U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that it will increase the premium processing fee for certain employment-based petitions, effective Dec.2.

Key points:

  • The premium processing fee will increase to $1,440 (a $30 increase from the current fee of $1,410) for employment-based petitions for nonimmigrant workers (Form I-129), such as H-1Bs, and immigrant workers (Form I-140).
  • The new fees apply to premium processing requests postmarked on or after Dec. 2, 2019.
  • The agency posted a prepublication version of the fee change today. The official announcement is expected to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow.

Background: Premium processing is an optional expedited service that allows petitioners to request 15-day processing for a fee by filing the Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. The premium processing fee is paid in addition to the base filing fee and any other applicable fees. The current fee of $1,410 was last changed in October 2018, and the agency has said it is increasing it to account for inflation.

BAL Analysis: Employers requesting premium processing should budget for the increase and ensure that they file the correct amount for petitions postmarked Dec. 2 and after to avoid delays. The fee hike could cause a spike in premium processing requests in November by employers attempting to file before the change takes effect.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balprod.tegandev.com.

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