Effective October 1, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced the premium processing fee will increase from $1,225 to $1,410.
- What is a premium processing fee? Why is it important?
The premium processing fee is an optional fee that may be included with certain types of employment-based petitions. When this “extra” fee is included, USCIS guarantees a response within 15 calendar days. If it fails to meet the deadline, USCIS will refund the fee.
Premium processing is important to those who want an answer ASAP. The program also offers greater access to information and we normally recommend it.
- What type of response will USCIS provide within 15 calendar days?
The response may be an approval notice, a request for evidence (“RFE”), a notice of intent to deny, or a denial notice. Based on our experience, the first 2 scenarios – approval notice and RFE – are more likely to occur.
- Once we reply to a RFE, how long would it take to get a final response from USCIS?
Another 15 days after USCIS receives the response.
- Can we pay the premium processing fee to expedite family-based petitions?
- What are some examples of employment-based petitions that are eligible for premium processing?
Form I-129, Petitioner for Nonimmigrant Worker for:
- E-2 treaty investors,
- L-1A intracompany transferees in executive or managerial capacity,
- O-1 aliens of extraordinary ability or achievements,
- P-1 internationally recognized athletes, etc.
Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker for:
- EB-1A aliens of extraordinary ability,
- EB-1B outstanding professors and researchers,
- EB-3 skilled workers and professionals, etc.
- So are all employment-based petitions eligible for premium processing?
No. For example, the premium processing service is not available to EB-1C multinational executives/managers and EB-2 members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a National Interest Waiver.
- May the beneficiary of the petition seek premium processing?
No, unless the beneficiary is also the petitioner like in the case of EB-1A, alien of extraordinary ability.
In summation, for those who are qualified to file for an I-129 or I-140 petition, act quickly! The fee for premium processing will increase from $1,225 to $1,410 on October 1, 2018. If you are uncertain whether you qualify for an employment-related immigration benefit and not sure whether you are eligible for premium processing, please speak with an experienced immigration attorney.
U.S. immigration law is complex, which is why you need experienced immigration attorneys to guide and advise you through the process. We are those lawyers, and our firm practices immigration law exclusively. We have offices in Orange, Fresno, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bruno, California, as well as Orem and Salt Lake City, Utah, and Boise, Idaho.
We offer a free in-person consultation at any of our offices in Orange, Fresno, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bruno, California, as well as Orem and Salt Lake City, Utah, and Boise, Idaho.
ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
Richard M. Wilner is a founding member of Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC and is Board Certified by the State Bar of California as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California and before the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California, the Northern District of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.Mr. Wilner has received the coveted Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating, the highest legal and ethical rating that one can receive from one’s peers in the legal community. Similarly, he has been awarded the title of Super Lawyer from 2007 to the present. He is best known for his work in advising Fortune 500 companies, middle and small market businesses, entrepreneurs and foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in athletics, arts, and sciences in the complex area of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law.
Ms. Jeanny Tsoi is an Associate Attorney at Wilner & O’Reilly who handles employment-based transactional cases. She also has extensive experience with family-based immigration matters, 601/601A waivers, non-immigrant visas, and asylum applications. She is admitted to the State Bar of California, the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Tsoi graduated Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History. In 2012, she earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern Law School where she was the Vice President of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. Ms. Tsoi is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.