USCIS Adjusting Premium Processing Fees to Improve Adjudications and Service Processes

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will increase premium processing fees for some forms starting on October 1, 2018. The fees will increase by 14.92%, reflecting the percentage increase in inflation since implementation of the last fee increase in 2010. The increase is being done in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Act permits USCIS to raise such fees in order to provide services.

What is the issue?

Costs for staff, technology, and supplies have increased since 2010. Using the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers as a benchmark, the increase on average is 14.92% over this time frame. At the same time, the demand for immigration services that USCIS provides has significantly increased. Without an increase in the premium processing fees, USCIS will be increasingly unable to continue providing services.

What are the forms subject to increases in premium processing fees?

Premium processing fees are additional fees that petitioners can pay for the option of requesting a 15-day processing time for specific requests. Petitioners must also pay the basic form filing fee as well as any other required fees.

Forms subject to increases in premium processing fees include:

Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker – this form is for petitioners filing on behalf of a nonimmigrant worker to come to the United States temporarily to perform services or labor, or to receive training, as an H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1 or R-1 nonimmigrant worker. Petitioners may also use this form to request an extension of stay in or change of status to E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B1 or TN, or one of the above classifications for a foreign national.

Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers – this form is used to petition for an alien worker to become a permanent resident of the United States.

What does increasing premium processing fees mean for the USCIS?

USCIS will be able to hire additional staff, as well as make significant investments in technology. As a result, this will allow the agency to provide adjudications and premium processing services quickly and more efficiently than is currently possible.

What should employers expect?

Employers should expect that premium processing fees for Form I-129 and I-140 will increase by 14.92%. Currently, the fee is $1,225. Starting on October 1, the fee will increase to $1,410.

What should employers do?

Employers should review their hiring plans and determine any current budgetary impact related to increases in premium processing fees for Form I-129 and Form I-140. Employers should also review future budgets to ensure they reflect the increased fees.


Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients with their country-specific employment, visa, and residency requirements. We can help your company understand how to respond effectively to the USCIS’s increase in premium processing fees. Learn how your company can mitigate the impact of increases in premium processing fees from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts who are dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

Request your complimentary Visa Program Assessment