Spotlight on the U.S.
In our Spotlight on US immigration series, we provide a round up of the latest developments from the United States. In this post we explore the upcoming processing fee increases due to be implemented in February 2024.
Premium Processing Fee Increase
Effective February 26, 2024, the premium processing fee for Form I-140 Immigrant Worker Petitions and the majority of Form I-129 Non-immigrant Worker Petitions will be rising from $2,500 to $2,805. Form I-539 fees additionally rose from $1,750 to $1,965, and Form I-765 for F-1 OPTs rose from $1,500 to $1,685. The fee hike, in line with an adjustment for inflation, will apply to requests for premium processing postmarked on and after February 26, 2024.
The option to premium process specific applications (using Form I-907) has been an efficient and successful option for employees, employers, and other categories of applicants across the board. USCIS guarantees an adjudication (approval, denial, request for evidence, notice of intent to deny, or an investigation into fraud or misrepresentation) within specified, expedited periods of review.
The premium processing fee was last increased effective October 19, 2020, when it rose from $1,440 to $2,500 with the implementation of the USCIS Stabilization Act, providing the Department of Homeland Security the authority to adjust premium processing fees on a biennial basis. Prior to that, it had increased effective December 2, 2019, from $1,410 to $1,440. For the past three years the fee has remained at $2,500. With this upcoming rise, USCIS has clarified that the fees will now be raised biennially.
The fee hike will be used to continue providing the premium processing service, improving the adjudication process and increased demands, reducing the backlog, and continuing to fund USCIS adjudication and naturalization services.
In January 2023, USCIS issued a proposed fee increase schedule for a number of application types. This remains under review, and further updates should be available by April 2024. Unlike the vast majority of agencies in the U.S., USCIS remains primarily funded by petitioner and applicant fees, as opposed to Congressional funding.
For more information, USCIS announced the update with further information on the program: USCIS Announces Inflation Adjustment to Premium Processing Fees.
For general information on premium processing: How Do I Request Premium Processing?
For full details of the program, as published by the Federal Register: Adjustment to Premium Processing Fees.