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Dear Editor:
The experiences of N.A. Hyman (Letters to the Editor 8/6/2002) with the INS Premium Processing Program are similar to the experiences of our law office in utilizing this program, and serve to confirm the initial misgivings of many immigration practitioners when Congress first authorized the concept of Premium Processing. Many had reservations that petitions filed using the regular case processing system (without payment of the Premium Processing fee) would fall into the black hole of immigration adjudications with ever increasing backlogs. There were fears that the new program was a fee increase in disguise, and that the Premium Processing surcharge would become the new de-facto filing fee if the petitioner expected an adjudication within a reasonable time. Some commentators even predicted that as more petitioners began to utilize the program, less experienced adjudicators would be assigned to the Premium Processing Units at the Service Centers, and an increased volume of questionable RFE's would become the norm. I appreciate that the payment of the $1,000.00 Premium Processing surcharge is not a payment for a guaranteed approval; but a payment for a prompt adjudication. Payment of that surcharge ought to guarantee that the petition will be reviewed and adjudicated by the most qualified INS personnel, and that RFE's will not be issued without good cause. I suppose that we can expect to get that level of service upon the roll-out of the next program, "Super Duper Premium Processing", a bargain at twice the price.

Robert Gard
Chicago, IL