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USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee

USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee

The USCIS has just recently increased the fee that is required when a petitioner submits an I-907 request for premium processing. While this is the second time that the fee has been increased this year, it seems as though this is the last time they will increase it for the time being. Keep reading to find out how much it has increased and why.

New Premium Processing Fee

According to the USCIS, starting on December 2, 2019, the premium processing fee will increase from $1,410 to the new fee of $1,440. While this increase is significantly less than the previous one, it is still worth noting, as paying the wrong amount could cause serious delays in your processing time.

The reason why the USCIS decided to increase the premium processing fee to $1,440 is due to inflation. According to their statement released on October 30, 2019, this increase reflects the full amount based on how inflation has affected the U.S. dollar since the institution of premium processing in 2001. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect the fee to increase until inflation has caused a sizable gap between the current fee and the future inflated amount.

Is Premium Processing Worth It?

Premium processing is an optional service offered by the USCIS that expedites the processing times for certain I-129 and I-140 petitions to just 15 calendar days. Since the average processing time can be six months to a year for many of the visas that use these petitions, premium processing often seems like a viable route. If the USCIS fails to process your petition in 15 days, it will issue you a refund of your premium processing fee.

However, there are some limitations to take into account when it comes to premium processing:

  • Not all visas that use the I-129 and I-140 petitions are available for premium processing. For example, the EB-1C and the EB-2 NIW cannot be expedited with this service.
  • Premium processing can only be used with the petition stage of the process. It cannot be used for the LCA, PERM, priority date, or I-485 stages.
  • Premium processing will not increase your petition’s chances of approval—it only expedites the time it takes for the USCIS to come to a decision.
  • For cap-subject H-1B petitions, premium processing will not allow the beneficiary to work before October 1st of the year the petition was approved.
  • The USCIS may suspend premium processing at any time for an extended period.

It is always best to consult with an immigration attorney before making the decision to use premium processing, as it is not always the best solution.

How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help

Understanding the ins and outs of immigration law can be difficult for those outside the industry. Knowing whether premium processing is appropriate for your case is one thing, but having to stay up-to-date on all the fee and policy changes can expose your case to the risk of common pitfalls that cause delays and even rejections.

Here at Immi-USA, our team of expert work visa and green card attorneys will work alongside you every step of the way to make sure you are making the right decisions, filing the right forms, and paying the correct fees for your case. You can schedule a consultation with our office by filling out this contact form.