U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Friday that it will increase the premium processing fee to $1,410 on Oct. 1.

Key points:

  • The increase will apply to Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, premium processing requests.
  • The change represents an increase of about 15 percent above the current $1,225, an adjustment that USCIS says is necessary to keep up with inflation. The fee has not increased since 2010.

Background: USCIS announced the increase days after it said it would extend its premium processing suspension for H-1B cap-subject petitions until Feb. 19, 2019. USCIS also said it will broaden the current suspension beginning Sept. 11 so that it covers most other H-1B petitions, including transfer and amended petitions. The only H-1B petitions for which premium processing will be available on or after Sept. 11 are (1) petitions filed exclusively at the Nebraska Service Center by an employer requesting a continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer and (2) petitions filed exclusively at the California Service Center where the employer is cap-exempt or where the employee will be working at a cap-exempt organization. Petitions in the second category are typically filed by universities and nonprofit research institutions.

BAL Analysis: Employers should budget for the upcoming premium processing fee increase and are reminded that the previously announced premium processing suspension will be longer and broader than initially expected. Employers should anticipate delays in H-1B processing for pending cap cases and for transfer and amended petitions that are filed on or after Sept. 11.

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

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