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Expansion of USCIS Premium Processing Services

October 16, 2020

Premium Processing Fee Increase Effective October 19, 2020

ATTENTION: H-1B and LPR applicants

On October 16, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will increase fees for premium processing, effective Oct. 19, as required by a law signed into effect on Oct. 1. The USCIS premium processing service allows petitioners to pay an additional filing fee to expedite the adjudication of certain forms, generally within 15 days.

The premium processing fee will increase from $1,440 to $2,500, for all filings, except for those requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status. The premium processing fee for requesting H-2B or R-1 is increasing from $1,440 to $1,500.

Any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing postmarked on or after October 19 must include the new fee amount. For filings sent by commercial courier (such as UPS, FedEx and DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt.

While USCIS may expand premium processing to additional forms and requests based on the new law, it has not yet taken that action. Additional information is available on the NAFSA website.

OISS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance to UD international students and scholars as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact OISS at any time.


October 2, 2020

On October 1, 2020, a law was signed by the President that would broadly expand the USCIS premium processing program. Under the new legislation, USCIS is required to permanently expand the availability of premium processing for certain applications and petitions, including Applications for Employment Authorization (I-765) and Applications to Change or Extend Status (I-539). Previously, premium processing was limited to certain I-129 and I-140 worker petitions.

The following is a list of USCIS applications commonly used in higher education that are expected to be impacted by the new premium processing law:

USCIS Form Premium Processing Timeline Premium Processing Fee
Form I-129 Nonimmigrant Worker (e.g.H-1B) 15 calendar days (currently available) $2,500 (currently $1,440)
Most Form I-140 EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 petitions 15 calendar days (currently available) $2,500 (currently $1,440)
Form I-539 Change/Extension of Status to F or J 30 days Not greater than $1,750
Form I-539 Change/Extension of Status for H and O Dependents 30 days Not greater than $1,750
Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (e.g. OPT) 30 days Not greater than $1,500

The premium processing law has immediate effect, but it may take several weeks or more for USCIS to implement the law. USCIS is expected to issue an announcement when the expanded premium services become available. The existing premium program for certain I-129 and I-140 petitions remains in effect. Additional information on the expanded premium processing services is available on the NAFSA website.

OISS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance to UD international students and scholars as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact OISS at any time.