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Reminder – Effective February 26, Premium Processing Fees to Increase

The premium processing fee for I-140 immigrant worker petitions and most Form I-129 nonimmigrant worker petitions will increase to $2,805, from $2,500. Fees for premium processing of certain other petitions and applications will also increase. The new fees will take effect for filings postmarked on or after February 26. Under a separate new rule, starting April 1, premium processing adjudication timeframes will change from calendar days to business days, effectively increasing processing times by one week or more, depending on the case type.

The issue

Effective February 26, 2024, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is increasing the fees for premium processing of certain employment-based applications and petitions. The final regulation adjusting the fees was published in December 2023.

The following new fees will apply to premium processing requests postmarked on or after February 26, 2024.

Case TypeCurrent Premium Processing FeeEffective February 26, Premium Processing FeeIncrease
Form I-140$2,500$2,805$305
Form I-129$2500$1,500
(H-2B & R-1)
(H-2B & R-1)
Form I-539 (premium processing available only for changes of status to F, M, or J)$1,750$1,965$215
Form I-765
(F-1 OPT)

USCIS says that it plans to increase premium processing fees biennially in the future.

New USCIS fee schedule increases premium processing timeframes starting April 1

Separately, a broader USCIS fee schedule, slated to take effect on April 1, will change the premium processing timeframe from calendar days to business days, effectively lengthening adjudication timeframes for premium processing requests by a week or more, depending on the case type.

The new fee schedule will also increase filing fees for many immigration benefit petitioners and applicants, and particularly steeply for employment-based petitioners. The rule imposes varying fees for the array of nonimmigrant classifications sought on Form I-129 and assesses a new Asylum Program Fee on Form I-129 and Form I-140 filings, among other key changes.

What this means for employers

Employers should factor the new premium processing fees and increased USCIS filing fees into their immigration budget planning for the coming year. Petitioners and applicants wishing to benefit from the current premium processing fees should work with their immigration teams to prepare cases for submission before February 26. Employers and foreign nationals should also prepare for the lengthier premium processing adjudication timeframes that will take effect on April 1.

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