USCIS Will Increase Premium Processing Fee Effective October 1, 2018

by Joseph McKeown

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced last week that effective October 1, 2018, the agency is increasing the premium processing fee for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, from the current amount of $1,225 to $1,410, a nearly fifteen percent increase.  With this fee increase, which is in accordance to the percentage change in inflation since the fee was last increased in 2010 based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, USCIS claims they can “more effectively adjudicate petitions and maintain effective service to petitioners.” 

Because premium processing fees have not been adjusted since 2010, our ability to improve the adjudications and service processes for all petitioners has been hindered as we’ve experienced significantly higher demand for immigration benefits,” Chief Financial Officer Joseph Moore says in a press release. “Ultimately, adjusting the premium processing fee will allow us to continue making necessary investments in staff and technology to administer various immigration benefit requests more effectively and efficiently.”

Premium processing is an optional expedited service currently available for certain petitioners filing Forms I-129 or I-140. The premium processing service allows petitioners to request fifteen-day processing of certain employment-based immigration benefit requests if they pay an extra fee in addition to the base filing fee and any other applicable fees. USCIS says that with the funds generated by the fee increase they intend to hire additional staff and invest in information technology systems. Additionally, the agency states that the new premium processing service fee will lead to “less disruption while improving adjudications and operational processes.”