On October 16, USCIS announced it would both expand and increase fees for premium processing, effective on October 19, 2020
The legislation requires USCIS to expand premium processing to include applications for EADs and applications to change or extend status for the dependents of H-1B, L-1 and other nonimmigrant categories. The law also gives DHS authority to designate other case types for premium service. However, for the time being, premium processing will remain limited to certain I-129 nonimmigrant worker petitions, including H, L, O, P and R petitions, and certain Form I-140 immigrant worker petitions.
Premium processing allows petitioners to pay an additional filing fee to expedite the adjudication of certain forms, generally within 15 days. The Act included the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which requires USCIS to establish and collect additional premium processing fees.
The Act 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.
See the chart below.
Premium Processing (PP) Service provides faster processing for certain immigration employment-based petitions and applications. The USCIS promises 15 day processing to those petitioners or applicants who choose to use this service or they will refund the premium processing service fee. Even if the fee is refunded, the relating case will continue to receive expedited processing.
The 15 day period begins when Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is received by USCIS accompanied by a filing fee of $2,500. USCIS will issue and serve the petitioner or applicant with one of the following: an approval notice, a denial notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within the 15 day period. If the petition or application requires the submission of additional evidence or a response to a notice of intent to deny, a new 15 business day period will begin upon receipt by USCIS of a complete response to the request for evidence or the notice of intent to deny.
Premium Processing applies to various nonimmigrant petitions like H-1Bs and L-1s, and to certain I-140 immigrant petitions like I-140s listed on the chart below.
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Form I-129 Petitions Eligible for Premium Processing
|Designated Classification Within Form I-129||Corresponding
|Treaty Trader||E-1||June 1, 2001|
|Treaty Investor||E-2||June 1, 2001|
|Alien in Specialty Occupation||H-1B||July 30, 2001|
|Temporary Worker performing nonagricultural services||H-2B||June 1, 2001|
|Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor||H-3||June 1, 2001|
|Intracompany Transferee, Executive or Manager Capacity||L-1A||June 1, 2001|
|Intracompany Transferee, Specialized Knowledge Professional||L-1B||June 1, 2001|
|A petitioner meeting certain requirements which seeks continuous approval of itself and some or all of its parents, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates||LZ
|June 1, 2001|
|Alien of extraordinary ability or achievements in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics||O-1||June 1, 2001|
|Alien providing essential support services for a principal O-1 alien||O-2||June 1, 2001|
|Internationally recognized athlete or member of an internationally recognized entertainment group||P-1||June 1, 2001|
|Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-1 alien||P-1S||June 1, 2001|
|Artist or Entertainer under a Reciprocal Exchange Program||P-2||June 1, 2001|
|Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-2 alien||P-2S||June 1, 2001|
|Artist or Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Program||P-3||June 1, 2001|
|Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-3 alien||P-3S||June 1, 2001|
|International cultural exchange alien||Q-1||June 1, 2001|
|Alien in a Religious occupation||R-1||July 30, 2001 and
reinstated July 20, 2009
|NAFTA professional, Canada||TN-1||July 30, 2001|
|NAFTA professional, Mexico||TN-2||July 30, 2001|
Form I-140 Petitions Eligible for Premium Processing
|Designated Classification Within Form I-140||Corresponding Employment-Based (EB) Immigrant Visa Classification||Availability Date|
|Aliens of extraordinary ability||EB-1||Nov. 13, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009|
|Outstanding professors and researchers||EB-1||Sept. 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009|
|Multinational executives and managers||EB-1||Available on October 19, 2020|
|Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability not seeking a National Interest Waiver||EB-2||Sept. 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009|
|Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a National Interest Waiver||EB-2||Available on October 19, 2020|
|Skilled workers||EB-3||Aug. 28, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009|
|Professionals||EB-3||Aug. 28, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009|
|Workers other than skilled workers and professionals||EB-3||Sept. 25, 2006 and reinstated June 29, 2009|
Premium Processing News
- How Do I Request Premium Processing? (USCIS)
- USCIS to Raise PP Fee Effective December 2, 2019 (October 30, 2019)
- USCIS Resumes PP for Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap Petitions (1-28-19)
- Resumption of PP for R-1 Religious Workers (USCIS) – (7-21-09)
- PP of I-140s – What It Means to You (6-23-09)
- PP Service Expanded for Certain Form I-140 Petitions (2-24-09)
- Fact Sheet: USCIS Offers PP Service for Certain Form I-140 Petitions Starting June 16, 2008
- USCIS to Offer PP for Certain Form I-140 Petitions (6-16-08)
- News Release: USCIS to Expand PP Service to Include EB-1 Petitions (11-08-06)
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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