USCIS Announces Premium Processing Fee Increase Effective October 19; Planned Premium Processing Expansions Remain Pending

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Mintz - Immigration Viewpoints

On October 16th, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it was increasing the fee for Premium Processing, effective almost immediately.

Current Changes

In accordance with the accordance with the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Pub. L. No. 116-159, signed into law on Oct. 1, the Premium Processing fees for currently designated case types increase from $1,440 to $2,500 (except for H-2B and R-1 visa petitions, which increase to $1,500). Any Premium Processing requests postmarked on or after Monday, October 19 must include the new fee.

Future Changes

The Act also requires USCIS to implement by regulation a Premium Processing fee for additional case types, including:

  • Form I-129 employment-based nonimmigrant petitions;
  • Most Form I-140 immigrant petitions;
  • Form I-539 applications to change or extend nonimmigrant status; and
  • Form I-765 employment authorization applications.

The new law allows USCIS to set new Premium Processing fees without going through the normal regulatory process within these future expanded categories. To date, USCIS has not announced when it will offer Premium Processing to these additional case types.

A summary of the future designated Premium Processing case types are listed below:

Case Types

Premium Processing Fee

Proposed Processing Time

Immigrant petitions for multinational manager/executive transferees (EB-1C) and national interest waivers (certain EB-2 filings)

$2,500

45 days

Applications to change nonimmigrant visa status to F, M, or J

$1,750

30 days

Applications for E, H, L, O, P, and R derivatives

$1,750

30 days

Employment authorization document applications

$1,500

30 days

USCIS will continue to have the authority to suspend Premium Processing services, though this authority will be limited to instances where USCIS cannot complete a “significant number” of premium requests within the required time period.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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