On August 31, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it is increasing the fee the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charges for premium processing requests of eligible matters.
DHS plans to increase the premium processing fee from $1,225 to $1,410, effective on October 1, 2018. The increase represents an increase of 14.92 percent. This percentage change reflects the change in inflation since 2010, as the Immigration and Nationality Act permits the adjustment of the premium processing fee based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
The rule is effective October 1, 2018. The rule has already been published to the Federal Register, which can be viewed by clicking here. The USCIS has also published a notice summarizing the rule here.
Why is DHS Increasing the Premium Processing Fee?
The premium processing fee lets employers request faster processing of certain employment-based petitions. If an employer pays the premium processing fee, USCIS guarantees it will adjudicate a petition within 15 calendar days.
DHS determines the fee by taking into account the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), and the last time DHS adjusted the premium processing fee was in 2010. The increase in the CPI-U from 2010 to 2018 was 14.92 percent. As such, DHS determined it should apply that same percentage increase to the premium processing fee.
According to the USCIS summary of the rule, USCIS intends to use funds from the price increase to “hire additional staff and make investments in information technology systems.”
As such, all requests for premium processing included with eligible petitions that are postmarked on or after Oct. 1, 2018, must include the new, higher fee of $1,410.
Envoy is pleased to provide you this information which was prepared in collaboration with Attorney Scott Kuhagen at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.
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