U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that as of October 1, 2018, the premium processing fee for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, from $1,225 to $1,410. This represents almost a 15% increase in the fee. USCIS defended the hike, stating that the fees have not been adjusted since 2010 and that the increase is necessary to maintain effective processing of the petitions.
Premium processing is an optional service that allows petitioners to request 15-day processing of certain employment-related immigrant petitions. The premium processing fee is in addition to the basic fee and any other required fees for these petitions.
USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fees
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that the increase in the premium processing fee will bring $44 million in additional revenue to USCIS. At the same time, USCIS recently has suspended premium processing for other employment-related petitions, including most H-1B petitions, in an attempt to eliminate the large backlog of applications. Currently, this suspension is to last through February 19, 2019, although it originally was slated to last only through September 10, 2018. Furthermore, as of September 11, 2018, USCIS designated other types of H-1B petitions as suspended, in addition to the already-suspended cap-subject H-1B petitions. An inability to obtain premium processing for most H-1B petitions will result in it taking an estimated four to six months for USCIS to process these petitions, which is causing difficulties for some employers. While there are a few minor exceptions to the general inability to get premium processing for H-1B petitions, in practice, the suspension affects almost all H-1B petitions.
When you or a loved one is facing an immigration law problem, you need legal advice and counsel from experienced Texas immigration attorneys. At Peek & Toland, we are here to help you with your immigration case. We will devote all of our efforts to representing your interests, answering your questions, and calming your concerns. Don’t hesitate to contact Peek & Toland and schedule a time to meet with us today. We can help protect your rights and get you the relief that you need.