Updated: Jan 17, 2021
USCIS announced on October 16, 2020 that effective October 19, 2020 the cost for Premium Processing has gone up from $1,440 to $2,500 for all non-immigrant visa categories. This change comes as a part of Congress approved Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 & Other Extensions Act signed into law on October 1, 2020. This exponential increase in fee is to help USCIS mitigate their budget deficits and maintain operational sustenance.
All I-907 forms requesting an expedited decision on immigration cases will have to pay the increased fee of $2,500 if they are postmarked on or after October 19, 2020.
Who does this new fee effect?
Besides the H-1B, L-1, O-1, and TN visas, the new fee for premium fee will apply to the following categories -
Form I-140 - petitions filed for EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 green card categories
Form I-765 - petitions for Employer Authorization Document (EAD)
Form I-539 - petitions filed by depends in H-4, L-2, E-3D, E-2, O-3, P-4 and R-2 status
Form I-539 - petitions for change of status to F, M or J visas
Any other immigration benefit deemed appropriate by the Secretary
Who is exempt from this fee?
The H-2B and R-1 visa category petitions (Form I-129) are exempt from the $2500 fee but have to pay $1,500 instead of $1,440.
Are the Biometric appointments eligible for Premium Processing?
Congress recently expanded premium processing to include employment authorization. This, however, does not help spouses on H-4 because of the biometrics requirements since the biometrics is a prerequisite that needs to be met before the premium process takes effect.
Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a WayLit-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.