October 26, 2020

Volume X, Number 300

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October 26, 2020

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October 23, 2020

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USCIS Almost Doubles Premium Processing Fee With Less Than One Business Day’s Notice to Employers

In a move reflective of the agency’s current approach to rulemaking and policy changes, US Citizenship and Immigration Services has provided less than one business day’s notice that it is almost doubling the popular “premium processing” fee that allows US employers to receive decisions on their petitions to sponsor foreign workers in a matter of days, instead of waiting the many months these petitions currently take to be processed at USCIS without the premium fee.

On October 16, 2020, USCIS announced it would increase its filing fee for “premium processing” of I-129 and I-140 petitions by close to 75 percent:  from $1,440 to $2,500 ($1,500 for H-2B and R-1 petitions).

Moreover, USCIS released the new fee requirement on the afternoon of Friday, October 16, and made it effective as of Monday, October 19, 2020, less than one business day’s notice.  Any I‑129 or I-140 petition that is postmarked on or after Monday, October 19, will be rejected and returned to the employer if it does not include the new fee.

The last time USCIS increased the premium processing fee was in December 2019, when the fee went up from $1,410 to $1,440 – only a 2 percent increase – and the agency provided advance notice of more than a month.  The time before that was in August 2018:  a 15 percent increase, again with a month’s notice to employers and stakeholders.

The increase was authorized under the federal government’s 2021 continuing appropriations act.

Copyright © 2020, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 290
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About this Author

Suzan Kern Immigration Lawyer Hunton Andrews Kurth
Counsel

Suzan’s practice focuses exclusively on immigration and nationality law.

Suzan represents businesses and individuals in administrative proceedings before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Department of State.

Suzan devotes more than 100 hours annually to pro bono work through direct representation and by mentoring other attorneys. She coordinates the Washington office’s signature pro bono project at the Montgomery County Family Justice Center in Rockville, Maryland, which helps victims of...

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