U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that effective October 1, it will increase the premium processing fee charge for I-129 nonimmigrant worker petitions and I-140 immigrant petitions. Premium processing fees will increase to $1410.00 per petition. This is close to a 15 percent increase in the filing fee, which was last raised in 2010.
USCIS has indicated that its ability to improve adjudications and service processes for all petitions has been hindered as it experiences significantly higher demand for immigration benefits.
Premium processing, which is an optional service, currently authorizes certain petitioners filing I-129 or I-140 petitions to request processing of certain employment-based immigration benefits within 15 calendar days, should they pay an extra fee. The premium fee is paid in addition to the base filing fee and any other applicable fees, which are not waivable.
USCIS stated that it intends to hire additional staff and invest in information technology systems with premium funds. In addition, USCIS also stated that the premium processing service would allow for less disruption in processing, while improving adjudications and operational processes. The premium processing fee has proven to be a major source of revenue for USCIS, which is self-funded and does not receive a special budget line from Congress to carry out its operations.
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