In the News: USCIS Expands Premium Processing


USCIS is still desperate to raise funds, especially now that the federal courts have shot down their fee hikes. That’s why Congress recently passed HR 8337, which gives the agency more power to raise funds with premium processing fees.

The new law has greatly expanded the categories that may be used.

The length of time they are given to process applications has changed too. Now they are giving answers in 30 days, in most cases, instead of in 15. This is still an improvement over the six months the typical applicant waits on a standard application. For EB-1 and EB-2 visas the wait is 45 days. 

Premium processing also costs more than it used to. The fees have gone up to $2500 for everything but the H-2B or R categories, with a $1500 fee. 

The original categories that could receive premium processing were:

  • E-1
  • E-2
  • H-1B
  • H-2B
  • H-3
  • L-1A
  • L-1B
  • LZ
  • O-1
  • O-2
  • P-1
  • P-2
  • P-3
  • Q-1
  • R-1
  • TN-1
  • TN-2
  • EB-1
  • EB-2
  • EB-3

The previous categories will still have the premium processing option, as will applications to change or extend nonimmigrant status, applications for employment authorization, and other immigration benefit types that the Secretary deems appropriate for premium processing.” 

The bill also placed certain reporting requirements on USCIS. For example, they have to establish electronic filing procedures for all applications and petitions for immigration benefits.” If they do this it might start to cut through the agency’s backlog, though it will probably take them some time to get this done. 

Keep in mind that faster processing alone won’t help you secure visa approval. The premium process could return with a Request for Evidence just like the standard process could. 

One way to cut down on the amount of time processing takes is to hire an immigration attorney. When your application is done correctly the first time you eliminate many of the reasons why USCIS might wish to delay or deny your application.

If you need to get an application processed, call Hykel Law. We’ll help you get the job done right, so you don’t waste your application fees.

See also:

New Options for H-1B and L-1 Visa Holders

Immigration Fees Philadelphia Immigrants Should Know About

What Must An Employer Do Before Hiring An H-1B Worker?

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