As many of you know, USCIS provides Premium Processing for faster processing of I-129 petitions and get a decision in 15 days. The current fee for it is $1,440 and it is increasing to $2,500 from October 19th, 2020. In this article, we will cover the background, why going up, who all it affects and other details.
Background of Premium Processing Fee increase
The USCIS Premium Processing fee increase was part of HR 8337 Bill, that was signed into Public Law 116-159 on October 1st, 2020. The Congress bill HR 8337 that became law was aimed at for funding to federal agencies. In the signed law, there are provisions for USCIS to increase the premium processing for existing premium processing petition types to $2,500. This is the reason the fee is going up now. Below is the screenshot from the signed law.
You may watch the below YouTube Video, that talks about this update.
Premium Processing Fee for H1B, L1 is $2,500
If you are filing for H1B Petition with USCIS using form I-129 and requesting Premium Processing for it (using Form I-907), the fee is increasing to $2,500. The fee increase is also applicable to L1 petitions, including blanket L1 petitions.
- Effective Date: The fee increase is effective from October 19, 2020. If you send your H1B or L1 petition on or after Oct 19, 2020, then you need to submit $2,500 fee for premium processing.
- Processing Time: There are no changes to premium processing time or SLA. It continues to be 15 calendar days. You will get a decision on your petition within 15 calendar days, if filed in Premium processing. There were broader changes planned by USCIS with change the SLA time limit to 15 business days with other USCIS fee increases, but that was blocked by court.
- Others Visas using I-129 form : The fee increase also affects other visa types like E-1, E-2, H-3, O, P, Q and TN, who use the same I-129 form.
See below screenshot from USCIS forms I-907 Web page.
Premium Processing Fee for EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 is $2,500
If you are filing employment-based immigrant petition using form I-140 and requesting for premium processing, then your fee is increasing to $2,500 as well. It is applicable to all three categories EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 categories. It is also effective from Oct 19, 2020. This impacts anyone filing I-140 using Date of Filing from recent October Visa Bulletin as well. You can see the above screenshot for the details.
Premium Processing Fee for H2-B, R is $1500
The premium processing fee for H-2B and R non-immigrant visa petitions goes up by $60 to $1,500 USD with the same effective date. The fee increase is also from $1,440 to $1,500.
USCIS Premium Processing for H4, EAD, Others
USCIS mentioned in their press alert saying that the public law 116-159 gives them option to expand premium processing for H4, EAD and other types of applications. You can check all details at USCIS premium processing for H4, L2, EAD, others. But, USCIS is yet to take action on it and they will implement the same with a regulation using 9 Federal Rulemaking Steps. We need to wait for that.
What do you think of the fee increase ? Share your thoughts in comments. You can also read USCIS News Release on Premium processing