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New Law Expands USCIS Premium Processing Service

On September 30, 2020, President Trump signed the Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 8337). The act increased the existing premium processing fees and expanded the premium processing service to other form types offered by the USCIS.

The Act introduces following changes to the premium processing service offered by the USCIS:

  1. The Act increase the premium processing fee from $1,440 to $2,550. The only exceptions are H-2B seasonal workers and R religious workers, who will be required to pay $1,500 for premium processing service.
  2. New categories included under Premium processing, which includes the dependents as well. Such as all I-140 petitions, Change of status or extension of status, employment authorization.
  3. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can now adjust premium processing fees biannually to reflect inflation without following regulatory requirements.
  4. The Act increase the time frame for premium processing service from 15 days to up to 45 days, depending on filing category, and sets limits on the premium processing fees, the exact fees and time limits will be determined by the USCIS:
  • I-129 nonimmigrant worker petitions, like H-1B, L1, etc. – up to 15 calendar days, and premium processing fee will not exceed $2,500.
  • EB-1 petitions like EB1 (c) for multinational executives and managers and EB2 NIW – up to 45 days, and premium processing fee will not exceed $2,500.
  • Petitions to change nonimmigrant status to F (student), J (exchange visitor), or M (vocational student) – up to 30 days, and fees is less than $1,750. The extension or change of status is filed using Form I-539.
  • Applications for employment authorization (EAD), filed using Form I-765 – Up to 30 days, and fees less than $1,500.
  • Petition to change or extend status as the dependent of an E (treaty trader or investor), H (temporary worker), L (intracompany transferee), O (extraordinary ability), P (artist or athlete) – up to 30 days, and fees less than $1,750. The extension or change of status is filed using Form I-539.
  • The Act further requires USCIS to develop a 5-year plan to implement electronic filing procedures for all benefit requests, accept electronic payments, correspond with benefit requestors electronically, and reduce processing timeframes for all immigration and naturalization benefit requests.

5. The Act further requires USCIS to develop a 5-year plan to implement electronic filing procedures for all benefit requests, accept electronic payments, correspond with benefit requestors electronically, and reduce processing timeframes for all immigration and naturalization benefit requests.

The changes to the premium processing service offered by the USCIS are not slated to go into effect for several weeks. The changes will prove to be beneficial for the dependents of the non-immigrant workers, especially the ones applying for the employment authorization. We will regularly update the blog as soon as any new information is available.

 

Disclaimer

This article aims to provide new information concerning changes to the premium processing service offered by the USCIS. This article, under no circumstances, acts as legal advice; therefore, for any immigration questions, please contact your Attorney or the Ahluwalia Law Offices, P.C. (Team ALO).

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