USCIS recently announced that it would be modifying policy relating to its premium processing services – a service which allows for the expedited processing of visa and petitions for an additional fee, as part of new legislation introduced by Congress. In the announcement, USCIS stated that rates for these fees would increase across the board, but also that premium processing would now be available for more visa classifications than before, news that could potentially help you if you’re on a deadline and need to come to the U.S.
Before this legislation was introduced, USCIS guaranteed a 15 day turnaround and $1,440 fee for petitions submitted through premium processing. That fee has now increased to $2,500 (except for H-2B and R categories, which will remain at $1,500.) Premium processing fees for visa types that did not previously have these services will be established by regulation using a detailed methodology. We are closely monitoring this news and will provide updates on these prices as they become available.
Premium processing will be available for new categories, including visa classifications that require most Form I-140 EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 petitions, Form I-129 Nonimmigrant Worker Petitions, Form I-539 Change/Extension of Status to F, J, or M visas, Form I-539 Change/Extension of Status for E, H, L, O, P, and R dependents, as well as Form I-765 Application for Employment authorization.
This legislation does go into detail regarding maximum costs and timeframes for processing.
Premium processing has been previously available for visas that use Form I-129, which include O-1, O-2, P-1, P-2, P-3, E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, LZ, TN-1, TN-2, Q-1, and R-1.
Premium processing services were also available to those submitting immigrant petitions with certain exceptions including first, second, and third preferences (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3).
This news allows for premium processing services to be available for employment-based petitions and associated applications for dependents, employment-based immigrant petitions filed on or behalf of aliens, applications to change or extend nonimmigrant status, applications for employment authorization, as well as any other immigration benefit type that is deemed appropriate for premium processing.
If you are eager to learn more about taking advantage of these expanded premium processing services for your upcoming nonimmigrant or immigrant petition, please contact your D’Alessio Law Group professional, or schedule a consultation with our team today.