The government recently announced changes to its Premium Processing service. As many of our clients know, the government offers Premium Processing for certain application types to issue a decision within 15 calendar days for an additional government fee. So far, this service is only available for certain applications filed with USCIS, such as:
- Temporary Status: E-1, H-1B, L-1, O-1, TN.
- Immigrant Visa for Permanent Residence based on: Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professor/Researcher, or Labor Certification.
The first major change to this program is a fee increase from $1,440 to $2,500 for the applications above. Although it is a significant increase, hopefully, this will improve the Premium Process service and limit the government’s ability to temporarily suspend the service, which it has often done in the past. Significantly, applicants can save on government fees and skip Premium Processing because it is often not critical to an immigration strategy. We help clients make this decision when we analyze a case.
Upcoming Changes to Premium Processing
In addition, the new legislation allows for USCIS to expand premium processing services to other types of applications. The following are the parameters known so far:
- Employment Authorization Document: fee will not be greater than $1,750 and processing time will not be greater than 30 days.
- Change of status request for dependents seeking E, H, L, or O status: fee will not be greater than $1,750 and processing time will not be greater than 30 days.
- Immigrant Vis for Permanent Residence for Multinational Managers/Executives and National Interest Waivers: fee will not be greater than $2,500 and processing time will not be greater than 45 days.
Such an expansion of the Premium Processing service has the potential to benefit many clients who need a quick government response.
As always, we are monitoring these changes as they go into effect. We have updated our current clients impacted by the fee increase. Should the service expand, we will analyze to see if any of our current clients will benefit from taking advantage of premium processing.