On October 16, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that premium processing fees will increase effective October 19, 2020. USCIS premium processing service allows petitioners to pay an additional filing fee to expedite the adjudication of certain forms, generally within 15 days. The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Pub. L. No. 116-159, signed into law on October 1, 2020, includes the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which requires USCIS to establish and collect additional premium processing fees, and to use those additional funds for expanded purposes. As a result of this, USCIS announced that it will increase the following premium processing fees:
- Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing will increase from $1,440 to $2,500, for all filings except those from petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status.
- The premium processing fee for petitioners filing Form I-129 requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status is increasing from $1,440 to $1,500.
According to USCIS, any Form I-907 postmarked on or after Oct. 19 must include the new fee amount. The agency stated that any Form I-907 postmarked on or after October 19, 2020 with an incorrect filing fee will be rejected and USCIS will return the filing fee. For filings sent by commercial courier (such as UPS, FedEx and DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt.
In addition, Pub. L. No. 116-159 also gives USCIS the ability to expand premium processing to additional forms and benefit requests, but USCIS has not yet taking that action. Any expansion of premium processing to other forms will be implemented as provided in the legislation.
The Ombudsman’s Office will continue to work on requests for case assistance regarding issues such as erroneous rejections, monitor the implementation of this fee increase and hopes that you find this update helpful. For additional information on the increase fees for premium processing, please see the USCIS’ website at https://www.uscis.gov/news/premium-processing-fee-increase-effective-oct-19-2020.