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H1B, I-140, L1 Premium Processing Fee $2500, Effective Oct 19th

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.

USCIS Premium Processing Fee 2500 - Regulation Info
HR 8337 Bill text that says Premium Processing fee will be $2500

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.

USCIS premium processing fee for H1B and L1 2500
USCIS premium processing fee for H1B and L1 2500

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  


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  1. Hi Kumar,

    I have a quick question, I am applying for the EB-2 NIW from outside the US. What is the best way to pay the I-140 filing fee of $700? I understand from USCIS.gov that I can pay using money order, personal check or cashier’s check – but does USCIS accept these payment methods from a non-US foreign bank?

    Please let me know if there are any other payment options available. Thank you.


  2. Hi Kumar,
    I have one question around I-140. My H1b expired in 2016(5 Years ago) I was there in USA only for 2 months after that I returned to India. I have I-797B, Notice of action mentioned case type as “I129 Petition for Non Immigrant Worker” but I don’t have I-140. My employer was not applied for I-140. Now my another employer wants to file H1b under cap exempt and he is asking for I-140, they are saying without I-140 they can’t move ahead under cap exempt. So just want to understand is it really required I-140 to file H1b visa under cap exempt (after 5 years of H1b visa expired)? If Yes How can I get I-140 now?

  3. Hi Kumar,

    Will this hike affect those who already sent on Thursday or Friday and reaching USCIS on Monday (19thOct,2020)? Will USCIS accept those PP petitions?

    • I am not sure about this exact rule but in general, USCIS new rules are enforced by the postmark date. So, if the postmark date is 19th or later will be subject to the higher PP fees.

      Now, it’s really interesting how USCIS interprets the postmark date. If sent via USPS, postmark date is the date stamped on the envelope by the post office. If sent via commercial courier service like UPS or FedEx, postmark date is the receipt date by USCIS.

    • Chandu,
      Well, this is slightly unclear. Sometimes, they take the date they received it physically at their offices. If so, then it will apply.


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