Without advance warning, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced it will increase fees for premium processing, effective Oct. 19. This fee increase was authorized by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Pub. L. No. 116-159, signed into law on Oct. 1. The Act included the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which requires USCIS to establish and collect additional premium processing fees, and to use those additional funds for expanded purposes.
The USCIS premium processing service allows petitioners to pay an additional filing fee to expedite the adjudication of certain forms, generally within 15 days.
Pub. L. No. 116-159 increases the fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, from $1,440 to $2,500, for all filings except those from petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status. The premium processing fee for petitioners filing Form I-129 requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status is increasing from $1,440 to $1,500.
Any Form I-907 postmarked on or after Oct. 19 must include the new fee amount. If USCIS receives a Form I-907 postmarked on or after Oct. 19 with the incorrect filing fee, it will reject the Form I-907 and return the filing fee. For filings sent by commercial courier (such as UPS, FedEx and DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt.
Pub. L. No. 116-159 also gives USCIS the ability to expand premium processing to additional forms and benefit requests, but USCIS is not yet taking that action. It is expected that the USCIS will expand premium processing to application types for which premium processing currently is not available, this includes the EB-1 immigration visa petition for multinational managers and executives and for advance degreed professionals or aliens with exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver of the PERM Labor Certification requirement. It also may expand to form I-765, which could shorten the waiting time for an Employment Authorization Document from 6+ months to 15 days. Any expansion of premium processing to other forms will be implemented later as provided in the legislation.