Effective today, October 19, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) increased premium processing fees for eligible petitions and applications. In line with the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Pub. L. No. 116-159, USCIS increased the fee from $1,440 to $2,500 for certain I-129 nonimmigrant worker petitions, including H-1B, L, O, and P petitions and certain Form I-140 immigrant worker petitions. The premium processing fee for H-2B (temporary non-agricultural workers) and R-1 (religious workers) nonimmigrant status increased from $1,440 to $1,500.
Premium processing allows petitioners to pay an additional filing fee to expedite the adjudication of certain forms, generally within 15 calendar days. Standard case processing for the same requests range anywhere from 3 to 8 months or even longer. Premium processing requests postmarked on or after October 19, 2020 must include the new fee amount. Any premium processing requests postmarked on or after October 19, 2020 with the incorrect filing fee will be rejected.
Pub. L. No. 116-159 also provides USCIS with the ability to expand premium processing to additional forms and benefit requests, but USCIS is not yet taking that action. Premium processing remains available to certain I-129 nonimmigrant worker petitions, including H, L, O, P and R petitions, and certain Form I-140 immigrant worker petitions. If you have any additional questions regarding the fee increase or would like to expedite the processing of your petition, please contact an attorney at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.