USCIS will be increasing Premium Processing service fees and expanding the availability of Premium Processing services to a broader array of immigration benefit categories as a result of the provisions included in an appropriations bill (H.R. 8337) which became public law on October 1, 2020.
This appropriations bill was introduced to fund the Federal Government through December 11, 2020 and includes measures to increase USCIS revenue by increasing existing Premium Processing service fees and expanding availability for Premium Processing services to a broader array of immigration petitions.
USCIS is funded by filing fees and has previously signaled budget shortfalls and narrowly avoided widespread furloughs in August 2020. This increase in fees and its availability to more immigration benefit categories will help USCIS increase its revenue.
It is important to point out, that the applicability of premium processing to a broader range of immigration benefit categories will not take effect until USCIS announces that it is ready to implement the changes. Therefore, the effective date of this change is not yet known.
Premium Processing provides expedited processing of eligible petitions, guaranteed by USCIS to be within a prescribed period of time. Currently, that period is 15 calendar days, which will be increased slightly when the expansion of premium processing takes effect.
Once USCIS determines it is ready to implement, premium processing services will be applied to a broader range of immigration benefit categories. The service fees will be dependent upon the benefit category. See our summary below:
- Premium Processing service fees for immigration benefit petitions already eligible for premium processing will increase from $1,440 to $2,500, except for H-2B and R-1 petitions; processing time is no greater than 15 calendar days
- EB-1 Petitions for Multinational Managers and Executives and EB-2 National Interest Waivers: the fee will be no more than $2,500 and the processing time no greater than 45 calendar days.
- Change of status requests for F, J, and M student and exchange visitor petitions: The fee will be no more than $1,750 and the processing time no greater than 30 calendar days.
- Change of status requests for dependents seeking E, H, L, O, P and R immigration category benefits: The fee will be no greater than $1,750 and the processing time no greater than 30 calendar days.
- Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document application: The fee is no greater than $1,750 and processing time no greater than 30 calendar days.
USCIS may change these Premium Processing fees every two years.