOL’s imposition of a 180-day validity period on approved labor certification as of July 16, 2007. Specifically, USCIS will reject all I-140 petitions that require an approved labor certification if the validity period of that labor certification application has expired (petitions erroneously accepted for processing will be denied by USCIS). USCIS also indicated that, as an exception to this rule, it will continue to accept amended or duplicate I-140 petitions that are filed with a copy of an expired labor certification approval but only if the original approved labor certification was submitted to the USCIS in support of timely filed I-140 petitions.