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U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services Increases Premium Processing Fee for Employment-Based Petitions Again

H1B Visa

On December 2, 2019, the cost to request premium processing of employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant petitions by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase from $1,410 to $1,440.

In a statement, USCIS noted that the increase “is done in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, reflects the full amount of inflation from the implementation of the premium processing fee in June 2001 through August 2019 based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U).” USCIS increased the premium processing fee to the current $1,440 from $1,225 in October of 2018.

What is Premium Processing?

Premium processing is an optional service USCIS offers to employers that for an additional fee allows for the 15-day processing of certain immigrant and non-immigrant employment-based visa petitions. The fee, paid in addition to any established USCIS filing fees, is returned if the petition is not adjudicated within 15 days of filing. The fee cannot be waived if premium processing is requested.

Most employers opt to request premium processing as it allows for the quick transfer of international employees and students recruited from other employers, placement agencies, colleges, and universities.

Employers seeking to petition an employee under any of the following immigrant visa categories may request premium processing at the increased fee:

  • EB-1:
Aliens of extraordinary ability
  • EB-1:
Outstanding professors and researchers
  • EB-2:
Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability not seeking a National Interest Waiver
  • EB-3:
Skilled workers
  • EB-3:
Professionals
  • EB-3:
Workers other than skilled workers and professionals

Employers seeking to petition an employee under any of the following nonimmigrant visa categories may request premium processing at the increased fee:

  • E-1:
Treaty Trader
  • E-2:
Treaty Investor
  • H-1B:
Alien in Specialty Occupation
  • H-2B:
Temporary Worker performing nonagricultural services
  • H-3:
Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor
  • L-1A:
Intracompany Transferee, Executive or Manager Capacity
  • L-1B:
Intracompany Transferee, Specialized Knowledge Professional
  • LZ:

 

A petitioner meeting certain requirements which seek continuous approval of itself and some or all of its parents, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates
  • O-1:
Alien of extraordinary ability or achievements in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
  • O-2:
Alien providing essential support services for a principal O-1 alien
  • P-1:
Internationally recognized athlete or member of an internationally recognized entertainment group
  • P-1S:
Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-1 alien
  • P-2:
Artist or Entertainer under a Reciprocal Exchange Program
  • P-2S:
Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-2 alien
  • P-3:
Artist or Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Program
  • P-3S:
Essential Support Alien, highly skilled, who performs support services essential to the successful performance of the principal P-3 alien
  • Q-1:
International cultural exchange alien
  • R-1:
Alien in a Religious occupation
  • TN-1:
NAFTA professional, Canada
  • TN-2:
NAFTA professional, Mexico

To learn more about this post or any other immigration matter, please feel free to contact me at rglahoud@norris-law.com.