DHS to Increase Premium Processing Fees October 1, 2018 

Immigration Alert

September 11, 2018

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will increase the premium processing fee charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from $1,225 to $1,410, effective October 1, 2018. As employers are aware, USCIS is authorized to charge and collect a premium processing fee for certain employment-based petitions and applications. Premium processing allows filers to request 15-day processing of certain employment-based immigrant benefit requests if they pay an extra amount. Currently, premium processing is authorized for certain petitioners filing Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, or Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

With respect to H-1B petitions, and as announced in an Immigration Alert published last week, USCIS has suspended premium processing for both cap-subject petitions and most other H-1B petitions. Beginning September 11, 2018, and continuing through February 19, 2019, H-1B petitions cannot be filed utilizing premium processing, except for the following types of cases:

  1. Cap-exempt petitions filed with the California Service Center because the employer is cap exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, entity, or organization; or
  2. Petitions filed exclusively at the Nebraska Service Center by an employer requesting a “Continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer.” (Box b. on Part 2, Question 2, Page 2 of the current Form I-129) with a concurrent request to:
    1. Notify the office in Part 4 so each beneficiary can obtain a visa or be admitted. (Box 2 on Part 2, Question 4, Page 2 of the current Form I-129); or
    2. Extend the stay of the beneficiary because the beneficiary now holds this status. (Box c on Part 2, Question 4, Page 2 of the current Form I-129).

This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to any other nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129.


Frances Rayer



(215) 665-3704

Related Practices

Should you have questions regarding individual situations or the applicability of the above, please feel free to contact the author.